As we begin, let us center ourselves in Christ Jesus. Allow yourself to rest in the present moment to know God’s presence with you. It is good to be still as we pray for the Lord to speak to our hearts.
As a spiritual director I consider my primary work to be that of helping others hear and respond to God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in a deeper, more open, responsive and profound manner. The primary goal, if you will, is to help others practice the presence of God and to live every moment in a more contemplative, with God, manner. This invariably occurs within a discussion of the directee’s interior work of contemplation, which is occurs between the directee and God. I simply do my best to facilitate an atmosphere that is most conducive to optimizing the directee’s ability to be aware, open, and responsive to what God is doing and saying in their spirit and soul. My work often begins with helping the directee to discover their various interior dispositions, which are a direct result of how present they are to their interior life.
Over the past several weeks I have felt the Lord Jesus impress upon me a series of meditations that speak to the interior work of contemplation and our responsiveness to that interior work of God, as children of God. In so doing I am being led to allow these meditations to flow out “The Book of Privy Counseling”, which was written by the 14th century author of the Cloud of Unknowing. It is my hope that these mediations will be both foundational and formational. Foundational, by providing understandable direction that provides practical ways to live the contemplative with God life in the world. Formational, in that we may be brought into deeper waters, void of grasping, by which we may simply let go, while being simultaneously immersed in the mystery of God who is Love. This is the interior heart/spirit and soul life where God is active moment by moment that is explored in Spiritual Direction.
Meditation #1: Simple Awareness
Awareness comes with preparation. Thus, we prepare a place apart from everything else to be alone so we can set our mind on being with God. In this, we do not try to push away our thoughts, as much as we just relax and let them go. All thought whether good, bad, or indifferent are to belet go. Avoid all words unless you are really drawn to speak in prayer. Do not weigh or examine your prayer. Do not be concerned with meaning, or what kind of prayer you find yourself speaking. The desire is to have a pure naked intent toward God. Let go from your deep within your heart/soul allowing silent love to flow out to God from within you to God beyond you. Paradoxically, even counterintuitively we must avoid even thinking about God. For no thought can be as pure as actual presence. Allow yourself to be in such a way that might be called simple awareness, or perhaps objectless awareness, for God is not an object to be grasped. Simply, purely, be aware in such a manner that frees you to just be with God who is. Do not force any thought upon God for God is God and simply God is. Do not search for God, for this objectifies the One who is pure ungraspable subject. Just rest in a pure undistracted feeling of your own being, which rests in the One who is pure being. Simple awareness of self as we are, and God as God is. In this we are united in a perfect letting go of self, immersed in God who is letting Love go into us. This is a simple kenotic flow of our being toward God and God’s being toward us. The mystics call this unity with God. In this we discover that God is true being in which we live, breathe and have our being. In this there is no division, distraction or scattering of the image of God (spirit, soul, mind and body), who we are. In this we rest in differentiated union, realizing that God is our being, our cause, and we are not that for God. God is the ground of being and we are beings that rise from that ground. God is the cause of all, yet God is without cause. Therefore, let us rest in, so that we can be responsive to God, the One who by grace unites our thoughts and affections into a simple awareness of who we are as God’s image bearers and who God is as the Creator of that image. Simple awareness is the image of Love (who is all humanity) and God who is Love, united and simply being exactly who we are.
That which I am, I offer to you, O Lord, for you are it entirely.
Anonymous 14th century AD, author
who wrote the Book of Privy Counseling
And along with the Psalmist, we hear God say to us...
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10a
In all this we travers much spiritual ground on our journey toward perfect love, as we arrive at the point where we love God simply because God is God, and we are grateful for our very being that flows in, through and around God.
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Next week, Meditation #2: “Do Not Think What You Are, But That You Are”
May God Bless You All, Gene Yotka
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