Lectio Divina Reading
February 24, 2006
St. Theresa’s Words
“If I did not simply live from one moment to the next, it would be impossible for me to keep my patience. I can see only the present, if forget the past and I take good care not to think about the future. We get discouraged and feel despair because we brood about the past and the future. Its is such folly to pass ones time fretting, instead of resting quietly on the heart of Jesus.”
Practicing: THE POWER OF NOW
Chapter one Being and Enlightenment: The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not possessing the entity, the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated.
You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter-beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace-arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
FREEING YOURSELF FROM YOUR MIND
Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old audiotapes that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by “watching the thinker,” which is another way of saying: Listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence. When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: There is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind. So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.
As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence-your deeper self-behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.
Instead of watching the thinker you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment.
In your everyday life, you can practice this by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. Or when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap, and so on. Or when you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Becomes aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence. There is one certain criterion by which you ca measure your success in this practice; the degree of peace that you feel within.
The single most vital step on your journey, toward enlightenment is this: Learn to misidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. The total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it, who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says:” One day, when this, that or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.”
The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind.
Acts 20:24 I consider my life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace.
Philippians 1:3,7 I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for you…It is right that I should think this way about you, you who are companions, with me in grace.
In the fellowship of those who seek to make God the center of their lives, we find friends for the soul. Our fellowship moves past education and station and doctrines and church dominations…even personalities. We companion one another on the journey. Lifting up one another in a supporting network that is the mystical Body of Christ. Their strength becomes our strength, their joy our joy. Brother Lawrence urges us to lift our lives and the lives of others to a God: ‘Do not burden yourself with rules or particular devotions but act with faith, love and humility. One does not become holy all at once…help one another with our advice and still more by our good examples.
Practice. Intend to be a soul friend today. Lovingly attend to a friend, a co-worker, or a family member.
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