An excerpt from John Main OSB, MONASTERY WITHOUT WALLS: The Spiritual Letters of John Main (Norwich: Canterbury, 200), pp. 127-28.
The gift of vision is the wonder of creation. We are empowered to see the reality within which we live and move and have our being. It is not a gift we can ever possess because it is one we are continuously receiving.
In returning it, in letting go, we receive it again even more fully. That is why, the longer we have been meditating the more we do so without demands or expectations. Knowing that God has created us to share in being takes possession of us without our knowing it. Yet the light of consciousness we expand into is complete in ways that the ego’s dim self-consciousness never can be. [. . . .]
For those humbly treading the pilgrimage of prayer into light, this is the essential knowledge we need. Knowledge is experience. It is also the Word that once uttered makes conscious whoever hears it. It summons us out of the old fixed pattern and inspires us to breathe more deeply into the expanding reality and to place our centre of consciousness beyond self-preoccupation. It is to discover that our centre is in God. How we may come to this journey is less important than that we do begin it. To begin, it is necessary to enter somehow into real commitment. That moment of self-giving, of surrendering the ego, is the hole in the wall of the ego that, however fleetingly at first, allows in the light. Light will flow in more and more powerfully until it overcomes whatever blocks translucence.
This moment of commitment is always available to us. It is not an absent ideal, a theoretical possibility, but always a present reality accessible through faith. The question is, are we sufficiently present to ourselves to see it, to hear the invitation and respond? Every moment is the moment because all time has been charged with divine meaning. “Now is the acceptable time.” All time is the “moment of Christ.” Like a lover, like a gardener, God patiently awaits our response, our growth.
Meditate for Thirty Minutes. Remember: Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer phrase “Maranatha.” Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let them pass. Just keep returning your attention – with humility and simplicity to saying your word in faith, from the beginning to the end of your meditation.
After Meditation, an excerpt from Andrew Harvey, A JOURNEY IN LADAKH (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), pp. 92-93.
To take this river, these rocks, this light, these mountains changing in the light, “for granted,” and to revel in them—I am learning that slowly here. I am learning not to fling names at things. Even when I write or think simply rock, river, light, mountain, I begin to see through the word to the thing, to be along with the thing, the rock, this light on my hands, without fear or need to speak.
Things exist in the unnameable. Sometimes I am free, or freed by this landscape, to see them as they are and not wish to name them. Sometimes, as the rocks glow in the late sun, or the river flashes suddenly between boulders, or two birds hide in a burst of light above me, I understand that all names fall short of the shining of things. And that understanding, while it lasts, is peace.
This is the most recent Weekly Readings newsletter from The World Community for Christian Meditation – to go to their site click HERE