Talk 4: Tuning in: Images of Meditation by Liz Watson
Listen to the talk here: Tuning In
For Anyone who would like to read the transcript of the video linked above, please find it below
Slow your breathing and feel your whole self, fully embodied and participating, sit as straight as you are able, place feet slightly apart. Feel your seat as the supportive base to your spine, neck and head…… Gently place your hands comfortably in your lap, and bring your attention to your heart. ……..allow this heart focus to merge all bodily senses into unity, ……simply exist in the silence and space of this present moment. From this awareness focus on the gift of breath, breathe this divine breath of the heart…….. Luxuriate in each breath and slow each inward and outward breath to bring the body into a restful rhythm. In this space enforld any images of yourself, any feelings of past or present and ideas of future into this spacious moment Simply be ‘I am’. Let any sensations be felt in the heart but without forcing anything. This present moment can hold with love both your sense of yes and your sense of no…., your positive images as well as your negative ones, any judgments of yourself and others. Accept any thoughts as your own experience of the present moment, accept all that is with as much love as you can manage in this present moment. Do not push away feelings and allow these to be part of your whole and present person, such things may come and go.
Bring into this rhythm of breath, all that is and all that you love. all created things vibrate on the same frequency and, as we tune into the divine wavelength we tune into each and every created thing. each and everything is resonating with us now and in this eternal sacred present moment. Each created thing has its own true and individual timbre. Let the whole of creation sing in the heart as one glorious harmony.
If you wish, use this space for any personal prayers for yourself or others.
The Kingdom of God is both inside and outside of you
According to the Gospel of St. Thomas, Jesus’s disciples asked him, “When will the kingdom come?” Jesus said, “It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Rather, the kingdom of the Father is [already] spread out upon the earth, and [yet] men do not see it.”
“… Indeed, what you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.”
Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will have preceded you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you [as well]. When you come to know your Self, then you [i.e., your true nature] will be known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons and daughters of the living God.
In Luke 17:20-21 The Pharisees asked him, “When will the kingdom of God come?” He said, “You cannot tell by signs [i.e., by observations] when the kingdom of God will come. There will be no saying, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is [experienced] within you.”
Maranatha: As we prepare ourselves for our prayer mantra lets remember we are not trying to get rid of our thoughts or push them out or empty our mind. We are really saying, “It doesn’t matter what the thoughts do; I am simply not interested in them. I am going to keep my attention fixed on the mantra.” We do not need to use any energy to dispel them. We use all the energy we need for saying our word and for our breathing. Let the thoughts, feelings and activity of the mind merely come and go.
Lets therefore, contemplate the words of the Psalmist as we sit in the stillness of whatever this never ending present moment brings to us….“Be still and know that I am God” 46:10
With eyes closed gently Chant ‘Maranatha’ in four sylabals( Ma-ra-na-tha) which means ‘Come Lord’ in Aramaic- the original language of Jesus and early Christians, Meditation will last 25 minutes. Mediation will start and end at the sound of the bell.
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, Open our hearts to the silent presence of your son. Maranatha…Come Jesus Lord, begin to silently say the prayer word Maranatha….forgiving yourself and returning to the mantra if you find yourself forgetting to say it.
John 3.3 from the Aramaic Peshitta version of the New Testament
Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You ask about my mission and what I am doing here”
“By the sacred earth of the holy one on which we stand, by the ground of faith and confidence I have that God includes everything,
Let me tell you this:
“Unless you are re-born from the first beginning-
The first moment of the Cosmos-
You will not be able to understand the relm of God.
Even if it appears before you, you will not be able to see it,
Or be illuminated by the visionary power of the Holy one.
First you must experience, in your own awareness,
the original dawning of power and light
that we share with all that lives
Heaven and Earth- A verse based on Genisis by Neil Douglas- Klotz
The ‘heaven’ is in us
Vibrates through creation,
Rising like a volatile mixture of fire and water.
The shem of the holy one vibrates
Name, light and atmosphere
Constantly telling us
Even when we deny it.
That nothing is ever separate.
This shemayin extends
From a centre that could be anywhere
To a border that could be everywhere.
It is part of what could be created.
The Hindu sage Vivekananda, has also written:
Sit by the edge of the dawn / and the sun will rise for you.
Sit by the edge of the night / and the stars will shine for you.
Sit by the edge of the stream / and the nightingale will sing for you.
Sit by the edge of silence / and God will speak to you.
Closing Prayer: May this group be a true spiritual home for the seeker, a friend for the lonely, a guide for the confused.
