The chapter from John Main’s book The Way of Unknowing called The Non-mechanics of the Pilgrimage, reflects and illuminates the ideas that we’ve been reflecting on. The first thing he says as he opens this chapter is a simple sentence but one that really underlies the whole of the life of our community: ‘The teaching of Jesus on prayer in the gospel is the basic teaching underlying meditation.’
The teaching of Jesus on prayer, in the Sermon on the Mount, for example, contains the basic elements of contemplation: interiority, silence, equa-nimity, faithful trust, attention and presence. Put those together, and we have contemplation. Jesus is a teacher of contemplation. He doesn’t give us a very direct method of meditation, but meditation is of course a way for us to receive the gift of contemplation that he is describing.
( Enlightenment by Laurence Freeman OSB )