Today we hear from guest blogger Brooke Smith on meeting fear with trust. Tomorrow we turn to an exploration of moving from isolation to community.
Meister Eckhart was a 13th-14th century German theologian and Christian mystic who had a lot to say about who God is and who we are in the face of everything life throws at us. When the world seems impossible to navigate, read a mystic.
It’s so easy to be afraid today. It seems like if we’re not fearful of the top down governance of our society, we’re afraid of the revolt of the bottom. These are not the greatest of times for a worrier like me. But if I can set my sights on the Truth and love others with compassion, at the least I might not fall into the depression that so often comes along with genuine fear and hopelessness.
One of Eckhart’s principals was the idea of subtraction in our souls in order to be with God. He said God is found in the human soul not by adding God into our lives in some way (through incessant pious tasks or a checklist of deeds). God is found when we remove the ego, the fear, the anxiety, the excess, the negative thought. We subtract away in our hearts and minds and allow space for God to fill. This can be practiced in our teaching, in our prayer, our discipline to devotion, and in our rituals.
Some folks are very scared of meditation or just plain intimidated by it. But the idea of clearing the mind of the junk that it being thrown at it 24/7 and making room to speak with or just be brought to peace by God is nothing but very good. Eastern traditions have this right, and the American Christian would do well to adopt this practice.
I encourage you to look up some quotes by Meister Eckhart and apply those concepts to your day, allowing God’s Presence to ease your fears and calm your soul.
All thoughts of Meister Eckhart:
“God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.”
“The most important hour is always the present.
The most significant person is precisely the one sitting across from you right now.
The most necessary work is always love.”
“There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven.”
How does your day change as you take time, even a few minutes, to sit in silence, breath, and be with God?