How to Become a Mystic—with One Simple Practice.

Leonardo do Vinci via Wikimedia Commons
Leonardo do Vinci via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas offers an opportunity to get in touch with your mystical side. We are all potential mystics. ~Thomas Moore, The Soul of Christmas

There’s a section in Thomas Moore’s new book that’s titled “A Mystical Christmas” and it tells us how, with a simple practice, we can become a mystic this holiday season. For me, being a mystic is about achieving a sense of oneness with a higher power (Jesus or God), and Moore writes it takes more than just our desire:

You don’t become a mystic by wishing it so. There’s work to do. You need some quiet time, some contemplation, some meditation, some deprivation and some deep prayer.

If you’ve got a family, a busy work life or an active social calendar this Christmas season, you may wondering: When am I going to find quiet time? So the key becomes carving out specific times during the day when you can escape your regular routine and, for 20 to 30 minutes, shut out the world.

Moore cherishes the quiet of early morning and late evening and I know exactly what he means. If you live in a bustling household, these are the times of day when the TV is off and the devices are powered down and you can find the quiet time you need. I have written in the past about establishing a morning ritual and there may be no better time than during the holiday break to put one into action. To this end, Moore reminds us that:

The mystical life has quiet in it…quiet can be the atmosphere you create: not all the time, of course, but at moments when it’s convenient and possible. The idea is to create an environment in which you can reflect and can listen to what the world has to say to you. You become quiet to become a good listener.

Moore points out that you don’t need to be a Christian or a member of any religion to do these things. “You can be a natural, ordinary and unaligned mystic.” It also doesn’t mean fading away from your family and social obligations, but blending your mysticism with them by being both “very human and very spiritual”. Moore writes:

One of the basic tasks of a human being is to find ways to be spiritual and worldly at the same time…any marked separation between those two realms usually causes trouble. We need both a strong spiritual center and a love of life. Spirit and soul.

Your quiet time can be filled with silent contemplation but can include any additional elements and activities that soothe and nourish the soul. Moore tells us that this spiritual way of life involves anything that allows us to step out of our everyday routine and live “a spiritual life deep in the ordinary world.” Your activities can include prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, listening to enriching music, taking a walk out in nature, gazing at art or simply staring at the stars in the nighttime sky.

With just this small amount of effort, it’s possible to uncover the mystic in you this holiday season—and year-round. And become a more thoughtful, caring and centered person in the process.

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