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Friday, September 11, 2015

Silence, Peace, His Word

Meister Eckhart said: The very best and utmost of attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in you... If God is to speak his Word in the soul, she must be at rest and at peace; then he speaks in the soul his Word and himself; not an image, but himself.

The only way I know of to cultivate that inner quiet and peace is meditation in its various forms. In this crazy, busy, fast-paced, electronic age of information, meditation is perhaps needed even more than ever before.

I want to share, for example, 3 of the forms that I practice. There are others of course. Meditation helps bring to heel the wild monkey mind that flits from this to that and gives the Higher Self more control - rather than the random rantings of the day to day mind running your show. In meditation, whenever the mind strays (did I unplug the coffee pot, did I mail the electric bill, I need to call so and so, etc.) just gently bring the mind back to whatever form of meditation you are practicing.

  1. Contemplation: Take a verse or even a word and repeat and mull it over, and then listen, and afterwards write stream of consciousness for the length of time you contemplated. This is a short meditation, not over 10 minutes but at least 5 minutes. I find a great one to begin with is: Be still and know that I am God. Say the entire verse to yourself, then one word at a time with a pause between in the silence. At the end, say the entire verse again. Then just write in your journal quickly, without editing, stream of consciousness. Finally, re-read what you wrote. I suggest you stick with the same verse for several days. I think you will be surprised at how profound the writing will become. Do this daily. It is amazing what begins to happen.
  2. Breathing: I like the meditation I learned in Aikido. Maybe I can share it with you in person one day. Basically you sit comfortably, gaze softly at a spot on the floor a bit ahead of you, breathe in to the count of 4 as if you draw in life force from the center of the universe to your one point, 2 fingers above your navel, and then gently breathe out to the count of 4 back to the center of the universe. Don't try to take in too much air,be gentle. Do this 15 to 20 minutes daily. Your peace and stillness increase and connectedness to something Greater expands.
  3. Mantra: A mantra is a word or short phrase that focuses the mind so that it loses its restlessness. The simplest and oldest is Om or Ohm or Aum - same word, but spelled differently by different teachers. It is said to be the constant sound of God, and if you listen to wind, the waves, the rustle of leaves, etc. you will hear this sound. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and simply slowly say Om. It helps to say it out loud a few times first and then quietly and finally silently. Set a timer for the length of time you wish, not over 20 minutes. When the mind strays, simply go back to Om. Be gentle with yourself.
Peace be still.

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