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The definition, or meaning, of the term "mysticism" has changed throughout the ages

McGinn argues that "presence" is more accurate than "union", since not all mystics spoke of union with God, and since many visions and miracles were not necessarily related to union. He also argues that we should speak of "consciousness" of God's presence, rather than of "experience", since mystical activity is not simply about the sensation of God as an external object, but more broadly about ways of knowing and loving based on states of awareness in which God becomes present in our inner acts.

D.J. Moores too mentions "love" as a central element:

Mysticism, then, is the perception of the universe and all of its seemingly disparate entities existing in a unified whole bound together by love.

Related to the idea of "presence" instead of "experience" is the transformation that occurs through mystical activity:

This is why the only test that Christianity has known for determining the authenticity of a mystic and her or his message has been that of personal transformation, both on the mystic's part and—especially—on the part of those whom the mystic has affected.

Belzen and Geels also note that mysticism is

...a way of life and a 'direct consciousness of the presence of God' [or] 'the ground of being' or similar expressions.

A mystical experience is an intuitive understanding and realization of the meaning of existence – an intuitive understanding and realization which is intense, integrating, self-authenticating, liberating – i.e., providing a sense of release from ordinary self-awareness – and subsequently determinative – i.e., a primary criterion – for interpreting all other experience whether cognitive, connotative, or affective.


Not to Hurt...

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: To be of service to them whenever they require it. St. Francis of Assisi

Devotion and Mysticism

The main purpose of devotional rituals and exercises is mysticism. Mysticism is the direct experience of the presence of divine beings in our midst, often in communication with our soul-mind. Meditation regimes help create ideal conditions of mind and soul where spiritual workers who are assigned to us, and the Lord of course, can freely interact with our soul-mind and our fledgling spirit.

We make use of mantra meditations and contemplation, and dharani of course. The difference between a dharani and a mantra is that dharanis have a storyline whereas mantras are typically single statement affirmations or requests.

We make use of devotional music to guide our meditations. We use imagery and visualization in devotional and worship sessions. Therefore, graphic symbols (yantras, mandala and thanka) pointing to immaterial concepts such as heaven, spiritual beings, etc. are used in Wayist mysticism.


Ancient Wayist Mysticism

An earlier (ancient Chinese) expression of The Way is seen in the Scripture called Dao De Jing (500BC). Today, the Dao De Jing is not important in China as a spiritual book but as a historical book that shows how the old people used to think, before karaoke and consumerism.

Angkor Wat City500BC was the era of Siddarta Gautama Buddha in northern India and Lao Tzi in western China. Mysticism of the Way was mixed with what scholars today call animism and cults of the ancestors. Wayism lends itself to fostering animism and ancestor devotions because we acknowledge the spiritual presence of the One in all of nature, we see the Lord caring about sentient beings in all places including forests, trees and deserts. Additionally, some of the most senior spiritual beings in Sukhavati walked the earth as humans, as kinfolk who now reside in heaven. Therefore, Wayism is easily assimilated by communities who hold to ancestor rememberance and those who honour the spirits in nature.

A prime example of Wayist thinking in an ancient community can be seen in Angkor Wat, the Cambodian city of temples dating back to the period 600CE to 1400CE. In the massive city of temples called Angkor, despite the wholesale plundering of statues and art we still see how Mahayana Buddhism, Saivism and local animism come together in a Wayist expression of appreciation of the Divine with Avalokitesvara as the World Saviour. It is postulated that the city of temples was a work in perpetual progress to create the ultimate symbol of Sukhavati on earth. Wayism is ingrained in the psyche of the Khmer people. Notwithstanding the dominating presence of Government sponsored Theravada Buddhism with its male-centric stern paternalistic pressure on society, the Khmer are Wayist at heart with a joie de vivre, an ever ready smile, animism, with a persistent awareness of departed loved ones, souls and spirits and the presence of the Divine in all things—and Avalokitesvara (an extra-Theravada concept) is central in their lives. The Khmer people experience the presence of the Divine in their daily life, their food, in neighbours and in nature, herbs and places. They are more aware of the presence of spiritual beings and disembodied soul beings (ghosts) than most other people in the world. Happy, content, patient and simple they continue the immense task of rebuilding their communities and infrastructure after the genocide the Khmer Rouge inflicted on them. Their day-to-day mysticism is experienced and expressed in many small acts and traditions they engage in every day. Most Khmer attend to more than one shrine in and around the home but the traveller has to know where to look, and what to look for in order to appreciate the depth and breadth of this lifestyle.

The Wayist Center in Siem Reap, Cambodia conduct spiritual tours and experiences as a service to travellers. People come to Siem Reap to learn Wayist Mysticism and about Khmer Spirituality, alongside their visits to Angkor Wat.

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