An excerpt from John Main OSB, “Space to Be,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 92-93.
To know ourselves, to understand ourselves and to . . .get ourselves and our problems in perspective, we simply must make contact with our spirit. All self-understanding arises from understanding ourselves as spiritual beings, and it is only contact with the universal Holy Spirit that can give us the depth and the breadth to understand. . .The way to this is not difficult. It is very simple. But it does require serious commitment. . .
The wonderful revelation that is there for all of us to discover, if only we will set out on the path with discipline, is that our spirit is rooted in God and that each of us has an eternal destiny and an eternal significance and importance. That is a primary discovery for each of us to make, that the nature we possess has this infinite potential for development and that development can only come if we undertake this pilgrimage to our own center. . . .It is only there, in the depths of our own being, that we can discover ourselves rooted in God. Meditation is just this way of making contact with our own spirit and in that contact finding the way of integration, of finding everything in our experience coming into harmony, everything in our experience judged and aligned on God.
The way of meditation is very simple. All each of us has to do is to be as still as possible in body and in spirit. . . .Learning to meditate is learning to let go of your thoughts, ideas and imagination and to rest in the depths of your own being. Always remember that. Don’t think, don’t use any words other than your own word, don’t imagine anything. Just sound, say the word in the depths of your spirit and listen to it. Concentrate upon it with all your attention.
Why is this so powerful? Basically, because it gives us the space that our spirit needs to breathe. It gives each of us the space to be ourselves. When you are meditating you don’t need to apologize for yourself and you don’t need to justify yourself. All you need to do is to be yourself, to accept from the hands of God the gift of your own being. And in that acceptance of yourself and your creation, you come into harmony with the Creator, . . .the Spirit of God.
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 Rumi, “Sheikh Sarrazi Comes in from the Wilderness,” THE SOUL OF RUMI, tr. Coleman Barks (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 247-48.
There is nourishment like
bread that feeds one part
of your life and nourishment like light for another. There
are many rules about restraint
with the former, but only one rule for the latter, Never be
satisfied. Eat and drink
the soul substance, as a wick does with the oil it soaks in.
Give light to the company.
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