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Michael Clark, Ph.D.


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I'd prefer to answer questions from seekers rather than those wishing to get into in an academic debate. I do, however, have a considerable degree of scholarly knowledge that may be applied to the inherent complexities - or simplicities - of the contemplative life. But the key word here is "applied."

I tend to agree with these sentiments as expressed by the woman writer on mysticism, Evelyn Underhill:

"Now meditation is a half-way house between thinking and contemplating: and as a discipline, it derives its chief value from this transitional character."

Source: Practical Mysticism: A little book for normal people (1914), p. 46.

Moreover, I strongly believe that all persons possess an essential individuality--not just a superficial, conceptual or constructed sense of individuality. So if you're looking to lose your essential self in 'nothingness,' please ask another expert. I don't believe in that idea.

Experience in the area

I began to meditate in the 1980s. I did hatha yoga and studied and taught Tai Chi. I then lived in India for two years where meditation was a way of life. Although my methods have changed over the years in keeping with my personal development, I still consider myself a contemplative person.


Print Media:
My table from "Religions and Cults" at is reproduced with permission in L. Lindsey, S. Beach and B. Ravelli, Core Concepts in Sociology, 2nd ed., p. 157

World Wide Web:
My online article "Letter to God" coauthored with Buddhist monk, E. Raymond Rock, appears on several different spirituality-based websites, including

I've interviewed, as a Christian, a self-proclaimed mystic:

My articles appeared at the former New View magazine and are published at


Ph.D. in Religious Studies
M.A. in Comparative Religion
B.A. Hon. in Psychology/Sociology
For more info, please see my CV and letters of recommendation and my blog at

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Some Christians meditate.

Average Ratings

Recent Answers from Michael Clark, Ph.D.

2015-06-12 Mahayana Buddhist and deceased family:

If it were me, I'd talk with my wife and come to an agreement that we were both comfortable with. I don't believe in political correctness when it comes to faith. But I also believe in respecting others'

2015-05-19 Meditation:

Hey Sheridan, everyone is different so there are no absolute rules. FYI, some people don't sit down and meditate but rather, live in a sort of moving meditation. That means staying aware, even while active

2014-10-26 Strange experience:

Hey Melinda, I believe all sorts of things can happen when one reaches a meditative or contemplative state of mind. But you know, I think with some people insight or intuition just happens. Everyone is

2014-10-01 mindful moments:

I personally think they would be. Running as well. I used to run as a youth and remember how beneficial it was in every way. I'd like to run today, but my knees prevent that. But I still walk. And when

2014-07-24 unable to be objective:

No, I do not believe you are crazy because you are still analyzing and questioning your experience. In my opinion, mad people are usually totally convinced of some thing. They have lost the ability to


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