February 1, 2011
It appears that meditation is an essential and central part of the path to communion with You, God, yet many Christians think of meditation as a practice belonging to eastern religious traditions that they fear will lead them astray and so deem they should have nothing to do with them. Do the teachings of Jesus lend any support for meditation in such a variety that those of the Christian tradition might find solace in; so that such practice might become more acceptable as part of their path to You?
It seems that this would improve the average Christian’s approach to You, because for so many, their approach appears to end with the concept of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior in an outward manner that proclaims it to their fellows. Often is the case that enthusiasm for “salvation” ends there, as though it were something had by mere rite, as though by magic, a sprinkling of holy water by a priest or a dunk in a pool by a minister along with the confession of belief. Is there no concept in the Christian tradition of this genuine attaining of a deep inner stillness for the sake of communion with You? Is not such communion required for participation in the “body of Christ” as Christianity often names the nature of salvation; or can it be had simply by confession, rites and ceremony?
The passage comes to mind, already mentioned, of where Jesus said many will say Lord, Lord we did good works in your name but I will not know them. Can we kid ourselves about “knowing Jesus” by studying the Bible, going to Sunday school and doing some volunteer work, even praying fervently for our fellows and for world peace, when in actuality we have not yet met Him in Christ, which can only genuinely be done in the quiet of a regular meditation practice?
Then there is the parable of the sower where good seed falls on rocky soil, meaning of shallow depth and so, short lived enthusiasm; and the seed falling among thorns meaning desire for riches and things choke out the interest one has in spiritual health and wealth. The warnings seem clear. How is it that so many appear to give only lip service to Christian faith while perpetuating the age old habits that continue to draw us away from consciousness in Christ? How shall we put an end to such habits? For I perceive that I yet have many such behaviors myself.
As with all things of spirit, the references to the practice of meditation, the practice of the Presence of God, are subtle, subjective and often placed between the lines. We are making a bold attempt to make it objective and said as straight out as We can within your understanding of the subject. With some this will backfire and the reader will react negatively because it is too unorthodox, but We do not write for them. Others will argue theologically and philosophically which may be an interesting exercise but is ultimately a distraction from the goal. Some, however, will find confirmation of their natural inclination toward the inner path to Me and so will be bolstered to proceed with confidence, though some Christian “authorities” – those believing in separation and exclusiveness, teach against meditation on the basis that it is of a different tradition and therefore not to be practiced by the resolute Christian.
Most references in the Bible to going to high places such as mountains are meant to symbolize the practice of meditation which is rightly understood as the practice of the Presence of God. Moses was attracted to such a high place by a burning bush that never became exhausted. This is a clear reference to Moses’ fiery aspiration (Orientation 3). It is this never dying intense inclination toward spirit which flames are fanned by your pursuit of it up the mountain of meditation.
Like a climb up a mountain, meditation is not a walk in the park. It is an arduous effort that becomes a little easier with practice and exercise but continues to call you to greater and greater efforts to reach “higher” and more sublime “peaks” of communion with Me.
It is out of this inferno of desire for communion with Me from which I speak My Word and ask you to remove your “shoes” of preconceived notions about Me that you may partake of My Holy Communion; for while you hold to your “shoes” lest you step on an uncomfortable “pebble” of cross-tradition or notions contrary to traditional teaching, you cannot enter My Holy Presence.
Moses climbed the mountain of meditation, he removed his shoes in response to My Word and We communed together. Out of that meeting of man and spirit We forged a new rendition of My Eternal Law. So it is with all who will make the difficult climb into the sound of silence compelled by the inner fire or zeal fed by the impulse of the soul.
As well as a climb up a mountain the “wilderness” can symbolize this withdrawal into the vast “emptiness” of My Presence. The wild wilderness, because My Realm is not so easily found in crystallized tradition, but in dynamic flexible thinking that can fit together the parts and pieces that otherwise look disparate to believers in separation. The mind naturally organizes and separates and compares. You must go beyond the “cities” and “towns” of mental organizations into the wilderness of stillness. In such emptiness I Am Found and I Then Fill your void with My Wild and Wonderful Awareness. Out of such Awareness disparities disappear and with them all separation.
So it is that Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights before beginning His public work; forty nights of practicing emptiness and forty days of being filled with My Presence until He became completely My Envoy of My Compassion, Love and Peace.
The goal of meditation is like that of walking on water. The mind and emotions, like the surface of a lake are constantly being churned up by the winds of fear, frustration, lust, etc., etc. Like the surface of a sea they cause your little boat of meditation practice to bob up and down, sometimes violently, sometimes gently. The time will come in your diligence when I Will Come to you in the form of Christ walking on the calm waters of your stilled mind and emotions and you will step out of your boat and walk with Me on that solid platform of calm in perfect peace. Then you will find that you and your boat has immediately reached the other shore.
