Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) was a priest, a mystic, and nearly a heretic (he died before the Church court's verdict). In the 20th century, the Roman Catholic Church rehabilitated him and the late Pope John Paul II spoke of his work with fondness.
However, what makes him of particular interest is the fact that he has influenced a wide range of spiritual teachers and mystics both inside and outside the Christian tradition. Erich Fromm, Eckhart Tolle, Richard Rohr, D. T. Suzuki, and Rudolf Steiner have all credited Eckhart as being an important influence on their thought. In addition, his work has influenced the development of 20th century American Buddhism and the Theosophical tradition.
Eckhart wrote at a time--much like our own--when society appeared to be coming apart at the seams. In the midst of all that chaos and uncertainty, he captured the many forms and stages of the love of God, the mystic path, and the journey of transformation--in language so startling that he, too, was often accused of heresy.
Now, seven centuries later, this fresh, stunning rendering of his work translates the essence of one of Christianity's greatest poetic and spiritual voices. Here is a book that conveys the heart of Eckhart's teaching on what it means to love God and embark on an authentic spiritual journey--a journey that is characterized by mystery, paradox, and an embrace of the unknown.
|Publisher:||Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Mark S. Burrows is a poet, translator, and professor of religion and literature at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Cortland Review, Southern Quarterly, and other periodicals.
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What it is that hurts baffles or befalls me might just be concealing the God whom I love.
Sometimes You Have to Break Things
What Do You See?
To you who knows God as God knows you,
Nine Words of Prayer
God, our only,
The Name, sweet on the lips,
Vain is the world;
Can You Do This?
"You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
— Colossians 3:3
The soul that wants nothing but God
Can You See?
If you want to be ready for and worthy of the Spirit of God,
What I Want Is Joy
What I want is joy.
Which is after all what I need.
There is a language so beautiful that it is never spoken.
Room to Grow
My life is like a page on which so much is already written:
hurts and joys and the tumble of fears and uncertainties.
What You want of me, God, is that I clean the slate, emptying
it of all this to make room for the freedom of nothingness
where alone You, my God,
All and Ever Only Love
I often wonder if I am lovable,
I know how easily I can be hurt and my heart broken,
but You do not hesitate toward me, since You
are all love and only love,
love without measure, and when You love me in
this way I find who I am and who You are, which
is all and ever only love.
is a form of love: I taste it when I let my will stir
into practice a sense of the goodness that my vision
inspires in my heart.
Too often I decide what my life should be and whether
there is room in it for You while You sit in a deeper
place within me, wondering what it will take for me to
make more of all the things in my life — the good and
the bad — and so learn to break through to find You
in all that is and let You take form in me in all that
I was and am and will be.
A Soul Digests
Each of us has a soul made to grasp the One who made every one,
The Way Love Is
You are love in everything that is, and it belongs to
the perfection of Your greatness that not even my nothingness
is far from You, for You meet me in my imperfection
and You act on me not from the distance of my failings
but from the presence of Your perfection which
is the way love is.
A Single Undivided Love
When I open my heart to receive You in times of peace and quiet, this is as
it should be, but if I close my heart to You when I have lost my way and
my life is a mess, I have failed to know the truth, for these differ only for me
but not for You, for Your heart opens to me with a single undivided love.
In Each Moment
Oh, teach me in each moment of every Now to know that
You are the Here in all my wandering and the Yes in
all my wondering and the Love in nothing less than everything.
There is within me a citadel where I am one with You,
dares to look inside, unless You strip Yourself of all Your names and natures, to the point where You
are one and simple, for only there, beyond all doing and thinking and feeling, can You know
the one I am and can I know the one You are.
Consider the Moon
Remember the moon as it wanes and fills among the clouds,
We should not thank You because You love us,
In All That Is
Most days, I am clear about what is right
and wrong, good and bad, in and out,
but when I have You close to me
in my heart I see how You shine in
all that is, especially in my often
Study the Stone
Be yourself. And if what this means is unclear to you, look around at
the things of this earth. Study the stone which always does what it was made
to do: it doesn't always fall in the same way, sometimes resting in high
places and at other times finding its rest where the earth allows it to lie,
but its purpose is to move downward,
way it can, singing the new song which God gives each creature and thing —
and also you who read this and at times wonder what to do and how to be.
You Taste Us
It sounds as strange as it is true to say, as I have never said before,
that You taste Yourself and in this taste every creature that You ever
made which crawls or swims or flies,
blue-flung skies. And when You taste Yourself in all these, and even
in me, You taste us all as You ever are in the oneness of Yourself.
Becoming Love, I
If I wish to become one with You
and come to know You as You are
I must set aside my words and become
a nothingness spacious enough for Your all-ness,
and in this You transform me wholly
into the one Love You ever are.
