Meister Eckhart on the
Via Positiva

Meister Eckhart is thoroughly marinated in the Via Positiva (but immersed in the other three paths as well).  A brief example of his VP teachings follows here.

Matthew Fox sitting in Meister Eckhart’s choir stall in the Predigerkirsche, Erfurt, Germany.

When I dwelt in the ground,
in the bottom, in the stream, and
in the source of the Godhead,
No one asked me where I was going
or what I was doing.
Back in the womb from which I came,
I had no God
and merely was myself.
And when I return
to God and to the core, the soil, the ground,
the stream and the source of the Godhead,
No one asks me where I am coming from
or where I have been.
For no one misses me
in the place
where God ceases to become….

“Cascade” Photo by John Cheathem from Pexels

Now the moment I flowed out from the Creator
All creatures stood up and shouted: ‘Behold, here is God!’
They were correct.
For you ask me: ‘Who is God? What is God?’
I reply: ‘Isness.
Isness is God.’
Where there is Isness, there God is.
Creation is the giving of isness from God.
And that is why God becomes
where any creature expresses God.

Isness is so noble. No creature is so tiny that
it lacks isness.
If a caterpillar falls off a tree,
It climbs up a wall in order to preserve its isness.
So noble is isness!

“Monarch Caterpillar” Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

What is God?
God is!

Apprehend God in all things,
for God is in all things.
Every single creature is full of God
and is a book about God.
Every creature is a word of God….

If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature–
even a caterpillar–I would never have to prepare a sermon.
So full of God is every creature….

“Antelope Canyon” Photographer unknown. Pixabay.

Earth cannot escape heaven.
Flee it by going up,
or flee it by going down,
heaven still invades the earth,
energizes it, makes it sacred….

All hiding places reveal God.
If you want to escape God,
S/he runs into your lap.
For God is at home.
It is we who have gone out for a walk….

God is a great underground river
that no one can dam up
and no one can stop….

Now God creates all things
but does not stop creating.
God forever creates
and forever begins to create
and creatures are always being created
and in the process of beginning to be created.

God finds joy and rapture in us.

From Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, pp. 10-18.

See also: Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 57-165 where Fox presents ten of Eckhart’s Sermons with Commentaries after each that are essentially Via Positiva Sermons.

Banner Image: “Sunlit Field” Photo by Dapo Oni on Unsplash

Lectio Divina

Be present with a phrase or an idea in these words of Meister Eckhart and meditate upon them.  Let them wash over you.  Be with, be with….

Turn the phrases into mantras if you wish, chanting them over and over.

Recommended Reading

This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, a 13th-century mystic, prophet, feminist, activist and defender of the poor who was condemned shortly after he died. “These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.


Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.

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