The feeding of thousands is the result of meditation. On several occasions Jesus went to a lonely place, or across the water, or to a mountain to pray. There he found that throngs of thoughts had followed Him there. So He ministered to them, healing the sick ones and asking them all to sit down and be still. His reason bound mind recognized how hungry all these throngs of thoughts and emotions were for His attention and feared there was not enough to go around, but His (My) Silent Presence blessed the little attention He had. There He fed the throngs with loaves of prayer and fishes of contemplation. When all had their fill there was such abundance of attention there were baskets and baskets left over. Witness the livelihood of attentiveness to such work.
Meditation is for those who would know Me not by what others have told them, not by what teachers have taught them, not by what books have revealed to them, not by what the machinations of mind can put together on Me, not even by what the exalted emotion of the mystic can achieve through devoted prayer and fasting; but by the direct cognition of communion with Me on the mountain top of silence, in the wilderness of emptiness, on the calm waters of stillness. There it is I walk; I sojourn with your soul and send you My Impulse; I light your path with your own burning aspiration.
Therefore, remove your tight fitting shoes of static tradition and wiggle your toes free in the dew of fresh spirit and there will be plenty of healing and sustenance for your throngs of unsettled thoughts.
Jesus taught go to your Father in private and close the door. He taught do not worry about what you shall eat, drink or wear. He taught to be ever watchful for His return; to keep your lamps well supplied with oil. He taught that the greatest commandment is to Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. How else might this be done but by fervent and disciplined meditation upon Him, Me?
This how-else question brings us to the forth fold in the Eight Fold Path of the Buddha, Right Speech – Correct flow of energy, prana, life or creative current – service. This forth fold is another way to Me but is ineffective without the third fold – the practice of meditation. Similarly meditation can take you only a little of the way to Me with out selfless service to others. And so Jesus adds the second great commandment that is like the first: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
February 4, 2011
The forth fold in the Eight Fold Path of the Buddha is Right Speech – Correct flow of energy, prana, life or creative current – service. The third fold is Right Livelihood which turns out to be not about the material, form livelihood that we typically think of when we use the term, but rather about a spiritual type of livelihood that is gained through communion with You, Our true Self, God. Our true food then, comes from such communion found in the stillness of meditation or silent and deep prayer consciousness that is listening for Your Voice, rather than busying the mind with our concerns and attachments through supplication. The response to temptation that Jesus gave, when he was hungry in the desert, once again comes to mind “Man shall not live by bread alone but from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. Thus the livelihood of spirit is granted.
But there is another reference that Jesus makes to food or sustenance in response to when his disciples asked him to eat food they had brought to Him: “My food is to do with him who sent me, and to accomplish His work”. How is this saying different from the first? It speaks of work, as in service work, which is the way one gains a livelihood in the traditional material sense. But You have just established the Word of God, as realized in meditation, as the means to our true livelihood, not the work of doing His will. In this case of Jesus likening “His work” to food, I take it to refer to selfless service work which would be a spiritual livelihood by way of one receiving rewards in Heaven for having done the will of the Father. It seems that if the forth fold of the Buddha’s Eight Fold Path is about service (Right Speech) why does it seem that the third fold, Right Livelihood, comes from the doing of service in this case?
Are the two folds different and distinct from each other or do they overlap in meaning? One seems to be about positioning one’s self for the optimum hearing of God’s Word and the other appears to be about the doing of God’s Will. Are these not two different things for they both seem to be about Right Livelihood.
Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, in other words – service – the doing of My Will – obeying a fundamental principle of life – or just plain common sense, does not constitute one’s spiritual livelihood. It is essential to realizing that livelihood however. It completes the circuit, if you will.
Perhaps it seems to you that this discussion is a bit like splitting hairs, but you will find it helpful to recognize the fine differences between the method of gaining awareness of what your livelihood is, thereby accessing it, and the method of sharing the livelihood you have become aware of and thereby accessed. There is the difference right there. Through meditation (the third fold, Right Livelihood) you become aware of what is essentially already yours: spirit. In spirit you commune with Me. Such communion feeds your soul and brings its awareness in Me to the fore of your attention. This awareness is your life line of spiritual sustenance and in it is your livelihood. You will eventually come to know it as the only source of sustenance needed as you graduate from manifestation in the dense physical.
