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 meditation 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.
After Meditation, from Theodore Roethke, “The Rose,” COLLECTED POEMS (New
York: Doubleday, 1966), p. 205.
Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas
Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself.
As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,
And I stood outside myself,
Beyond becoming and perishing,
As something wholly other,
As if I swayed out on the wildest wave alive,
And yet was still.
And I rejoiced in being what I was. . . .