Thursday, July 15, 2021

practicing love



I don’t practice any particular prayer discipline.
 I have no specific technique I use to meditate. 
I know these methods work for many people. 
But for me, when I tried them, I just spent all my time 
rejecting my wandering thoughts, over and over.
 I’ve tried to practice these disciplines, but now I don’t worry about them anymore.
 Their only purpose anyway is to bring a person to union with God. 
Why should I fast or set aside particular prayer times or deny myself 
in some way when I’ve found the shortcut?
 If every moment I’m consciously practicing love, 
doing all things for God’s sake, then I don’t need to worry 
about these spiritual methods.

My thoughts are the biggest obstacles to this way of living my life. 
The little useless thoughts that drift through my head, making mischief,
 distracting me. I’ve learned to reject them as soon as I notice them.
 They have nothing to do with the reality at hand—
nor with my eternal salvation—
and once I stop paying attention to them, 
I can get back to communing with God.

I have abandoned all particular forms of devotion,
 all prayer techniques. My only prayer practice is attention.
 I carry on a habitual, silent, and secret conversation with God 
that fills me with overwhelming joy.

When we walk in the presence of God, the busiest moment of the day 
is no different from the quiet of a prayer altar. Even in the midst of noise
 and clutter, while people’s voices are coming at you from all directions,
 asking for your help with many different things, you can possess God
 with the same serenity as if you were on your knees in church.

I can’t always maintain my focus on God, of course.
 I’ll suddenly discover that I’ve barely given God a thought in a good long while.
 Usually what gets my attention is that I’ll notice how wretched I’m feeling—
and then I’ll realize I’ve forgotten God’s presence. But I don’t worry about it
 too much. I just turn back to God immediately.
 And having realized how miserable I am when I forget God, 
my trust in God is always that much greater.

The Divine Presence occupies the here and now.
 If you are not aware of this—become so!
 ~ Brother Lawrence
from Brother Lawrence: A Christian Zen Master
 with thanks to Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation


Mystic Meandering said...

Love-ly :)

jacquin said...

This reminds me of the Dao De Jing 48: In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

Less and less is done
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
(Trs. Feng & English)