78 episodes

Turning to the Mystics is a podcast for people searching for something more meaningful, intimate and richly present in the divine gift of their lives. James Finley, clinical psychologist and Living School faculty, offers a modern take on the historical contemplative practices of Christian mystics like Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, John of the Cross among others. Leaning into their experiences can become a gateway to hope, healing and oneness. Together with Kirsten Oates from the Center for Action and Contemplation, they explore listener questions and examine their own paths as modern contemplatives in this beautiful and broken world.

Turning to The Mystics with James Finley CAC

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 1.3K Ratings

Turning to the Mystics is a podcast for people searching for something more meaningful, intimate and richly present in the divine gift of their lives. James Finley, clinical psychologist and Living School faculty, offers a modern take on the historical contemplative practices of Christian mystics like Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, John of the Cross among others. Leaning into their experiences can become a gateway to hope, healing and oneness. Together with Kirsten Oates from the Center for Action and Contemplation, they explore listener questions and examine their own paths as modern contemplatives in this beautiful and broken world.

    The Cloud of Unknowing: Listener Questions

    The Cloud of Unknowing: Listener Questions

    In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 5th season around The Cloud of Unknowing.
    Due to the length of this episode, we are providing key markers so you can move around the episode however it best applies to your path.
    Markers:
    00:02:38 – Recapping The Cloud of Unknowing
    00:05:19 – Gender and The Cloud of Unknowing
    00:07:38 – Questions about The Path
    00:11:55 – Using Words and Anchors in Meditation
    00:14:09 – Encountering Anxiety During Meditation
    00:22:23 – Working with Non-Attachment and Fear
    00:27:30 – Meditation in Group Settings
    00:30:32 – Difficult Emotions During Practice
    00:33:51 – Accepting Yourself During Practice
    00:36:14 – The Cloud and Working with Painful Memories
    00:41:19 – Working with Pain and the Infinite
    00:43:56 – Struggling to Connect with Unitive Consciousness
    00:47:48 – Is Every Thing Eternal?
    00:52:16 – Feeling Love During Contemplation
    00:55:21 – A Voicemail from Miguel
    01:01:14 – The Mystics and Centering Prayer
    01:03:37 – Bringing Our Practice Into the World
    01:06:40 – Loving God for God Alone
    01:09:01 – Contemplative Transformation of Personality

    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 1 hr 16 min
    A Coaching Session on Centering Prayer

    A Coaching Session on Centering Prayer

    On this special episode, Jim coaches Kirsten in implementing the Centering Prayer practice that he has been teaching about from within The Cloud of Unknowing.

    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 46 min
    Dialogue 4: The Perfect Life

    Dialogue 4: The Perfect Life

    This is the fourth and final dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3 where Jim talks about the fourth and final phase in The Cloud of Unknowing, the perfect life.
    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 53 min
    The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 4

    The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 4

    This is the fourth session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects on the qualitative essence of the spirit of this text, and finishes with a meditative practice.
    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 52 min
    Dialogue 3: The Singular Life

    Dialogue 3: The Singular Life

    This is the third dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3 where Jim talks about the third of four phases in The Cloud of Unknowing, the singular life.
    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 54 min
    The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 3

    The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 3

    This is the third session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects on the qualitative essence of the spirit of this text, and finishes with a meditative practice.
    Resources:

    Turning to the Mystics is a podcast by the Center for Action and Contemplation. To learn more about Jim, visit jamesfinley.org 


    For the transcript for this podcast can be found here.


    The book being used for this season can be found here.


    Connect with us:

    We also produce other podcasts you might enjoy. To learn more about them and our other offerings, visit cac.org


    This podcast is made possible, thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you would love to support the ongoing work of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the continued work of our podcasts, you can donate at cac.org/podcastsupport Thank you!

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

Creole one ,

Fellow mystic

I have found someone who knows. May God guide you and keep you.
Merci beaucoup
Angella

giggle lips ,

Such depth and articulation

Having someone like Jim to listen to is so helpful. Such a difficult task to articulate the extremely subtle and delicate world of God with us and the process and experience of this journey. For me, Jim is so good at this and though his comments can be so particular and focused like separating “bone and morrow” their laser focus tell me Jim is describing something he has seen and experienced, not something theoretical. This gives me confidence in his guidance. Thank you Jim.

God Herself? ,

Evolving

Its good to listen in and pick up insights on the saints and mystics. I’ve listened on and off for a while now but every time a I take in an episode I walk away more enlightened. Mystical experiences are not easy to explain or describe to the extent that the teller is satisfied with the description of what they experienced but when one hears James Finley describe those moments it helps one to recollect - he’s very good at relating those moments. Anyway, it’s wonderful to see God experienced so intimately!

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