Only by the stilled mind can the Lord known

From Laurence Freeman OSB, “Letter Four,” THE WEB OF SILENCE (London: Dartman, Longman & Todd, 1996), pp. 42, 44-45.

In the face of our contemporary crises we need to ask why we meditate. We ask it not to undermine our commitment but to refine and deepen it. We are not in pursuit of interesting experiences. Meditation is not information technology. It is about knowledge that redeems, pure consciousness—knowing, not merely knowing about. Meditation does not increase our funds of information. In fact we turn away from our usual information-gathering and sorting as we turn to a knowledge that is not quantifiable, a knowing that unifies rather than analyzes. 

The feeling of foolishness or of being unproductive is a positive sign that we are being led by the “spiritual powers of wisdom and vision, by which there comes the knowledge of God” (Ephesians 1:17). This redemptive and recreative knowledge is the wisdom our age lacks. We can recognize it and discriminate between it and its counterfeits because it neither claims nor parades any possessive pronoun. No one claims it as their own.

It is the consciousness of the Holy Spirit and therefore it is the womb of all truly loving action. In the face of the most disheartening tragedy it is as close to us as we are to our true selves.

After Meditation, from the Shvetashvatura Upanishad, tr. By E. Easwaran (Tomales, CA; Nilgiri Press, 1987), p. 223.

The Lord of Love, omnipresent, dwelling
In the heart of every living creature,
All mercy, turns every face.  

The Lord of Love is supreme, who through grace
Moves us to seek in our own hearts 
The light that shines forever.

The Lord of Love is the inner Self of all,
Hidden like a little flame in the heart.
Only by the stilled mind can the Lord known.

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