Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mindfulness and Faith

The Course in Miracles asks that I practice my connection with spirit by sitting quietly for a half an hour – a whole half an hour – and just let my thoughts drift by, not judging or getting involved with them. This is a classic mindfulness meditation found in all – all – metaphysical traditions.

The Course explains that it is difficult to sit thus, even for five minutes, much less thirty, because the ego wants to keep us separate from our oneness with spirit. Sometimes called the ‘monkey mind,’ the ego creates difficulty and distractions to protect itself and our identity with it and keep us from the silence and peace of our spiritual reality. So I am noisy and restless. A fly disturbs my centering, my ear begins to itch, an important task I must prepare for crops up, and dozens of other irrelevant thoughts cross my mind.

When having difficulty with this task and indeed, any task, The Course advises me not to berate, judge or pressure myself. I am simply to say: I’m distracted because I’m afraid of oneness, for if I were really still, thoughts of peace and joy would penetrate my barriers – my bloated nothingness - and I would disappear into spirit and cease to exist as a separate ego identity. Indeed, this does happen, I do disappear into spirit, but only for seconds at a time, which is why it’s so refreshing!

If I do not succeed in today’s exercise or whatever activities I’m doing, I need to know in time I will. If I grapple with thoughts of when, or thinking it will never happen, I but return to the mistake of giving the ego power it does not have. I need to remember that I’m doing the work properly, to the extent I do it ‘miserably,’ but without judgment. Pressuring myself into being perfect, merely reinforces the fearful belief that I am imperfect. The goal of all activity is to lead me to remember my Identity; to open a window to timelessness, in which all sense of self disappears.

Success comes from observing my mind without judgment, from being mindful, and watching how fearful I am of letting the ego distractions go and of seeing spirit’s face instead of my own. Acceptance of this fear becomes the foundation of the trust between spirit and me that will, in time, gently lead me beyond the ego to the joy that awaits us all. Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, but certainly.

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