What does it mean to be a mystic?
Some imagine yogis sitting in meditation for hours on end, or think of mystics as Christ-like people who have extraordinary powers to heal, predict the future, or travel into other realms. Though these are examples of mysticism, a mystic is simply “a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.”
When we believe mysticism is reserved for a chosen few, or for those willing to give up all earthly pleasures, we disconnect from our inner mysticism which can be a powerful link to create the lives we desire. By discovering and embracing the mystic we were born to be, we align with authenticity, empowerment and joy.
Contemplation and Self-Surrender
Meditation can be a form of contemplation, but it is not the only path to unity consciousness. Many mystics use a variety of methods to surrender their egoic limitations and allow for absorption into the absolute. Yoga, spiritual study groups, conscious breathwork, fasting, and dance are all valid actions a mystic can consciously utilize with intention to achieve a spiritual quest. Again, these are not the only methods one can use.
If your intention is to experience oneness, then do so in your daily endeavors. While washing dishes, become completely mindful of your task. Feel the plate, notice the soapy sponge as it makes contact to remove the grease, experience the heat of the water. Don’t limit yourself by believing a mystical experience of oneness with the Divine has certain qualities, or wait for it to happen to you spontaneously. Instead, cultivate a practice of seeking oneness with the mundane tasks you perform each day. Allow absorption into the present moment.
As well, seek wonder. By opening yourself to the marvels that are ever-present, you release the walls that keep you confined to your smallness. Finding the awe in the things around you may seem to emphasize your smallness, or minimize you to no-thing, but this is an essential shift in awareness. As you expand your perceptions to take in the wonder that exists in all things, you realize the vastness and wonder that is within you… that is you!
Star-gaze, sincerely hug a tree, notice your plants dancing softly with the wind, listen deeply to the sounds of birds in your yard, watch a squirrel capture an acorn, spend ten minutes snuggling with your dog. Though you can discover the wonder in anything, connecting with the forces of the natural world is not only pure and easy, it helps align you with your own natural state, which is inherently mystical.
Spiritual Apprehension of Truths
Intellectually speaking, we can get fixated on what truth really is, and formulate thoughts that lock us in to particular beliefs. Yet truth, like light, can be perceived, experienced, and even manipulated, but can never be grasped in the literal sense. Our mind finds comfort in understanding and containment, helping us feel sure, solid, safe. Mystics are willing to experience the discomfort of uncertainty as they seek truth.
The innocence of a child allows each experience or teaching to be taken in as some kind of truth. Through development, understanding and intellect begin to form the information received into perceptions. Discernment allows for rejection of information, whether based on truth or one’s perceptions. Yet, as fallible human beings, our perceptions can become distorted. Therefore, the thoughts we believe may not be completely true. This is okay, unless they limit us, of course.
If you are experiencing limitation in your life, your move toward freedom begins with a shift in your perceptions. Most notably, the majority of your untrue perceptions are about yourself! You may even believe you are not a mystic! Whether or not you have consciously taken an oath to obtain unity with the absolute, if you believe in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect, by definition, you are a mystic!