Eternal Heart

The Mystical Path to a Joyful Life

Eternal Heart

The Mystical Path to a Joyful Life

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The heart is where the human soul and God meet.

This is what teachings from Scripture and the mystics reveal: the heart is the temple of God within us and within the heart we hold the key to live a truly divine life. But how do we embody the tremendous love available to us, deep in our hearts?

In Eternal Heart, Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, invites us to create an optimistic, visionary, and imaginative path to personal happiness and fulfillment. Weaving together teachings from the biblical tradition, literature of the mystics, and wisdom of the world's contemplative traditions, McColman engages us in profound, practical exercises for cultivating fuller, more abundant, and more satisfying lives.

The path of Christian Mysticism is a path of both contemplation and action. By unlocking the mysteries in our hearts, we discover a source of divine love deep within us: a power for spiritual growth, and for creating meaningful relationships and working together to change the world for the better.


"There is no better time than now to delve into the subject of the heart. Carl McColman takes us into a metaphysical and seamless journey to gather a kind of joy so immense we cannot grasp it. He expands the mind with questions of what might be beyond infinity, beyond eternal. He leads us further into our hearts as sleuths in the mystery of life. What joy! Eternal Heart is a wonderful offering."

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, ordained Zen Buddhist priest and author of several books, including The Deepest Peace: Contemplations from a Season of Stillness

"Carl McColman offers us another gift of contemplative insight and illumination. Eternal Heart invites the reader into various themes of the mystical life, deepening each one with wisdom from mystics of various traditions to reveal the way to oneness as one of unity rather than division. He encourages us to embrace in our own lives this mystical gift and vision for which our world is so hungry, and he charts the way through accessible practices. Reading it left my heart kindled by both joy and possibility."

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, author of 15 books, including Breath Prayer: An Ancient Practice for the Everyday Sacred

"For years, I have loved using a set of prayer beads that I made myself, moving my fingers along the strand to center my heart. Moving through the chapters of Eternal Heart is like praying with a string of smooth beads. Each one invites a sacred pause, and together they are a work of prayerful beauty."

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham, Episcopal priest and author of The Heart of a Calling

"Eternal Heart companions us tenderly through our restlessness and longing on a journey of presence and relationship with God. A seasoned spiritual author and guide, Carl McColman invites us to a place we already inhabit but haven't quite found. In these pages, we reencounter love, discernment, faith, silence, imagination, courage, renewal, and other gifts of the heart that engender sustaining hope and joy. You will be blessed by this book!"

Lisa Colón DeLay, host of the Spark My Muse podcast and author of The Wild Land Within

"Eternal Heart is a sustained rhapsody on every aspect of the spiritual life, woven in a language full of insight, rich in reference, speaking directly to the love-hungry heart."

Paul Quenon, OCSO, poet, Cistercian monk, and author of Unquiet Vigil and In Praise of the Useless Life

"Eternal Heart is a generous invitation to enter into the heart of the mystery. Carl McColman offers a lens of love through which to gaze upon eternal gifts hidden in the very center of all that is. Such sacred seeing transforms what it beholds."

Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love and Wild Mercy

"There is likely in each of us a mystic within, waiting for us to open a door in the heart to release that hidden part of ourselves most in touch with the divine, and to embrace it and nurture it. Eternal Heart shows us how to unlock that door so that we can seek what is eternal and sacred in all things -- our conversations, walks, and all we see, taste and hear. It is a book whose 'heart practices' we will feel drawn to repeatedly over the different seasons of our lives."

Judith Valente, author of How To Be: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith.

"Eternal Heart is a work of humanly sung companionship... as timely as it is transcendent. The author reminds us that becoming more truly human is not only the first step toward the mystical vocation; it is the primary practical assignment of life on earth and the first step toward a fruitful and contemporary holiness."

Therese Schroeder-Sheker, musician and author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World

"Mysticism and contemplation can feel abstract and challenging even to those of us who are most curious about them, but Carl McColman's Eternal Heart grounds these ancient practices in concepts familiar to everyone. Interweaving storytelling, scripture, and interfaith tools for contemplation, this book helps our hearts find a path toward the things they most long for."

Kaya Oakes, author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World

"In Eternal Heart, Carl McColman illuminates the pathway of the heart with wisdom, ease, and a touch of joy. Through the aperture of mysticism, he draws from an expansive range of faith and prayer traditions, inviting us into eternal possibility. Eternal Heart shines a light on the teachings, practices, and ways of seeing that can bring us closer to divine presence."

Colette Lafia, author of The Divine Heart: Seven Ways to Live in God's Love and Seeking Surrender.

"With kindness and courage, Carl McColman invites his readers to travel with him on a journey, well-paved by ancient mystics and contemporary sages. McColman himself is a wise guide, offering both personal stories and spiritual practices to lead us into an awakened heart, one that is conscious of its own restless limitations and ready to discover that the loving presence of God was there all along. This book is a treasure for the heart."

Christiana N. Peterson, author of Awakened by Death and Mystics and Misfits

"In his newest book, Carl McColman invites readers to journey into the depths of the heart and find the spiritual gifts that await each of us there. While drawing primarily from the Christian tradition, he includes other religions, too, and shows how their wisdom teachings exist in dialogue to guide us along the heart's path. McColman himself is a gentle and wise guide to the inner life. With beauty and simplicity, he opens the gifts of the heart, encouraging us to receive the blessings that sometimes lie hidden until we're able to see them anew. I recommend Eternal Heart for all who seek to experience life's blessings in a more loving and intimate way."

Lisa Deam, author of 3000 Miles to Jesus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life

"Many of us feel comfortable using labels like, 'teacher,' 'healer,' 'artist,' or 'activist' to describe ourselves. Yet how many of us would feel comfortable using the term 'mystic' when describing our spiritual lives? In response, Carl McColman makes a compelling case for why more of us should claim and embrace the mystical path. Not only does McColman explore how we can do this, he provides the encouragement and wisdom we need to get started - or to go deeper - on this journey."

Kate H. Rademacher, author of Reclaiming Rest: The Promise of Sabbath, The Promise of Sabbath, Solitude, and Stillness in a Restless World

"Carl McColman obviously earned his understanding of mysticism through years of research, as well as his own personal spiritual journey, and there is no more powerful combination for inspired writing."

Carolyn Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

"Carl McColman's first gift is his commitment to write about things that matter. His second gift is his ability to write about them with clarity and warmth, enticing his readers to go places with him that we might otherwise not have gone. He leads us to the brink of lessons no book can teach, then frees us to go forward to learn them, trusting the God who meets us at every step of the unknown way."

Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Holy Envy

"Carl McColman gives you much wise direction and broad understanding of the field of contemplative theory and practice. Here is your teacher!"

Richard Rohr, author of Universal Christ

"Carl McColman presents the classic precepts and practices of the Christian contemplative path in a clear and helpful way."

Cynthia Bourgeault, author of The Heart of Centering Prayer

"If you don't know about Carl McColman and his work, you should."

Brian McLaren, author of A Generous Orthodoxy

"Carl McColman masterfully maps out for the serious spiritual seeker the nature of the mystical experience and outlines a clear and accessible pathway for how to get there."

Kyriacos C. Markides, author of The Mountain of Silence

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506464619
  • eBook ISBN 9781506464626
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 211
  • Publication Date June 29, 2021