Description of Training for Modern Mystics And Prophets
Embody the wisdom of spiritual pioneers to fulfill your soul’s purpose and live a courageous life of integrity, love, and service.
Experience the transformational music, poetry, philosophy, and art of beloved mystics and prophets — to awaken the mystic and prophet within you.
In Training For Modern Mystics & Prophets with renowned spiritual pioneer, bestselling author, theologian, and change-agent Matthew Fox, you’ll discover — and experience — profound answers to these questions.
You’ll “meet” four of the world’s most revered mystics and prophets (Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Merton, and Mary Oliver) through their inspiring stories and an experiential exploration of their rich music, poetry, philosophy, and art…
… while progressing on your spiritual journey and growing as a mystic and prophet yourself — here to express great love and courage.
When you become a courageous mystic and prophet, you fulfill your soul’s purpose and become an inspiration to those around you for how to live a life of integrity, love, passion, and service.
This powerful training builds on Matthew’s lifetime of work at the frontiers of our spiritual evolution. He’s made a life’s study of the great mystics and prophets in history. (He’s published three books on Meister Eckhart, three books on Hildegard of BIngen, and one book on Thomas Merton.)
Matthew goes beyond what these spiritual pioneers said or wrote — he immersed himself in what they actually did to become such blazing lights of love, compassion, healing, and awakening in the world.
What you’ll learn in Training for Modern Mystics And Prophets
What You’ll Discover in Modern Mystics And Prophets
In this Modern Mystics And Prophets course, Matthew Fox will guide you through the fundamental spiritual skills and competencies you’ll need to enter the innermost depths of beloved mystics and prophets — so you can embody their insights, practices, and powers to create an unshakeable connection to the Divine and live a life of integrity, love, and service.
This Modern Mystics And Prophets course will feature teachings, training sessions, and experiential practices with Matthew Fox. Each session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones, so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools, and principles you’ll need to open to the mystic and prophet within you.
During this Modern Mystics And Prophets course, you’ll discover:
- Your “unborn self” and become new again
- Where wisdom begins — not just knowledge — and where the gifts of reverence, gratitude, and respect are birthed and developed
- Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Merton, and Mary Oliver as archetypes of the mystic and prophet, lover and warrior — and their profound teachings
- The Four Paths of Creation Spirituality: Joy (Via Positiva), Grief (Via Negativa), Creativity (Via Creativa), and Justice (Via Transformativa)
- Meditations that will help you tame your reptilian brain
- The meaning and importance of “nothingness”
- Your creativity as a divine gift and divine experience
- Sustainability as another word for Justice
- How to embody Hildegard of Bingen’s prophetic voice to experience how she criticizes patriarchal power — and find your own prophetic voice
- How to meditate with Mary Oliver through her poetry and spiritual insights
- How to embrace art as meditation that nourishes the prophet in you
- What is possible when East meets West along our spiritual paths
- And much more…
Module 1: Finding Language for Our Deep Journeys as Mystics & Prophets
What is a mystic? What is a prophet? By very definition, mysticism is not easily defined or talked about. As William James pointed out, “ineffability” is one of the very signs of mysticism! To put it another way, mysticism (or intuition) is the work of our right brain, and the verbal is the accomplishment of our left brain.
This week, you’ll discover the the Four Paths as a means for journeying into your depths — where your inner prophet resides: Joy (a product of the Via Positiva), Grief and Silence (of the Via Negativa), Creativity (from the Via Creativa), and Justice (the end result of the Via Transformativa).
In this module, you’ll:
- Become familiar with the naming of the spiritual journey on the Four Paths
- Discover where wisdom begins (not just knowledge) and where the gifts of reverence, gratitude, and respect are birthed and developed
- Grasp the purpose of the universe (maybe!)
- Become aware of the archetypes for the Sacred — different faith traditions give it different names, but the concept is the same
- Experience a meditation practice in which you’ll view clay tablets depicting archetypes of the Sacred, created by sculptor M.C. Richards and artist Ullrrich Javier Garcia Lemus
Module 2: Meister Eckhart’s Naming of the Mystical Journey (or Inner Journey) — The Via Positiva & The Via Negativa
In this module, you’ll consider Meister Eckhart’s teachings on the mystical journey, including the Via Positiva — awe, wonder, joy, gratitude — and the Via Negativa — silence and stillness, emptying, suffering, loss, and nothingness.
People experience these realities on a daily basis — in fact Eckhart says that “for the person who is awake, breakthrough happens not once a year or once a month or once a day but many times every day.”
Tactical ecstasies are strategies designed by our various spiritual traditions to bring these breakthrough experiences about, especially if we are hurting from pain or abuse or have been taking life for granted. Thus such practices as meditation, fasting, chanting, and pilgrimage can bring us alive again.
In this module, you’ll:
- Discover the power of amazement, wonder, and awe — and your right to it
- Understand the power and necessity of “letting go” and “letting be” as taught by Eckhart
- Return to your “unborn self” and become new again
- Practice meditations that will help you tame your reptilian brain
- Experience the meaning and importance of “nothingness”
Module 3: Meister Eckhart’s Naming of the Prophetic Journey (or Outer Journey) — From Creativity to Transformation Through Justice & Compassion
Following from the emptying of the Via Negativa comes the Via Creativa, the awakening to our creativity.
It has been said that Eckhart had an entire philosophy of creativity, and he invites us to not just contemplate but to be able to live and work in the world. “While contemplating our creativity,” says Eckhart, “we bring God into the world… I once had a dream, even though a man I was pregnant, pregnant with nothingness, and out of that nothingness God was born.”
Eckhart also teaches that interdependence constitutes the basis of compassion. This fits marvelously with today’s physics, wherein we are again seeing the world as interdependent. And he teaches that compassion means justice, God is justice, and compassion is where peace and justice kiss.
