Our true nature, an unknown that cannot be named because it has no form, can be sensed in the stop between two thoughts or two perceptions. These moments of stop constitute an opening to a Presence that is without end, eternal. Ordinarily we cannot believe in this because we think anything without form is not real. So we let pass the possibility of experiencing Being. The highest form of intelligence is meditation, an intense vigilance that liberates the mind from its reactions, and this alone, without any willful intervention, produces a state of tranquility. Then it is not contemplation that arises, but a state of attention in which there is no longer a sense of ‘I,’ someone resent to participate in the experience, to identify with it. So there is no experience. Understanding this at the deepest level is important for one who wishes to know what truth is, what God is, what is beyond the constructions of the human mind……..Jeanne de Salzmann
we are good at riding high on the symbolism of our intellectualization…..it keeps our circumstances in control…..we can figure anything out…..we can trust…..but when we are in the dark, beyond what is true and what is real, then we have found our soul, the movement of life that came long before trust…..
Already the ripening barberries are red,
and the old asters hardly breathe in their beds.
The man who is not rich now as summer goes
will wait and wait and never be himself.
The man who cannot quietly close his eyes
certain that there is vision after vision
inside, simply waiting until nighttime
to rise all around him in the darkness-
he is an old man, it’s all over for him.
Nothing else will come; no more days will open;
and everything that does happen will cheat him-
even you, my god. And you are like a stone
that draws him daily deeper into the depths.
The use of lofty words in meditation most often leads to what has been called ‘target-shooting meditation.’ Here we form a mental construct of something we believe we should experience. We think we are actually having a real meditation experience when in fact we have simply fabricated it out of words and longing. To try to make a path by putting one aspect of oneself in opposition to another aspect is inescapably to create a world of frantic anguish. The result is like a crazy person trying to realize his or her own conception of sanity. In the very first moment of meditation, there is a profound realization: we recognize that we do not have to take our thoughts as completely real; we are not compelled to act on them. This is a small, ordinary experience, but one with profound implications. Nonetheless, during a period of practice or at its conclusion, if we think that our meditation has gone well or poorly, this is an infallible sign that our meditation has drifted into reliance on some concept or other, even if this concept is merely the memory of our first sense of openness. Meditation establishes the equality of the known and unknown in our journey and our living. Meditation, then, is not a matter of developing mastery or control. It is singing in silence and chaos……Douglas Penick