The Descent of Love
In distress and want I ask, "Where, O God, are You?"
But this does not satisfy my mind, and so I ask again.
Still I ask what I have with my questions already said.
And yet I am undone with deceptions ever old and new.
If I hope to find You,
of all I think I need to know, turning
from what I desire to become the
emptiness You cannot resist.
Outside of Space and Time
Outside of space and time there is no work,
Be there and don't look away because in that place your soul and God are one.
I sometimes think You are the reverse of gravity, causing everything to rise,
but you show me that Yours is the work of coming down, of weighting what is light
so that I, like You, might enter into what is least and raise it up to sound love's delight in heaven's proper height.
If I Hope to Know You
I must seek an unknowing that is not a lack but
my only gain, taking me beyond the press
of demands and desires to an emptiness
where there is room for You to be born
beyond all that I demand to know and desire
to find, for You birth Your Word in the space
of my silence and burn as light in my dark.
An Unknowing That Makes Room
I often think it is my work to find You, and in the
tangle of my life I stumble into brambles of doubt
and pits of uncertainties and wonder where You
are hiding, and then I remember: You seek
and I am found.
Joy Meets Joy
In my hurry, I often forget that You desire
to seek those who have gone astray,
even me, and that my work is to free
myself of myself so that You can be
born in me, and so your joy in seeking
meets my joy in having been found.
You Rise by Stooping Down
With You everything is upside down
and inside out,
to follow in the footsteps
of your descent,
that You and I are one
in being and even in power.
A Human Heart Pounds
A human heart pounds to live and to give life.
But that same heart is a mystical place that can love the Lord God with each quiet beat.
How We Fit
You made us for Yourself,
to another but rather as
as darkness seeks light,
as what is wounded
Nothing of My Deeds
When I am in the wrong mind I presume that You desire my goodness,
God's Unending Now
To say as many do that God made the world is to confuse what is true, for God never ceased
making what was made, and what will be is already present in God's unending Now.
This truth reminds me that God is making all things new, even what is past and gone
and also what lies yet unknown in the future —
of my words, and opening myself to the silence that allows me
to risk an unknowing that expects nothing and deserves nothing
and wills nothing other than the word You speak in
the stillness I keep where my wandering ceases and
my wondering begins?
I want more love.
I want more God in everything.
In and through and beyond it all.
Don't try to find God.
Our Secret Entry
What is our secret entry into Your heart?
We find it on the path of letting go of what we
thought we knew, arriving at the place where we
know nothing of knowing beyond every notion of love,
and from light enter the dark only to find
ourselves there, ever one with You.
There is only ever one path you are on when you are on the path to God.
The Man with Money
There was once a man who had a hundred dollars.
This Is What You Desired
Now listen, Eckhart, to Seneca,
Don't Work So Hard
At the heart of things is an eternal present moment which is in each and every thing
that is — and in me and in you, and when we let ourselves come into an awareness of
this Now we come to know ourselves as a becoming-new without renewal, and this
is the truth beyond all our worries and needs and hopes, this one eternal present moment.
Make a start with yourself by abandoning yourself.
For if you do not begin by taking leave of who
you are, everything you do or think you are
and all you seek will be an obstacle for you, and
you will be like one
and in wandering only becomes further lost,
so if you wish to find
Becoming Love, II
When I learn to love You simply because You are love,
I come to accept myself simply because You made me in love
and You never stop making me.
let go of every doubt, I find Your love in everything
and I become love in You and You become love in me.
Where I Stop, You Begin
Often I think I should find You within myself,
I don't like the dark.
Yet You tell me I must let go of all that clothes me —
my joys and fears,
and give myself to the dark emptiness where You wait
to be born in me.
If I could learn to let go of what I have and was and will be, of all
the good gifts You have given,
know who I truly am, which is the only one You desire,
for You are ever love, and I am ever loved, and it is enough
to know and be Your beloved.
Truth Does Not Like Business Deals
When I seek what You alone can give, what I find is my seeking,
like the wager of a business deal in which I hope for payment for
my efforts, but You who are always already within me do not seek me,
and so You do not desire my finding but seek rather the emptiness by which
I might unclutter my life of all that I am, even my faith, even my desire
to seek You, for this You cannot resist.
What Then of You?
We think of things as this or that,
but in God everything is what it is and lives in the perfection of
its being, which is to say that the little fly as it exists in God is
nobler than the highest angel is in itself. What then of me?
Excerpted from "Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart"
Copyright © 2017 Jon M. Sweeney and Mark S. Burrows.
Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
These Are Poems by Meister Eckhart,
Opening the Heart's Door,
1 Our Soul-Life,
2 Letting Go,
3 The Inner Spark,
5 Without Why,
An Afterword: Seeking God on the Wayless Way,
Notes and Sources for the Poems,