Step into the depths with me. Find the calm waters under the torrent that rushes through the mind. It is a journey of miles and miles, facing the spate of beliefs and feelings and verdicts that mark the boundaries of our lives. Jump in with me each and every day.
Crush the barriers of our own making created by desires for affirmation. Stop the desperate search for certification – finding self-importance in the tangible.
We say to God, “I did this. Now, show yourself.”
That is not how it works.
Step – dive – crash into the depths. Find space in the scuttle, the hurdles, the bustle and the hustle. Make time for pause like your life depends on it.
The veil no longer exists. It was destroyed. It is now a barrier of our own making, as we ask for signs and wonders – testing for evidence.
We want the proof of purchase to manifest in specific ways based on the pages of a book. Constructed on language that, by its very nature, is only a symbol for the true meaning of a thing. T-R-E-E is not a tree. The word “tree” is a symbol for an idea of trees, often the one that we conjure most quickly in our minds. Why should we base ideas about God within the limits of human language?
Give me something that feels good. Make me invigorated. Make me dance. Make me happy. This is proof of purchase – evidence that we bought into the lifestyle.
When this does not happen, we call it “suffering” – a word loaded with meaning that allows us to simultaneously hide behind it, theologically connect to broad systems of belief, and spark sympathy in others.
Both joy and suffering can be symbols of the way belief works, but if we are not careful, they morph into impervious dogma and, again, proof of purchase – flawed signs and symbols for a greater experience.
None of this actually describes the expansive Love that we seek from the sincerest part of our being – in the places that are hidden from reason. Where can we find it?
In the silence.
I cannot trust my mind, but I trust the Depths. The stillness. The quiet. It is only here that reason can be shut out. We move away from constructed logic.
There is a dependency on logic that, I argue, keeps us away from essential truths that can only be known without language (signs and symbols.) It is transformative in the sense that it happens from the deep inside, out – and most subtly. To really experience the connection of our humanness to Divine Love – God – we must touch the calm waters under the torrent.
I must look in the stillness. Here You are in the Quiet.
Let go of the requirements, the need to know, the desire to prove or see proof. Settle into the space that exists beyond the apparatus we made to structure our lives. It is possible– for anyone.
Quiet can be intimidating. We are used to waiting for the next thing. I invite you to attempt a dive, even in the face of fear. There is nothing – nothing– that requires your attention as much as finding a way to unearth this expansiveness in your life. Discover the open way to God.
- Identify the moment in your day when you have the least distraction. Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier. Decide to check email after lunch break. Or, turn off the television 30 minutes earlier at night.
- Locate the physical space where you have the least distraction. The space should be clean, comfortable, and away from the center of your home (if you live with others.) If you have kids, let them know you will be available to them after this short period of time. Or, if they are very small, find the space/time when they are asleep.
- Sit. Sit in a chair. Sit on a cushion. Sit on the floor. Find a way to be comfortable, but do not fall asleep. This is key! The purpose is to experience quiet and when we fall asleep (often a sign of lack of sleep) we miss this encounter.
- Set a timer. Use a clock, the timer on your smartphone, or an app meant for this purpose. (Insight Timer is a great – and free – one to consider.) Begin with 2 or 5 minutes, eventually extending it to 10 or 15… even 20 minutes of quiet.*
- “Do” something with your brain. Listen to the sound of your breath. Feel your breath flowing in and out of your body. Recite a mantra (“love,” “maranatha,” or any meaningful phrase can work.) Listen to and focus on the sounds around you. Feel the sensations around your body (temperature of the air, feeling of your clothing, etc.)
- Make it a regular part of your day. It is one thing to decide to form a habit, but often the process can feel daunting. If you apply #1 and #2, you will find it easier to find space in most of your days and it will become a regular part of life. In time, you will yearn for these quiet moments and you will see how they sustain you.
- Be O.K. with imperfection. Go into it with no expectations, but trust that with each moment that you spend away from the perceived urgency of the things calling for attention, you will be pulled deeper and deeper into that space where heart connects with truth.
*Do not use guided meditations during this moment of silence. You could use a guided script to help you get into a mindset of calm, but sit in quiet afterward. Sometimes we can become reliant on the support from someone else – a guide, in this case – but the purpose is to settle into your own stillness.
Best wishes to you on your journey!