By Rev. Ellen Dionna, MSW, LCSW
Often I am asked how one can “be a mystic” without residence in a monastic setting, without daily immersion in prayer and meditation. Identifying oneself as a mystic has less to do with the situation of one’s housing and organized prayer than it does with the direct experience of the Divine Presence, and in a breadth awareness of prayer.
The mystical experience is one of exquisite sensory perception, and of a holy oneness. Psychologist Abraham Maslow talked of “peak experiences” which most humans have known. A mystical experience is often one of a glory of light in which the world seems suffused with the ethereal, accompanied by a soulful apprehension of being a part of everything that exists, and that vast and intricate existence a part of one’s Self. No separation—the quantum reality of the fine, immutable interconnected web of all Creation. In the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, discovered in the late 1800’s, Jesus says, “Every nature, every modeled form, every creature exists in and with each other.”
Astounding! Radical! Cosmic illumination from the Prophet of Love 2000 years before scientists grasped the physics of our interrelated, holographic universe.
So, with awareness of that Oneness, how can we not be interrelated in prayer?
As I write a Hummingbird buzzes outside my study window, drinking the nectar from lavender Cleome blossoms. She hovers at the window screen, tilts her tiny head and gazes at me at my work—as I gaze into her jet-bead eye. A suspended moment of intimate prayer. In wonder I marvel at her blur of wings, her lovely, impossible tininess. My heart swells with gratitude for the miracle of who we are, Hummingbird/Human, intertwined in a dynamic, vibrant dance of union.
The mystic notices, pays exquisite attention, thus prayer of Hummingbird, prayer of Human Woman become one prayer, one perfect moment of communion with the Divine.