Come to me,
all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
- Matthew 11: 28
Today, as we prepare to close the fourth part of our journey and enter into a summer break, we pause and reflect, breathe in and breathe out: What have we heard? What has spoken to our heart? What do we wish to carry forward? Here are some meditations for our summer days.
"Our 'existence' may be a far wider and greater existence than we grasp. Must we confine existence to the present moment of time in the visible world? The idea of the fourth dimension, of higher space, changes our view of existence. … All that we have done so far may be gathered into some spiritual existence, into a kind of spiritual sum-total, and all that we are doing now, in what we take as our sole existence, may be effecting, and maybe effected by, this spiritual sum-total of existence. … The whole thing is interlocked, one system, beyond our logical minds and beyond any visual image by which it can be represented. … If you thought that we had only today, and not tomorrow, would we think it worth while to undertake what we are doing at this moment? Can we not realize that we must have a future – that our whole being is constructed to have a future. … Remember that we do not live only in this little visible moment, but in a world extended in every direction, visible and invisible.
"… Our own insufficiency is that we live in a fraction of ourselves, in a narrow I, in a narrow vision, in time, in a belief that the material universe of the moment is all. The perfecting of oneself, the attainment of unity, is connected with … a full-filling which must mean, to begin with, an overcoming of our narrow temporal vision – so that now we can understand better why the Hermeticist advises the exercise of thinking of the life as living at all points, as a movement towards 'eternal life.'
"… This Work is very slow; and it mustn't be heavy. It must be a beautiful thing. You must never be serious about it – and yet, no people on earth must be more serious."
- Maurice Nicoll, Centenary Fragments
"The world desperately needs people free of cultural illusions and who are undertaking a dedicated exploration of true reality. Not just to know the material nature of things, but also to know the very Source of everything that exists."
- Thomas Keating, From The Mind to The Heart
Many words have been spoken; now is the time to rest and let a "word" come forth to meet you from your inmost being.
A powerful way of embodying a truth is by affirmation. After reflection, deep listening and pondering these offerings, you might choose a phrase as an affirmation and carry it forth with you into the next part of our journey.
Examen: Reflect on what you have been experiencing these past six months since the beginning of our journey together. You are invited to review your original intention. These teachings, along with a Centering Prayer practice, have been transformative in the lives of many people. What movements are occurring within you? Have participating in this journey and practicing Centering Prayer evoked a change in your sense of "I"?
Reminder: The Spiritual Journey email program will be paused during July and August, to resume again on Monday, September 2. Here are some suggestions for continuing your study and practice during the next two months:
- Review any emails, video excerpts or transcripts you found particularly helpful or you wish to take in again more deeply. You will find the videos and transcripts here. An archive of previous emails may be found here.
- Choose an affirmation and/or a Work idea to guide you during these summer months.
- If you reside in Austin, attend the Thursday Work class, the Saturday Scriptorium, or the Wednesday evening contemplative service.
- If you are unable to attend these offerings or live outside of Austin, free recordings are available for the Wednesday and Sunday services here.
- Recordings are available for the Thursday night work class for a small fee - $6 for a CD and $4 for an mp3 instant download. You can find these recordings here.
- If you would like support for your daily Centering Prayer practice and engagement in a contemplative community, the Meditation Chapel Zoom groups are free and open to all. Find out more and register here.
- Each Journey Group is free to discern whether they will continue to meet, take a break or something in-between.