Saturday, August 8, 2009

Contemplation Conundrum

First, the personal statistics: Saturday, August 08, 2009

Anniversary day: 24 years sober, 6 years monastery free. Three job doors closed yesterday but I worked on trusting God: I am here to fill the role He assigns. Ego wants me to have fear about the one seemingly sure employment potential I have right now. I’m pretty ok.

I got up at 3:30 am with the alarm. I found myself in a good mood. I had no trouble getting up. Went to my table for prayer and meditation. I remembered then that it was an anniversary of sorts. At 4:30, I got in the car for an hour long drive to the city. During the drive, the word "humble" crossed my mind. I felt humble about sobriety. I felt humble that I may be given a new job next week. I felt humble about the spiritual journey I am on. I stopped for gas and felt humble that I took something from the earth and am going to burn it up for my own personal use. At 5:30, I started running in a little park there, 10 miles in 2 hours. I felt humble that I had no residual problems from yesterday's 20 mile run. Bought some peaches at the farmer's market there, coffee at the quick stop and to an 8 am fellowship meeting. Bought some more groceries, drove the 50 miles home, went for a 4 mile walk just to be sure I love the heat. The rest of the day devoted to voluntary spirituality and contemplation.

I asked God today, "How do I explain contemplation? What do you say?"

Here is God's inane response:

Looky there: Spirit Flower heard my Call to contemplation. I Call lots of people, all in fact, but few hear. Those who do hear don’t know what to do, become discouraged and quit the process. Spirit Flower has had her share of confusion and discouragement; but she perseveres anyway. The problem with true contemplation is that any one particular experience is different from the text books and the methods for any one individual are different from the text books. Spirit Flower used books and religion for learning for many years. Eventually, she will have to come to grips with her own process and go deep into it. There is no other way.

It is the summer of 2009. Spirit Flower has been out of work for about seven weeks. She has done a lot of running but also spent some of that time sitting in silence. Every day, we face each other over a timer. Silently watching each other and asking the same question, “Why?” I think I invented contemplation, I’m not sure. But I know I practice it with each and every one of my contemplatives. The difficult part is the truth of what it is: indefinable, unexplainable, addictive, incomprehensible foolishness. But necessary, oh so necessary. I must have contemplatives and they must practice even if they have no idea why. I am God and I am not helping, am I?

Spirit Flowers feels tears well up as she ponders this. Without words or evidence, she feels devotional love.


You know you are really a mystic when:
- You believe God first.
- You are not invested in the world.
- Peace is your first choice.

Oh sure, you can still become a mystic the old fashioned way: join a monastery and get a guru. But most of us who hear the Call, either can’t or won’t become cloistered monks. No problem. The office of mystic is open to all. The practices and procedures, including those you make up yourself, can be studied, learned and practiced. Although no “master” will ever teach me tantric secrets, I don’t need to know. The simplest quietest meditation will serve me. Don’t be fooled however about the time, diligence, patience and mistakes necessary to consummate the process. But if you really want to be a mystic, you’ll devote yourself to using the tools God gives you.

Honest to God, I feel so inadequate explaining to people why I prefer to sit on a cushion for a few hours rather than watch say a football game on TV or go shopping and out to dinner.

1 comment:

Spirit Flower said...

I feel humble about contemplation and God's response.