Dear Pedal Pilgrim Readers,
The “Between Two Worlds (BTW)” Lenten Pilgrimage and Conversation did its work. The process of pilgrimage is to start with an intention, stay open to what shows up, and see what new discoveries and places one ends up at the end. Liturgically, this kind of pilgrimage is honored during Lent and ends on Easter Sunday–when resurrection, rebirth, and new life shows up. For me Easter has slowly emerged over the week or so since Easter Sunday.
Beginning on Monday, April 24 I will be offering a reflection under the title of “Mystic Mondays”. During our seven-week conversation (BTW) the language and experience of religious mysticism kept showing up on a consistent basis. Some were already familiar with the language and thanked me for re-introducing into our religious lexicon. Many others shared their experiences of feeling a Oneness with nature, of sharing in intimate circles where the Sacred showed up, and spoke of having heard God’s voice somewhere outside of the church building. I simply reminded them that those experiences fit into the long-forgotten (and re-emerging) tradition of religious mysticism.
I have just enough exposure to it to name it, but not enough to really know what I am talking about. I would never call myself an expert on mysticism. I would only claim that my spiritual orientation and identity leans much more heavily on the language of the mystics than it does on doctrinal belief and assent. I know that I am not alone in this!
Every Monday for as long as there is energy I will provide a reflection on religious mysticism. I will structure it so that it can easily be used in small groups. I encourage you to find another friend or two or three. Or if you are already in a committed study group you could use this as the source of your study and conversation. I will publish it on Monday mornings at 4:00 a.m. so that you can set a regular time with others to wrestle with it sometime during the week.
This will be a shared learning opportunity. I will be learning as much as any of you. I will be developing a daily practice to read the poetry, songs, and prose of the mystics as I prepare for this weekly reflection. For those of you familiar with the rhythm of a pastor’s life this will be very similar to the preparation and process of providing a Sunday sermon. The only difference is that this will be on Monday and the source of my material will be various expressions of the mystics rather than exclusively Scripture.
As I teaser here are three quotes from those who have tasted the mystical honey:
Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. Jalaluddin Rumi
I and the Father are one. Jesus of Nazereth
The sunset bows to me as much as I bow to it. Pedal Pilgrim