Are you a mystic? I don’t know many who think of themselves this way, but I do know a lot of people who live the mystic life — musicians, yogis, hikers, artists, and dancers — who embody a direct, intimate union of the soul with God [insert: Goddess, Universe, Love, or whatever floats your boat, here].
Mysticism is one of my core values. I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, and every Sunday sat in those uncomfortable pews wishing instead to dance and celebrate. The solemn recitation on repeat about death and sins did not do it for me. We were to trust the priest and his relationship with God, not find our own. Women weren’t allowed to preach. Well… NO!
I started researching other religions as a teen. I loved Zen and Buddhism but what ultimately opened my heart was running around the country being in nature and hearing great music. Losing myself in the dance, in the woods, in the song.
10 Ways To Practice Mysticism in the Modern Age:
Not even kidding. Intoxicants and dance have long been used for spiritual enhancement. When set and setting are right, a good party can dissolve the ego and connect you with your true essence.
My favorite. Crank up your favorite tunes in your living room and let loose until you lose yourself in the rhythm. And or go out to see your favorite band and lose yourself in the massive dance with everyone around you.
3. BE IN NATURE
A quiet walk through the woods can sooth the soul so much the Japanese call it “forest-bathing.” Let your thoughts drop away and enjoy the rhythm and hum of the wind in the trees.
4. EMBRACE SILENCE
Learning to be quiet and go beyond your monkey mind, and just be, is a direct path to awaken.
5. FIND YOUR FLOW
Whether by playing an instrument, doing yoga, or hiking… finding your flow is the indicator of you life’s purpose. When you lose track of time, and lose yourself in a project or action, that’s your hint. Follow that. That’s your happiness.
6. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music is the language of the soul. It can lift your heart, bring tears to your eyes, and rhythm to your body. Let it heal you.
I like audio meditations, like Deepak and Oprah’s 21-day meditation courses. Quiet meditation is also a balm for the mind. “How to Meditate,” by Kathleen MacDonald, a Buddhist nun, contains everything you really need to know about it, imho.
8. HEAR YOUR INTUITION
This requires self-trust, firstly. So if you’ve made any mistakes in the past, forgive yourself and move on. Commit to listening to yourself better. It also requires solitude – not the lonely kind, but the kind you cherish. Quiet down. Listen, and hear.
9. CHOOSE COMPASSION
Extend a generosity of heart first to yourself, taking care to release negative self-talk and believe positive thoughts instead. Be gentle and kind with others. When you eat, consider the lives of animals and remember we don’t need to murder to feed ourselves.
10. ACCESS GRATITUDE
Gratitude as your primary emotion will change your life. If you’re down, come back to gratitude. Make a gratitude list and keep adding to it. Include the greatest joys in your life, and the mundane things that tickle your delight, i.e. “I’m grateful for lint traps.” It’s the little things.