The experience of solitude, into which mediation leads us if we have the courage of simplicity, is not an escape. It is an encounter. The great mystery that unfolds . . .is that this encounter happens at a level of being where we thought there was no one to meet. At a level we avoided because we did not want to find ourselves and realize the fear of being ultimately alone, there we find everything we have been looking for. Once we did everything to distract ourselves from ourselves because we were so frightened to discover the eternal, cold loneliness of the self. But mediation reveals that fear as the ultimate foolishness, because at that level of our being where we thought there was no one to meet, we meet Christ. [. . . .]
Meditation shows its effectiveness in the way we make relationships. It leads to a deeper and sharper awareness of our true nature. The truth of human nature is not, as we dread it is, that of an isolated speck of cosmic dust, a lonely monad, but that we are beings in communion. [. . . .] [W]ithout human love anything that we call the love of God is a farce and sham.
After meditation: an excerpt from “Traditional Irish Blessing” in EARTH PRAYERS: 365 Prayers, Poems and Invocation from Around the World, ed. by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 204.
May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the two windows of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. . . .