Sustenance is a two fold process however. Once you have gleaned a bit of such awareness, the desire or urge, the Divine Impulse, naturally arises within you to share this awareness in whatever way you are able. This is the “work” mentioned in the second quote of Jesus that you brought out above. This is the very work that Jesus was engaged in at the time with the woman at the well. Jesus calls it his food. The livelihood is not the food but the means whereby the food is acquired. Eating of the food – engaging in the work, gives nourishment thus completing the process of sustenance. First you acquire the food then you eat of it. These two facets are the Right Livelihood and the Right Speech; or the meditation and the service of the third and forth folds of the Buddha’s Eight Fold Path.
February 9, 2011
Right Livelihood is acquired through adopting and maintaining the correct posture, poise and position in one’s body, emotion and mind. This is meditation.
Right Speech is developed through the rhythm of right “breath” in body, emotion and mind; inhalation, brief hold, exhalation, brief hold, inhalation, etc.
The word breath, above, is in quotes because I, here, do not refer so much to the breath of the dense physical body which, if left alone, takes care of itself in response to the breath of the ethers, which in turn respond to the breath in the emotions and the mind. Such breathing of the mind may be controlled when the breathing of the emotions is brought under control.
Such “breathing” is your activity in the mind which precipitates your emotional health and your action in the world. Right Speech is the correct control and use of this “breath” in selfless service to your fellows. It takes the form of such service because in the light of the soul your fellows have come to be understood to all be one with You – the same as You. What you withhold from your fellows you withhold from yourself. What you share with your fellows you share with yourself. You have come to know this as selflessness because it involves the letting go of the lower self or ego in exchange for the true Self that I Am. I Call it Selfulness for It is the realization of Your Self as manifest in all people, even in all things; and It is I Am.
In My Self there is no ego, which as we have discussed, is an illusory self image based on the mistaken identity with the form that You (I) occupy. So it seems from your illusory perspective that you become selfless, but when you actually set your ego aside completely You will find that the world is full of the real You, I Am and so You are Selful in your awareness at that timeless, eternity-full point of infinite expansion!
February 12, 2011
Right Speech is the result of My Breath in you. I Breath into you My Breath of Life as you contemplate My Being within you. I Fill you up with My Good Will. You can only hold so much at a time and you cannot hold My Breath in for too long before you must exhale. Your exhalation is your service to your fellows. It is your doing of the Good Will I have filled you with. This is Right Speech. It is the out breath and makes you ready once again for another in breath of My Love.
This is the rhythm of the Life Breath. It is the beating of the drum called Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love. It is I. I Am. Om.
Through such rhythm I bestow life upon all My Creation. It manifests at different levels for the various forms. In the human form, for you to be truly human, it must manifest on the mental level, for it is at this level that love may be made unconditional. Even a dog will love its master, but a human, through control, focus and eventual cessation of the desire nature can love without condition. Such control can only be had through a discipline of the mind.
From the mental level the emotions may be trained and directed to respond with love in any situation under the sun. This was Jesus’ meaning when he taught “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” Do good to those who hurt you. It is this ability that differentiates you from a dog. It is My Breath in you at the mental level that gives you this ability. It is meditation upon My Presence in you that makes way in the mind for My in breath in you and it is your service to others, even your enemies, that is your needed and necessary out breath. This is your Right Livelihood and your Right Speech.
Right Speech may take any form imaginable. Be creative with the expression of My Love. Words are the most cumbersome of expressions and are easily misconstrued, misinterpreted and so often rendered useless. Actions do indeed speak louder than words and so Right Speech, more often than not, will manifest as an action.
Do not fret and worry over what act you might perform or what words you might say. Such concern arises from the ego – that false notion of who you are based in the form you occupy. Hold yourself in My Presence. Abide in Me knowing Me for Your Self and I will guide you in your perfect out breath of unconditional love.
This is known as the practice of non-being – this practice of My Presence. Because of the aspect of letting go of the false identity as a separate being, you no longer are being that false identity.
The practice of non-doing is similar. Because you no longer identify yourself falsely as separate from Me there is nothing you need do as separate form Me. So to practice non-doing is to practice simply allowing Me to guide your actions through your natural response to My Divine Impulse felt through Your Soul.
Here is a tabulation of some synonyms that mark the rhythm of My Love:
Right Livelihood Right Speech
Communion with God Communion with your fellows
Beat the Drum The Sound the Drum Beat Makes
Good Will Good Vibration
Right View Right Action
In Breath Out Breath
Chop Wood Carry Water
Mental Control Heart Expression
And there are many more. Think of them as the two wires that complete a divine circuit that energizes the light within. That Light sustains You forever more and at ever greater capacity as you breath in and out each breath.