"The heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye. This is the Eye of the Great Spirit by which He sees all things and through which we see Him. If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen . . . The person who is thus pure contains the Universe in the pocket of his heart."
Nicholas Black Elk
This is very similar to what the German mystic Meister Eckhart said in the 14th century: "The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me. " When we realize that we are held in the magnetic gaze of the Beloved welling up from the center of our being (experienced during contemplative prayer), this realization, it turns out, IS the gaze of the Beloved who - because of humble self-emptying - has no "I" and who therefore can be known only in the second-person as a Thou whose loving gaze occurs solely within OUR knowledge of being gazed-upon.
Photos: Bear Lodge and the Belle Fourche River, Devil's Tower National Monument, WY. The fourth photo is of Black Elk on Harney Peak, SD
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.