May those who have prayed here be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In the silence of this room may all the suffering in the world encounter the power that will console, uplift and renew the human spirit.
May this silence be a power to open our hearts to God, in love and peace. May the beauty of divine life fill all who pray here with joyful hope. .May all who come here weighed down with the problems of humanity, leave giving thanks for the wonder of human life.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord
End: Take a few moments to come back to the responsibilities of your day
Talk 4. Tuning In
If you are a musical sort of person, you will probably be familiar with the tuning fork, but if you are not, let me just describe it briefly. A tuning fork is a U-shaped piece of metal which you can tap and it vibrates to give you a specific note. It gives a true note. Let us say the note ‘A’. So if you want to know what the note ‘A’ is in order to be able to sing it accurately, the tuning fork is the way to do it. It is the way to tune yourself in to the true ‘A’. If you are tuned into the tuning fork, you know you’re always going to be right. The tuning fork always gives you a true ‘A’. Well, as most people who sing or are musicians find, it is quite difficult to get the true note all the time on their own and to stay on it unwaveringly.There is now an electronic version of the tuning fork for the smartphone and when you use it, you get this lovely picture of the metal vibrating at a particular frequency, a particular wavelength. So when I sing, I am trying to get my voice to tune in, to get into the same vibration, onto the same wavelength and to become one with that particular note. I find that a really helpful way to think about Jesus and what the life of Jesus means for us today. I think of Jesus as a human being whose humanity is perfectly tuned in to the divine frequency, to the divine wavelength, the divine note; perfectly tuned in to the Father. And I think the message we can take from that is that in Jesus, every other human being has that same capacity to resonate with God, to sing the same song as God, you might say, to reverberate with God. That sort of understanding is, I think, very helpful in making sense of what it might mean to imitate Jesus or to follow Jesus – words that are very often used in Christian discourse. Thinking along these lines, we quickly realise that following: Jesus or imitating Jesus is not so much about reading the gospel stories, observing what Jesus did and working out how to do the same. After all, I cannot possibly be a male Jew who lived two thousand years ago! It is more about doing things the way he did by trying to get on to the Father’s wavelength and then living out the effects and the consequences of that, singing this new tune in our own time and our own place and in our own way. So when we sit to meditate, we have this simple tuning device for getting on to the divine wavelength. We have the mantra, the mantra which helps us to resonate with the spirit of Jesus dwelling in our heart. We give our word, our tuning device, our mantra, our attention. We try to resonate with it and when we go out of tune with it, when we wander off, when our attention becomes vague or unfocused, we come back. We retune, we refine our tuning, we refine the closeness of attention that we are giving to it.And although what happens during the time of meditation may sometimes be easy and feel good, or sometimes be more distracted and not feel so satisfactory, what we generally feel afterwards is better, more spacious, more harmonious, more in tune with our self. We feel more ‘ourself’ and we will generally discover that it helps our day go better because of that. But that is not all. It is not only that through our daily practice of meditation we become more harmonious with our self, more one with our self, more true to our self and able to live out of that much more naturally, but we gradually. discover that we are more connected with others, more harmonious with others, more in tune with others. We are learning to listen better to others, to hear their own particular song, to get on to their wavelength. We are learning to harmonise with them, we are learning to appreciate that mine is not the only note I can hear or want to hear or care about hearing. The marvellous thing about this divine frequency is that all created things vibrate on that same frequency and, if we tune in to the divine wavelength, then we are inevitably tuning in to the wavelength on which each and everything is resonating. Each created thing has its own true and individual timbre. Just as each person in a choir has their own particular quality of voice, a unique voice, to bring to it, when they come together they sing and create one glorious harmony. So sit down, sit still, say your word, and listen to it faithfully with ever-deepening attention
WCCM Meditation in Romsey
There is a weekly WCCM Christian Meditation Group in Romsey Abbey, based on the teachings of the World Centre for Christian Meditation
Romsey Abbey: Every Tuesday Evening at 7.30pm in the Abbey (the main door will be locked, entrance through the Choir vestry door) Email Fiona email@example.com or telephone 1794 518406
The Wisdom Centre, Romsey: Friday 11-12am, for information telephone 01794 830206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
John Main OSB (1926–1982) was a Roman Catholic Benedictine monk and priest who presented a way of Christian meditation which utilized a prayer-phrase or mantra. In 1975 Main began Christian meditation groups at Ealing Abbey, his monastery in London. This was the origins of the ecumenical network of Christian meditation groups which have become the World Community for Christian Meditation https://www.wccm.org/home (WCCM). Useful videos can be found here:http://www.youtube.com/user/meditatiowccm