Weekly Readings 14/4/2013

An excerpt from John Main OSB, “Commitment to Simplicity,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 26-27.

You have heard it said that meditation is “the way to reality.” It is firstly the way to the reality of our own being. By meditation, we learn to be.

 Not to be any particular role or particular thing, but just to be. The best way of describing that being is to say that we are in a state of utter simplicity. We are not trying to act. We are not trying to apologize for being who we are or as we are. We are, simply, living out of the depths of our own being, secure and affirmed in our own rootedness in reality. This is an ideal unfamiliar to most of us because we are trained to think that we find truth only amid complexity. Yet we all know at a deeper level. . .that truth can only be found in utter simplicity, in openness. Remembering the sharpness of our vision in childhood should teach us this. What we all require is the child’s sense of wonder, the simple childlikeness to worship before the magnificence of creation.  [. . . .]

Meditation is a way of breaking through from a world of illusion into the pure light of reality. The experience of meditation is that of becoming anchored in Truth, in the Way and in Life. In the Christian vision that anchor is Jesus. He reveals to us that God is the ground of our being, that none of us has any existence outside of him. . . .The great illusion that most of us are caught in is that we are the center of the world and that everything and everyone revolves around us. . .

But in meditation we learn that this is not true. The truth is that God is the center and everyone of us has being from his gift, from his power and from his love.  [. . . .] Meditation is the great way of liberation. We are liberated from the past. . . and become open to our life in the present moment. . .We learn that we are because God is, [and that] simply being is our greatest gift.

After meditation: Mark Strand, “My Name,” The New Yorker, April 11, 2005, p. 68.

One night when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become---and where I would find myself—
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far-off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.

Carla Cooper - cmcooper@gvtc.com