Category Archives: Meister Eckhart

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. read more

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True Virginity

As was announced earlier in this series, the phrase “knowing as he was not” is indicative of mystical virginity—being lathered in imagelessness and thus freed from all that is not the Godhead; principally, all that is prior to conception. If there is a religion in the Unborn, imagelessness is its creed. The source of this vision is Eckhart’s Sermon Eight, as listed in the Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart. read more

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Eternal Birth

It is within Eckhart’s exact art of preaching and the “ascesis of attentive listening” that the transcendent awareness of the Divine Birth takes place, and the mystical ground is self-realized; incidentally this is the same act as proclaiming and receiving the Buddhadharma. Eckhart planned particular sermons for the meaning of Christ’s birth. This was initiated to coincide with the cycle of the liturgical season of Christmas. Sermon 101 starts by citing Wisdom 18:14- 15, the “Introit, or opening chant, for the mass of the Sunday within the octave of Christmas.” read more

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The Praxis of Detachment

Eckhart writes in a treatise On Detachment and on Possessing God:

I was asked, ‘Some people shun all company and always want to be alone; their peace depends on it, and on being in church. Was that the best thing? ‘And I said, ‘No! ‘Now see why. He who is in a right state, is always in a right state wherever he is, and with everybody. But if a man is in a wrong state, he is so everywhere and with anybody. But if a man is in a right state, in truth he has God with him. Now if a man truly has God with him, God is with him everywhere, in the street or among people just as much as in church or in the desert or in a cell. If he possesses God truly and solely, such a man cannot be disturbed by anybody. Why? He has only God, thinks only of God, and all things are for him nothing but God. read more

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Mysticism of the Ground

Numerous references have been employed for this series, in particular articles from the Medieval Mystical Theology, The Journal of The Eckhart Society. But by far the dominant one is Bernard McGinn’s The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart, The Crossroad Publishing Company 2001. Most renowned in the field of all things Eckhart, McGinn has also published numerous articles and books as well as being editor of the massive volume, The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart, also published by crossroads in 2009. read more

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Meister Eckhart

I was introduced to the teachings of Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) in the fall of 1982 during my first year in seminary. It was in a Spirituality-class and part of the curriculum was a book written by Dominican theologian Matthew Fox (he has since long-left the order), Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart’s Creation Spirituality in New Translation, 1980. Eckhart “never opted for a sheltered life-style or a sheltered, exclusively academic, education. Indeed, he himself declared that life is the best teacher there is.” Indeed his was a hands-on approach to theology and preaching—with an emphasis on the latter. After many years in priesthood my own preaching-style reflected his; the congregation relates more to the preacher during a shared-praxis of understanding the scriptures—where one’s own life experiences blended with scriptural themes becomes paramount in effectiveness of “breaking-open” the gospel. In another resource for this series, Father Reiner Schürmann summarizes this theme: read more

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