Late yesterday afternoon, ten of us sat in a sunset-washed yoga studio, practicing being still together, noting in the barest, sparest way how it feels to be in a body. By noting in a bare and spare way, I mean we practiced gently restraining thought, allowing our sensations and feelings to arise and present themselves effortlessly, without commentary and judgments–including judgments about our inevitable thoughts and judgments.
For me, the stillness of our shared meditation had a holiness about it that went beyond associating the day with Easter. There was a sense of returning to the greater Whole that went beyond the experience of remembering that I have a body, that I am present on the earth, breathing and alive. Sometimes when we sit, the sensation of being whole opens into the sense that we are part of a greater wholeness–a light of awareness appears that seems to come from a greater Whole.
After we sat together, someone shared an experience that happened during the recent Passover holiday. In the midst of an ordinary reaction to a family member, another way of seeing and feeling suddenly opened in her, allowing her to see that her sister and everything that was all right, just perfect just as it was. I thought of something that I once heard from a great teacher–that the truth cannot be thought, that the truth is not a proposition but living reality to be perceived. Sometimes, as my friend did, we experience being filled with a light of awareness that is finer than thought, that is made of an energy that is not separate from wisdom or compassion, not separate from the Whole.
Einstein famously tells us that problems cannot be solved on the same level they are created. Meditation is one way to contact this higher level. Another noble friend who came to meditate last night, compared meditation and prayer, offering that mediation is being with what is while prayer is more often seeking (even if it is seeking to praise). We spoke of the kind of prayer that is deep listening—a listening that is not separate from the sense of being listened to by a greater Whole. We could substitute seeing or receiving or perceiving.
In years past during our Sunday meditations, we spoke about the word “contemplate,” that it comes from a Latin root that means to come into the temple (originally not a building but an empty space set apart for reading augurs or signs—for reading the way things are). Sometimes when we sit and turn our attention to our experience just as it is, when we re-enter the temple of our own mysterious bodies, we can perceive what is usually imperceptible, that we are surrounded and filled by the unknown.
This week, if you wish, join us as see how deeper truths open to us at moments, right in the midst of our ordinary lives. Open to the possibility that a great and mysterious Wholeness can find you right where you are…as if we have never really been apart.