When reading a book authored by Joan Chittister I came across this quote from an anonymous Rabbi..“Each of us should have two pockets. In one should be the message, ‘I am dust and ashes,’ and in the other we should have written, ‘For me the universe was made.” Made me think!
Meditation invites us to get in touch with the contemplative dimension of life. This is something many people have discovered but since the lockdown period it has become significant. When I mentioned this to one of my kids I was reminded that a great many people are suffering at this time hence ‘contemplation’ let alone ‘meditation’ was not on their radar. It’s difficult to meditate when one is stressful although for the seasoned meditator it is not impossible.
Nevertheless contemplation in the form of reflection, spiritual reading, meditation and mindfulness has been of considerable assistance to many at this time. Those contemplative practices that give life enough meaning, more meaning than just getting ahead in the world, which can be a challenge for a time, but not for a lifetime.
One of the fruits of meditation is the gift of listening. The great meditation teachers, John Cassian, an early Christian mystic; the Dalai Lama, a leader in the Buddhist Vajrayana tradition; John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic from the 16th century; Thich Nhat Hanh,a Vietnamese Engaged Zen Buddhist teacher; Tom Merton, a Trappist Monk, anti-nuclear campaigner and spiritual writer and John Main, an English monk and meditation teacher and countless others emphasise the need for a ’listening heart’ that facility that helps us to see deeply, perceiving our truest aspirations.
Meditation helps us to know our true self and in doing so knowing others.This is not just a psychological thing but ‘knowing’ in the sense of having compassion for the other and reaching out to assist if necessary. In this way meditation becomes an engaged activity.
And now let us meditate in the fashion that we are accustomed to.
You might like to dedicate your meditation to those that are affected by Covid-19 virus either through illness, bereavement or unemployment or some special intention of your own.
(Meditate for up to 20 minutes.)
As we go about our daily activities I hope that by being in the present, by remaining mindful we will find joy in the midst of this trial. Peter