“Everyday is a new beginning,” — but for it to be a new beginning you must let go of all the yesterdays!
I’ve heard from a number of you concerning the difficulty of understanding the role of meditation, how important it seems to be, and the difficulty of embracing it, as with perhaps the same priority that you give to other daily activities.
I have struggled with this most of my life and have a personal understanding of the difficulty. The mystics state quiet clearly that until we reach a crisis, or the point where we say, “enough is enough,” we will find it very difficult to embrace meditation as part of our everyday life. However, I do believe that we need not wait for the “crisis” or the point where we feel that we’re at the “bottom of the barrel.”
· De Mello points us in the direction of the need to “wake up.”
Spirituality means waking up. It is awareness.
· Awareness means to watch, to observe what is going on within you and
· What you are aware of you are in control of
· What you are not aware of is in control of you
· You are always a slave to what you’re not aware of. When you’re aware of
it, you’re free from it.
· If I did wrong it was in unawareness. Nobody does wrong in awareness.
Which one of us wants to live a life unaware?
Which one of us wants to be selfish, using people and manipulating events with the hope of getting some passing satisfaction or gratification?
I don’t believe that any of us want to live this way!
The mystics offer each of us a response to this situation: they say “here is an experiment to try if you’re tired of the way things are going and you want to discover your Union and Oneness with God.” The experiment is taking some time each day to be quiet and still – to go within! Of course none of us will undertake the “experiment” until we want to change — it’s like we won’t embrace a diet or exercise program until we’re fed up with how we look and feel. Once we begin to look and feel better we tend to continue the practice
The following is from, “The Power of Now,” and once again it points us to how important “awareness” is:
“It is misleading to say that somebody “chose” a dysfunctional relationship or any other negative situation is his or her life.
Choice implies consciousness — a high degree of consciousness!
Without it, you have no choice!
Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present.
Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking.
This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind.
That is why Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
The mind, conditioned as it is by the past, always seeks to re-create what it knows and is familiar with. Even if it is painful, at least it is familiar.
The mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it.
That’s why the mind dislikes and ignores the present moment!
Awareness, living in the Present Moment, discovering one’s True Self, making free choices and flowing from inner Peace and Joy are impossible without embracing the daily practice of Prayer. Prayer, according to Rabbit Heschel and the mystics, is the choice to enter the Presence of God.
Here is what Marcus Aurelius Antoninus said a long time ago.( AD121-80)
· Men are continually seeking retreats for themselves, in the country or by
the sea or among the hills. And thou, thyself, art wont to yearn after the like. Yet all this is the surest folly, for it is open to thee, every hour, to retire into thyself. And where can man find a calmer, more restfully haven than in his own soul? Most of all, he whose inner state is so ordered that he has only to penetrate thither to find himself in the midst of a great peace – the peace that, to my mind, is synonymous with orderliness. Therefore, betake thee freely to this city of refuge, there to be made new.
I believe that the Spirit is moving in many directions and through many
people in order to help us “awaken” to whom we are, to our True Selves.
We have been reflecting for quite some time on the “Power of Now,” and the
following is from Wilber, affirming from a different perspective the same
principles. I confess that I find it fascinating to discover a variety of
authors saying much the same thing.
“The Collected Works of Ken Wilber, Vol One
For eternally and always there is only NOW, one and the same NOW; the present
is the only thing that has no end!
We often think of Eternity as a long, never ending, period of time. The
mystics maintain that eternity is not an awareness of everlasting time, but
an awareness which is totally without time!
It honors neither past nor future — before or after — yesterday nor
tomorrow, birth nor death.
Meister Echhard said, “Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There
is no greater obstacle to God then time!”
The present is the only reality — there is no other!
This life of time, according to the mystics, is a life of misery — all our
problems are problems of time and in time! They are concerns with time —
lamenting the past — fear of the future!
In the present there are no problems — for there is no time!
Guilt is a state of being lost in the past; all anxiety is a state of being
lost in the future. It is in this sense that the mystic claims that all our
problems are generated by our vivid sensation of, and bondage of time.
It has often been said, that history is a nightmare from which each of us can
awaken. And as Emerson so beautifully pointed out, this awakening occurs only
as we become present to the present:
“These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better
ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time
for them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its
existence… But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present,
but with reverted eye laments the past, or heedless of the riches that
surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and
strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”
To live in the Present takes discipline and by that I mean practice in
becoming quiet and aware. Until you take some time each day to be quiet and
enter silence you’ll rarely experience the rewards of inner joy, peace and
The choice belongs to each of us and no other can make it for us.