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Open Mind, Open Heart

"It is important to realize that the place to which we are going is one in which the knower, the knowing, and that which is known are all one. Awareness alone remains. This is what divine union is. There is no reflection of self. The experience is temporary, but it orients you toward the contemplative state. So long as you feel united with God, it cannot be full union. So long as there is a thought, it is not full union. The moment of full union has no thought. You don't know about it until you emerge from it ... Union on the spiritual level is the infusion of love and knowledge together, and while it is going on, it is non-reflective." (p.69)

"This Presence is immense, yet so humble; awe-inspiring, yet so gentle; limitless, yet so intimate, tender and personal. I know that I am known. Everything in my life is transparent in this Presence. It knows everything about me - all my weakness, brokenness, sinfulness - and still loves me infinitely. This Presence is healing, strengthening, refreshing - just by its Presence. It is nonjudgmental, self-giving, seeking no reward, boundless in compassion. It is like coming home to a place I should never have left, to an awareness that was somehow always there, but which I did not recognize. I cannot force this awareness, or bring it about. A door opens within me, but from the other side. I seem to have tasted before the mysterious sweetness of this enveloping, permeating Presence. It is both emptiness and fullness at once. We wait patiently; in silence, openness, and quiet attentiveness; motionless within and without. We surrender to the attraction to be still, to be loved, just to be." (p. 130) Thomas Keating


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