The Core Program for the 2006-2007 Academy was Mysticism, drawn from the book Love, Soul and Freedom: Dancing with Rumi on the Mystic Path, by Denise Breton and Chris Largent, with translations of Rumi's poems by Coleman Banks.
Here is how we approached the program:
The Mystic Path: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary
Though a definition of mysticism is (by definition) impossible, a working idea may be: mysticism is the inward turning to the invisible that gives meaning to the visible. We thus experience the mystical as a deepening inner peace, as emotional balancing, and as healthier relationships.
So, while mystics have reputations as sitting in caves or walking around with their heads in the clouds, the mystic path in fact redefines daily life. Knowing its stages can open us to unimagined possibilities and a re-enchantment of ordinary living.
For eleven months, beginning September 2006, we explored the twelve stages of mysticism, getting to know the "inner mystic' within all of us: the Seeker, the Loner, the Companion, the Soul Searcher, the Releaser, the Healer, the Lover, the Visionary, the Wanderer, the Alchemist, the Contemplative, and the Wise Fool.
We finished the year with a much more profound sense of how our "inner mystic" functions in our everyday lives.
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