Spiritual Aphorisms of Meister Eckhart

It would take a lifetime to cover every aspect of Meister Eckhart’s thought. We have covered dominant insights in this series but would also like to leave you with assorted spiritual aphorisms from the Meister which covers a wide-range of his mysticism. Am indebted to the Kidadl Team for compiling them, which incidentally they just completed this past November, 2021—one of those interesting synchronicities. Have chosen the ones that parallel most favorably with our own teachings here at Unborn Mind Zen. A commentary for each one follows—one (as always) in light of the Unborn. Certainly, Meister Eckhart has entered the ranks of that elite group of mystics known as the Black Dragons, joining the likes of Huang Bo, Bodhidharma, Tsung Mi, and John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila—all whose invincible presence and incomparable Wisdom have enlightened the minds of all who are ready to receive such rare Bodhi-pearls for the fulfilment of their spiritual quest.


And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings

Have experienced this on numerous occasions when initiating a new series; the magic, of course, is letting-go and allowing supernal agencies to usher in the light of guidance as to what direction the series will undertake.

People should not worry so much about what they do but rather about what they are

The age old mind-disease that prevents people from looking beyond the tip of their nose and societal expectations. In the culture “what you do” forever supersedes authentic spiritual self-realizations of “who you truly” are in the Unborn. It’s about doing vs. being—function vs. Essence.

If you look for nothing but God, nothing or no one can disturb you. God is not distracted by a multitude of things. Nor can we be

Similar to Teresa of Avila’s “Let no-thing disturb you—all things are passing away, whereas whoever has the ALL lacks nothing. The Godhead never changes, the Godhead alone IS.” IT alone suffices.

There is something in the soul that is so akin to God that it is one with Him… It has nothing in common with anything created

Your own Buddha-nature makes you one in mind and spirit of the Tathagatas. Anything outside this realization, like being focused on created phenomena, is anathema.

The less theorizing you do about God, the more receptive you are to His inpouring

The intellect is forever theorizing about the nature of the Unborn. All intellectualization must be stilled in order for the fullness of the Unborn Mind to take root. Get out of the way and allow IT to weave the soul of your True Essence—no-thing outside of Mind-only.

God is a great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop

The Unborn is the majestic River of all rivers—forever flowing freely and unperturbed and no-thing can stand in Its way.

If you seek the kernel, you must break the shell

Similar in scope to what The Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra teaches. By peeling back the sheathes of all defiled dharmata, the kernel of the Tathagata-garbha (one’s own unsullied Buddha-nature) will be revealed. In other words, like gold buried in impurities. Within this Womb of Light the Bodhi-seed will mature into a Mighty Bodhisattva enroute to full Tathagatahood.

I declare truly that as long as anything is reflected in your mind which is not the eternal Word, or which looks away from the eternal Word, then good as it may be, it is not the right thing

The Word of the Unborn is Imageless and True. Outside of this self-realization No-thing, no matter how apparently good can measure up to IT.

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action

Right Action can only come about through Right Contemplation.

To be full of things is to be empty of God; to be empty of things is to be full of God

Being filled with thingness is to be self-empty of the Unborn; being empty of all dharmatas is to be Full of the Unborn Spirit. Emptiness is the quotient that is the hallmark of all Chan/Zen Buddhism.

The most powerful prayer is the outcome of a quiet mind

Quietude of Mind ushers in tranquility of Spirit in the Unborn.

He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment

As was covered earlier in this series, detachment is a prerequisite for any True and Authentic Spiritual undertaking. Be detached from all that is not Self-evident in the Unborn: The mark of deathlessness.

God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in the soul, but by a process of subtraction

True to what John of the Cross conveyed: to know the All one must go by a way which one is not.

Become aware of what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it, and give birth to it

Be aware of the dormant Buddha-seed within you—give birth to the Bodhichild of Unborn Light.

Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language

Sectarian belief-systems are sterile and hinder the Light of Truth THAT is revealed in forever new forms by those who are Bodhi-minded as has been revealed in this series and others as well. Different forms but the Self-same Spirit that gives birth to expressions of the Self-same Reality.

The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love

My favorite Eckhartonian quote. In Unborn Mind Zen, The Dharmakayic-Eye that beholds All As One: the inner supracognition of Its own immutable Absolute Substance that precedes (and at the same moment encompasses) any time-bound notions of past, present, or future. In the Blessed Dharmakayic eyes of the Tathagatas, all time is as One, At-One-Ment. This also has to do with the Principle of Equanimity: being attuned with those Self-same eyes and ears (the Tathatic-Eye and the Eye of the Beholder are as One).

It is in the darkness that one finds the light

This is an apophatic way as opposed to a kataphatic discipline—a total darkness and negation of a sensate world in favor of a naked emptiness of spirit. Yea, there comes a point wherein all “images” are insufficient to encounter THAT which is completely devoid of all outflows thus penetrating the Dark Principle through and through. In Absolute Contemplation the Unborn is experienced devoid of all conceptual constructs, in a total darkness that is beyond what the weary imagination attempts to fashion. The Actual Self can only be discerned in an intuitive darkness…

This also has to do with “Infused Contemplation” which is passive, devoid as it is of all action thus opening itself to the movement of the primordial spirit. It’s a self-emptying in order to be filled with the Absolute Fullness of the Unborn. Pure Contemplatives, therefore, live a life of total solitude in the dark silence of the Great Void that is devoid of all defiling characteristics. (From our series of on Ascending the Noble Mountain of Primordial Perfection).

There’s a place in the soul where you’ve never been wounded

Once again, that inner-core or kernel, THAT Buddha-nature which is immune to all defiling occurrences in samsara.

Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness

There is nothing more important than cultivating the stability of stillness in all one’s endeavors—whether sitting in meditation or being active in the market place. Stillness is the protective cloak of the Unborn Mind Itself.

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning

There is no end to Spiritual Cultivation—be willing to accept the new insights that will be revealed on a daily basis.

God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk

The Unborn is with you always—your best and True Spiritual Home; it is you alone who decide to search elsewhere.

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