“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.” —Meister Eckhart Christian Mystic 1260-1327 Sermons of Meister Eckhart
The Spiritual Reform Series continues with the examination of emotions that act as a catalyst for spiritual change. Week 2 – Passion
The word passion usually is associated with strong and barely controllable emotion, excitement, enthusiasm and powerful energy. We have all met people who are extremely passionate about their lives and their purpose in life. Their enthusiasm is contagious and they are inspiring just to be around.
When life is not enjoyable and we are uninspired we can sense our own lack of passion. How then do we reignite our inner passion for life?
Isn’t it interesting that two of the words that describe passion, enthusiasm and inspired actually are connected to the presence of God with enthusiasm’s Greek roots referring to God within and inspired simply meaning being in spirit. There is once again a great paradox in all of this living with passion and living with enthusiasm and inspiration.
The paradox is that to be filled with passion or filled with the spirit of life (inspiration), we first need to empty out ourselves. In other words, to be filled with passion for life it is helpful to empty our minds and souls of all of our judgements, resentments, criticisms and other character defects caused by an inflated ego and instead surrender and pray them away to our God.
“If you want to become whole First let yourself be broken
If you want to become straight Let yourself be crooked
If you want to become full Let yourself be empty
If you want to be reborn Let yourself die
If you want to be given everything Give everything up”
—Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, translation by Stephen Mitchell
With this surrendering comes the peace and power of God beyond understanding as Jesus described in the Gospel of John.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
We can go out into the world and do our jobs, compete, raise healthy children, enjoy the joys and beautiful dance of life if we at first stay humbled and emptied as to who and what we are in relation to the ultimate divine reality of God.
For instance, contemplate this: Did you make an appointment to be born?
Both the Buddhist and Zen traditions also speak of an unbreakable emptiness at the heart of all seeing. In Christian theology, kenosis (Greek: [the act of emptying]) is the ‘self-emptying’ of Jesus’ own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.
Once again, the masters have taught us the way to living with passion and inspiration.
- We have a choice every day when we awaken as to whether we want to take on the world with fearful consciousness of our own ego’s will, as if we were a little white cap in the big scary ocean
- or do we die once to fear by surrendering our ego and will to be free and claim our eternal truth and allow the strong omniscient ocean itself to live us.
Here are some words of the great Meister Eckhart describing this phenomenon of God attaching himself to one who is emptied.
“Remember God is No thing or nothing; yet everything. So a man must be pervaded with the divine presence, and be shaped through and through with the form of the God he loves, and be present in Him, so that God’s presence may shine out to him without any effort. What is more, in all things let him acquire nakedness [detachment], and let him always remain free of things. But at the beginning there must be attentiveness and a careful formation within himself, like a schoolboy setting himself to learn.” (Meister Eckhart was an enlightened 13th century Christian mystic and Catholic priest from the Dominican order. Top spiritual author Eckhart Tolle took his name in honor of the great mystic.)
CONTEMPLATION – PASSION: To return the hallowed grounds of the soul to its original state of underlying pristine peace and perfection we need to be emptied.
- Take a few soft gentle deep breaths, and feel into this truth.
- Consider deeply the reality that you are not in control of all things seen and unseen.
- Surrender into the power that keeps your heart and breath flowing even when you are in deep sleep at night and also keeps the earth revolving around the sun
- feel the liberation and passion come into your awareness when you give up the reigns of the ego to this all knowing spirit of life
- isn’t this the power that brought you into life in the first place?
- feel the passion of knowing you are perfect even with all of your imperfections.
- Try and become aware of just being
- Go deep within yourself. Feel that empty cup of your heart again and say the ho’oponopono prayer: I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
- Passionately take this power into your day and know this magnificent power is indeed within you
- radiate blessings and passion through out your day