Great love and suffering are the natural gateways to transformation and growth, opening us to divine union. They are available to everyone. Contemplation serves as a major catalyst for this journey. It greases the wheels and helps us be ready and willing to deal with great love and great suffering when they come our way. Otherwise, we face the great tasks of life with only our momentary feelings and defenses, which are always inadequate.
Transformation is always a gift to be received. We can’t achieve it; like grace, it is given and can only be received. In other words, it is not a matter of intense willpower. We can nurture openness and presence ahead of time so that when the opportunity comes, we are ready and willing. So throughout this year, there will be consistent invitations to contemplation, such as the “Gateway to Silence” phrases at the close of each meditation. These are merely suggestions; use whatever words, gestures, or ways draw you into non-dual consciousness, letting go of obsessive thoughts and emotions, and simply being in pure and naked Presence.
At the close of each week I’ll also offer a special “Sabbath” meditation, remembering key teachings from the preceding days (which might also be helpful for those who aren’t able to read everything during the week) and introducing a contemplative practice, an opportunity to allow the monkey mind to take its rest.
I hope this format and intentional sequence of study will offer a deep and experiential way of daily (or weekly) spiritual formation, not just for your own personal growth, but for the blessing of the world you live in!
Gateway to Silence:
My true self is love.
Contemplative Prayer (CD, MP3 download)
The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (book)