Saturday, April 23, 2016
I've been meditating for almost four decades now, and my practice has had some pretty distinct stages - about three of them. I’d like to share my experience with you - perhaps it will lighten your load a bit.
The first stage for me is what I call "Getting out of the pounding surf". It lasted for several years. My mind was like a rough ocean surf that I could not shake. It seemed to have me captured in endless pounding. Thank goodness it only lasted for a few years when I found myself up on the beach where it was quieter and I could open my eyes. It was consistent daily practice that lead me out of the turbulence.
The second stage I like to call “Coming to see things as they actually ARE not as I think they OUGHT to be". This period lasted about twenty years where I practiced letting go of all my notions of how my life, you, and the world ought to be - welcoming the truth without my ideas about it. One day, quite suddenly, I came to see that all of my ideas were wrong save three. Grand peace became the signature of my meditation periods after that. The three ideas that remained after all that emptying were:
Nothing is mine,
God is in control of everything, and
everything in this life is temporary.
The third (and current) stage of my practice is to effortlessly sit in worship of God with an overwhelming sense of gratitude knowing that everything is exactly as God would have it be - seeing that the world is not broken. The Arabic term "Ibadah” comes to mind. Ibadah means a humble submission and obedience to the One God. I have come to believe that Ibadah is the purpose of my life. Every practice period is filled with peaceful surrender. Ahhhhh.
You shall have no other gods before Me. (Torah)
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Jesus)
I have not created the jinn and the humans except to worship Me. (Quran)
Peace be upon you,