Quote for the Day

Whatever form of meditation you practice, it is in essence simply a method for detaching yourself from thinking (which tends to reinforce the egoic process) long enough for you to begin to trust this other, deeper intelligence moving inside you. It provides you with another way to think: from “beyond the mind” — which, incidentally, is what the word metanoia, usually translated as “repentance,” actually means.

— Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope

Happy St. Hildegard's Day!
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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Al Jordan

    Cynthia Bourgeault has been formational in my spiritual journey. I would also recommend her other books: “Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening” and “The Wisdom Way of Knowing.” She always writes from informed experience and from her personal encounter with the Divine.

  • Ioannis

    Metanoia is a complex word to translate.

    Bourgeault’s translation “beyond the mind” illustrates the complexity of translating the combination of a preposition “meta” and a noun “noia” or “nous.”

    The preposition “beyond” in English retains temporal, spatial and metaphorical meanings, which contains the complexity of “meta” in Greek. In addition, “beyond” diffuses the meaning such that it sacrifices precision. For example, “beyond” also means outside of the mind, and compares with ecstasy. Nevertheless, Bourgealt amplifies her translation and regains the precision that use of beyond otherwise lost.

    I prefer to think of metanoia as a change of mind. It can be pictured well as going in one direction, and then recognizing the error in traveling in that direction. Therefore, one turns around, and goes the opposite way. This depicts repentance more accurately in my opinion.

  • http://www.poverellopebbles.blogspot.com brother Joseph, SFO

    Interesting. It takes an act of the Will, to surrender ones Will, to the Divine. Since this is actually a work of God – something impossible for us to do – we depend on the grace, the mercy, of God to get us there! St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is a shame if we don’t save ourselves given that God has gone to such lengths to save us!” It is God who saves, who draws us, and we are only required to respond to His call – say yes with our whole being – and trust Him to do everything else. He is calling . . . so I must go. Peace to you all!