In this module, you’ll:
- Celebrate your creativity as a divine gift and divine experience
- Elicit your creativity through the formula of Via Positiva + Via Negativa = Via Creativa
- Name the mystical side as well as the prophetic side to compassion
- Consider how sustainability is another word today for Justice
- Connect Eckhart’s words to the wisdom of Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, Hinduism, Jung, and more
Module 4: Hildegard of Bingen — Finding Wisdom in Creativity, the ‘Greening Power of Nature’ & the Divine Feminine
Hildegard of Bingen was a brilliant musician, healer, artist, poet, scientist, and prophet. She challenged societal leaders from popes to emperors, abbots, bishops, and clergy. She championed the Divine Feminine.
A mystic/prophet herself, we will consider her love of nature and the “greening power” of it. Hildegard was declared both a saint and a “doctor of the Church” just seven years ago. This brings her teachings right into the heart of the Christian church. Her love of cosmology and science was explicit — she said “all science comes from God” — and she paints pictures of the universe as science sees it.
In this module, you’ll:
- Meditate on Hildegard’s mandalas and paintings based on her visions
- Allow her amazing music to speak to your deepest Self
- Discuss the Divine Feminine and what this means in renewing our lives and institutions
- Embody Hildegard of Bingen’s prophetic voice to experience how she criticizes patriarchal power — and find your own prophetic voice
- Recover the power of “greening power”
Module 5: Thomas Merton — Deepening Your Journey Through Merton’s Wisdom and Dedication to Peace & Justice
Thomas Merton was a monk who lived in the Cistercian Order, a strict Catholic Order, for 26 years. On a journey to Asia, where he met the Dalai Lama and many other spiritual leaders of the East, he died a sudden death following a talk he delivered entitled “Karl Marx and Monasticism.”
Merton was converted by Meister Eckhart in 1958 to become a prophetic Christian witness to movements of peace and justice. His mystical journey did not stop with his own enlightenment, but culminated in resistance to war, racism, economic injustice, genocide, environmental degradation, and patriarchy.
In this module, you’ll:
- Discover Merton’s insightful, humorous, and prophetic poetry and prose
- Deepen your journey as a mystic and prophet, inspired by Merton’s activism
- Discuss what is possible when East meets West along our spiritual paths
- Embrace art as meditation that nourishes the prophet in you
- Discover Merton’s acute criticism of our culture and discuss how it applies to conflicts we wrestle with today
Module 6: Mary Oliver — Nourishing Your Spiritual Journey With ‘Praise & Wonder’
In this module, you’ll explore Mary Oliver’s poetry and how it can enrich your mystical and prophetic journeys. A key category to Oliver is “astonishment” — a synonym for awe or wonder or the Via Positiva. She talks of “wanting to be dazzled.”
Though a self-named “praise poet,” Oliver was familiar with the Via Negativa and suffering and loss. As a child she suffered abuse, and it took her “years and years” to get her love of life back. She writes about the “dark river of loss.”
Thus, her capacity to praise did not come cheaply; it was a process and a journey. We are the blessed recipients of her largeness of soul. Embedded in her work, her poetry, her Via Creativa, are layers of wisdom for deepening and nourishing our spiritual journeys.
In this module, you’ll:
- Explore the wisdom of Mary Oliver as we journey the Four Paths with her
- Meditate with Mary Oliver through her poetry and spiritual insights
- Become more attuned to praise and wonder, and what Mary calls the “glory of the world, that great teacher”
- Challenge and empower others to become more attuned to praise and wonder
Module 7: Integrating & Heeding the Call of Our Suffering World
In this module, we’ll address any remaining questions that may have been raised, and discuss areas that may have gone underdeveloped due to shortage of time. You’ll be invited to submit questions ahead of time.
You’ll also receive a short summary of where we’ve traveled together and what comes next: what directions challenge us as we move beyond our virtual “classroom” into our work worlds, homes, and communities.
In this module, you’ll:
- Learn from one another’s questions
- Voyage more deeply into your inner and outer journeys of joy and emptying, creating and healing
- Bring together and summarize the teachings from Eckhart, Hildegard, Oliver, and Merton that have nourished and challenged us
- Prepare for the future with suggestions on where we go from here as mystics and prophets, responding to the call of Mother Earth today
About Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox is a prolific author of books dedicated to renewing the ancient tradition of Creation Spirituality. This tradition is feminist, welcoming of the arts and artists, wisdom-centered, prophetic, and committed to eco-justice, social justice, and gender justice.
Matthew’s effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical tradition has included revivifying awareness of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and the mysticism of Thomas Aquinas, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics. He believes that “by reinventing work, education, and worship, we can bring about a nonviolent revolution on our planet.”
Most recently, Matthew co-founded the Order of the Sacred Earth, and started up DailyMeditationsWithMatthewFox.org, which was launched on Mother’s Day 2019 in honor of the Divine Feminine, to bring much-needed attention to the current perils of Mother Earth.
Matthew received his doctorate summa cum laude in the History and Theology of Spiritualities from the Institut Catholique de Paris. He was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years, and he established an Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality that operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago, and for 12 years at Holy Names College in Oakland.
He founded the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California in 1996, and was president and professor until 2005, when he left to create a pilot project to reinvent the educational experience with inner-city teenagers.
Matthew speaks regularly at professional and community gatherings around the world, and has led a renewal of liturgical forms with “The Cosmic Mass” (TCM), which mixes dance, techno and live music, DJ, VJ, rap, and contemporary art forms with the Western liturgical tradition. They celebrated the TCM at the recent World Parliament gathering in Toronto and at more than 100 other venues in North America.
Matthew is a recipient of the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award; other recipients have included the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks. He is also a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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