Saturday, May 3, 2014
Meditation and desire
"Bazillions," I replied, explaining some of the countless approaches to this discipline.
This morning, however, after I finished meditating and was walking the famous dog Isabel with my wife, it occurred to me that no matter how many kinds of meditation there are, there is only one team to meditation — and that aim is to open to the inward flow of the divine.
If I don't open to the inflow, there is no Being. And without Being, there is no life. Meister Eckhart points out,
...as for the man who has no acquaintance with inward things, he does not know what God is, just as a man who has wine in his cellar: if he has not drunk it or tried it, he does not know that it is good. So it is with people who live in ignorance: they do not know what God is, and yet they think and imagine they are living. That knowing is not from God: a man must have a pure and clear knowledge of divine truth. If a man has right intention in all his works, the beginning of that intention is God and the work of that intention is God Himself and is the pure divine nature, and its outcome is in the divine nature in God Himself. (The complete mystical works, sermon 66, page 335.)
One can live through a whole life outwardly and never know what it is to have Being. Without that, one can have no real goodness; and so, it is possible to live an entire outward life without having goodness, either. The two ideas are tied together, since all being flows from God and all goodness flows from God. If one does not know through divine grace, through the inward flow of divine love into Being, that there is a God and that there is good, of course one thinks that there is no God and that good and bad don't exist; because that person is as ignorant is the one who has not had any wine, and thus presumes wine does not exist.
So there is no reason to meditate other than to open to the inward flow; and only meditation that understands that aim, introduced and taught by people who are actively engaged in a relationship with the inward flow, can be a real meditation or have a real meaning. Otherwise, people just teach exercises; and while exercise is good, alone, it cannot lead to health. We don't sit in order to manipulate energy; we sit in order to receive it and allow it. It has its own action which we should not touch.
One sometimes opens to the inward flow when sitting in prayer almost instantaneously; at other times, it takes a long while, or doesn't happen at all. But one must always, above all, be in the search for that relationship and that understanding, and not for any other thing. If one has never had an experience of the divine inward flow, or isn't sure what this is, one must search with faith and trust, search intimately, and believe that this is possible; in a certain sense, the more lost and alone I am in the search, the more likely I will open myself to receive something from a different level.
We don't meditate in order to gain powers, or become teachers, or develop some superior attitude, or to acquire inner peace. In fact, we don't meditate for any reason — we just meditate. There is one reason, one single reason, and that is to open to the divine flow of the inward love that God sends us, but that aim is revealed and encompassed by surrender, not by what I want. My desires can bring me nothing; only my surrender has a function here.