Meditation Readings: 17/10/2014

READINGS - 17/10/2014

 
1) READING
 
The role of attention
 
Kim Nataraja
 
“In order to enter into this holy and mysterious communion with the Word of God dwelling within us, we must first have the courage to become more and more silent ... a silence where we have to listen, to concentrate, to attend”. (Word into Silence) 
 
John Main here draws to our notice the role of deep listening, of sustained attention. One-pointed focused attention has a strong effect on the way our brain functions, the way our brain allows us to receive and to tune into different levels of reality. Dr Shanida Nataraja explains in her book ‘The Blissful Brain’ Neuroscience and proof of the power of meditation’ that there are two sides to our brain and switching between the two is facilitated by the power of attention:
 
“The left hemisphere houses the neural circuitry that deals with language and ... the intellectual functioning of the human mind (i.e. our ego). During meditation,through the focusing of attention, the practitioner accesses the functioning of the right hemisphere... Experiments suggest that the right hemisphere captures a much more truthful representation of an experience. Our left hemisphere has a tendency to filter our experiences, so that they fit into our established perception of ourselves and the world. Experiences that fit our worldview and “boost our ego” are captured, whereas those that challenge our worldview and “undermine our ego” are ignored. The right hemisphere, on the other hand, captures the whole experience and therefore, during meditation, when the practitioner has access to the right hemisphere, often long-forgotten memories can surface in full Technicolor or solutions to unsolved problems or dilemmas can emerge. Meditation therefore provides the practitioner with a method through which to switch between the two modes of thinking and perceiving conferred by the two hemispheres.”
 
This switching between different modes of perception, which affords a more complete picture of who we are, leads to deeper self-knowledge. Only by truly knowing ourselves, by letting go of the filters with which we view reality, can we glimpse Ultimate Reality.
 
John Main stresses the importance of this:
 
“Most of us have to get into touch with ourselves first, to get into a full relationship with ourselves before we can turn openly to our relationship with God. Putting this another way, we can say that we have first to find, expand, and experience our own capacity for peace, for serenity, and for harmony before we can begin to appreciate" (Word into Silence).
 
 
2) OPENING PRAYER AND MEDITATION
 
Heavenly Father, open our hearts to the silent presence of the Spirit of your Son. Lead us into that mysterious silence where your love is revealed to all who call. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.
 
3) READING AFTER MEDITATION
 
BY Saint Teresa of Ávila
 
“It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven without entering into ourselves.” 
 
4) SHARING, COMMENTS
 
5) CLOSING PRAYER
By Laurence Freeman OSB
 
May this Community be a true spiritual home for the seeker, a friend for the lonely, a guide for the confused. 
 
May those who pray here be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to serve all who come and to receive them as Christ himself. In the silence of this retreat may all the suffering, violence and confusion of the world encounter the Power that will console, renew and uplift the human spirit. 
 
May this silence be a power to open the hearts of men and women to the vision of God, and so to each other, in love and peace, justice and human dignity. 
 
May the beauty of the Divine Life fill this Community and the hearts of all who pray here with joyful hope. 
 
May all who come here, weighed down by the problems of humanity, leave, giving thanks for the wonder of human life. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.