The most unfortunate thing about the concept of mysticism is that the word itself has become mystified—and relegated to a “misty” and distant realm that implies it is only available to a very few. For me, the word simply means experiential knowledge of spiritual things, as opposed to book knowledge, secondhand knowledge...- Richard Rohr
"The experiential knowledge of spiritual things..." That is how I view my interaction with the landscape. What I hope to channel when I sit patiently on the edge of my pond listening visually to the whispers of the place. It took me nearly a lifetime to acknowledge the spiritual element of place...the energy and "otherness" of the landscape. Yes, it is water and trees and mist but it is also so much more.
As Richard Rohr says, it is an experience, not something we can learn from books or even from me telling you it is so. It is something you have to find out for yourself. I have felt, these last five months at the pond, that I am can more easily channel that inner mystic because of my familiarity and comfort with the place. In this case, familiarity does not breed contempt, it nurtures the mystic encounter.
The channel opens up best when I can clear my head completely...when I am able to keep the petty and not so petty concerns of the day from intruding. It is not easy and it doesn't happen all the time. But when I can still the psychic rattling in my brain, even for a minute, something wonderful always comes through.
November is an in between time, neither autumn or winter. It is in these border times that I find the mystic encounter with the landscape most easily achieved. It is a time when a walk along a pond or along a woodland path will often stop you in your tracks. Try it...try channeling your inner mystic this week.
They (mystics) were simply people who trustfully affirmed, with open hearts, the
grace of their own hungry experience—in that moment... Richard Rohr