James

Chicago Christian Mysticism student
I found the Mystical Church simply by doing a Google search for ‘meditation’ in Chicago. Meditate Center for Healing Arts was one of the first places that popped up and through signing up for and taking the Level 1 & 2 Meditation Courses offered, I was then curious as to what else there was.  

Rev. Andrew then shared about the other community offerings… Bible Contemplation, Wisdom School and the Sunday Service.  I continued to attend things as they were offered and my curiosity and interest kept me coming back.  

There are a number of ways I feel it has changed my life, but I’ll share 3 that I feel most strongly about.  First, it’s helped me learn how to cultivate a closer and more consistent relationship with God through prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Throughout this process I’ve come to understand what Christ is and how Jesus has been the highest example of that for me/us.  As I stay involved, a more spacious, generous, loving and most importantly, personal connection continues to emerge.  My understanding of God, Christ, the Trinity, etc. continues to expand and it no longer is this punishing, distant, guilt-laden, authoritative figure I grew up learning about and believing in.

The second way I feel the Mystical Church of Christ has changed my life is by helping me establish a more balanced and peaceful life.  How that looks continues to be both an internal and external experience.

I’ve come to learn more about myself through discovering what is true for me and honoring the feelings I have.  I have grown in compassion, love and forgiveness towards myself and in so doing, I feel I’m able to offer greater compassion, love and forgiveness to other people.  I’m less inclined to look at the differences between us, which creates only separation and more inclined to find the similarities, which I hope creates connection.

I’m learning to be more present to my life as it is today and less distracted by reflecting on the past or projecting into the future.  I feel more inspired and willing to help and serve humanity in small and large ways.

And finally, the Mystical Church of Christ has connected me to a community of people who are similarly seeking a real and transformative experience with God.  We all have different journeys and come from different backgrounds, which makes sharing in our personal experiences all the more special.

I’ve been able to meet and get to know some of the most authentic, honest and vulnerable people in my life.  Like me, they are in search of their own truth and connection.  It creates a very open, loving and genuine environment where we can share all of the real-life stuff that is thrown at us, while supporting each other through it.

To those who are curious about Christian Mysticism… as with anything, explore to whatever level you feel comfortable or called to. I believe it’s a personal experience, which for me, something within just knew that it felt right. I wasn’t able to articulate it then when in the middle of the exploratory phase and I’m not sure I can even now but I just knew that it felt truthful.