A bare mind

A bare mind has always been revered in Zen and Taoist thought. I found this gem of Christian appreciation of this humble, open approach to awareness to be of the same tenor:

Above all therefore it is necessary that things heard, seen, done and said, and other things,must be received without adding things from the imagination, without mental associations, and without emotional involvement, and one should not let past or future associations, implications or constructs of the imagination form and grow. For when constructs of the imagination are not alowed to enter the memory and mind, a person is not hindered, whether engaged in prayer, meditation or reciting psalms, or in any other practice or spiritual exercise, nor will they recur again. So commit yourself confidently and without hesitation, all that you are, and everything else, individually and in general, to the unfailing and totally reliable providence of God, in silence and in peace, and He will fight for you. He will liberate you and comfort you more fully, more effecttively and more satisfactorily than if you were to dream about it all the time, day and night, and were to cast around frantically all over the place with the futile and confused thoughts of your mind and body, wasting all your time, and stupidly and pointlessly exhausting your strength.

So accept everything, separately and in general, wherever it comes from and whatever its origin, in silence and peace, and with an equal mind, as coming to you from the father’s hand and his divine providence. So render your imagination bare of the images of all physical things as is appropriate to your state and profession, so that you can cling to him with a bare and undivided mind

Albert the Great (c. 1200 – 1280)
One of the Teachers of Meister Eckhart

A truly centered way to approach Christian contemplation: without our own selves in the foreground, without imagining things, without any hindrance – with a bare mind, undivided and focused on God.

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