July 10 Readings

Weekly Readings ImageAn excerpt from John Main OSB, MONASTERY WITHOUT WALLS: The Spiritual Letters of John Main (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 20o6), pp. 132-133.

[W]hatever we say about the mystery of God expanding in our life, or about meditation, misses the wholeness and the simplicity of the reality.

 One aspect or another must get ignored or distorted while we talk or think about another. In talking of meditation, for example, as the way to lose our life and go beyond self-consciousness, we can neglect how it is equally the way to find ourselves and become more alive. Similarly, we talk of silence as the medium of this discovery. But talking of silence may suggest that it is only the absence of sound or image. Silence has to be experienced to be understood. Only in the mystery of silence can we see that it is the union of love, total and unconditional acceptance. Silence is the overcoming of time and space. All limiting patterns of mind dissolve in communion.

To understand this in our own experience it is only necessary to begin to commit ourselves to it as truth. Confirmation follows commitment. Then externally we begin to see reality as only true interiority can reveal it. Vision and understanding expand from the centre where the mind rests in silence in meditation. Let your mind rest in the heart, say the Upanishads. Set your mind on the kingdom before everything else and all else will be given to you as well, says the gospel. We are most truly ourselves when we are rooted in the silence of this centre. The problem is only our distracted possessiveness. But the Spirit waits patiently for us in its own eternal silence. Our daily pilgrimage of meditation gradually teaches that we are there already. . . .

Meditate for Thirty Minutes. Remember: Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer phrase "Maranatha." Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let them pass. Just keep returning your attention – with humility and simplicity to saying your word in faith, from the beginning to the end of your meditation.

After Meditation, an excerpt from the Shvetashvatara Upandishad, THE UPANISHADS, tr. Eknath Easwaran (Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1995), p. 223.

The Lord of Love, omnipresent, dwelling
In the heart of every living creature,
All mercy, turns every face to himself.

He is the supreme Lord, who though his grace
Moves us to seek him in our own hearts.
He is the light that shines forever.

He is the inner Self of all,
Hidden like a little flame in the heart.
Only by the stilled mind can he be known.