Awakened to our eternal oneness with God

With help from the book Christian Meditation by James Finley

Meditation is a word that we hear a lot these days.

It can be applied in many different ways to many different forms of spirituality.

Within the Christian faith, meditation is also referred to as contemplative prayer and contemplation and has always been a rich part of the tradition.

James Finley says that..

… meditation is this transformative process of shifting from surface, matter-of-fact levels of consciousness to more interior, meditative levels of awareness of the spiritual dimensions of our lives.

Those “matter-of-fact” levels of consciousness can also be described as “ego consciousness, the ego being the “I want, I think, I need, I feel, I remember, I like, I don’t like” and so on.

The ego is what helps us get up and go about our day-to-day lives and is a gift from God.

But it can also get hurt and violated and meditation can play a powerful role in its healing process.

James Finley says…

Through meditation we can learn to be less anxious, less addictive, less depressed – in short, less subject to all the ways in which we as human beings suffer and, in our suffering, contribute to the suffering of others.

Although the ego is absolutely necessary for daily living it is not fertile ground in which to realise a developing, deepening union with God.

A daily mediation practice is to learn to go beyond the ego into more interior, deeper states of consciousness and be (as James Finley says) awakened to that eternal oneness with God that is the very reality of ourselves and of everyone and everything around us. 

Mediation includes as well as transcends the ego but as ego-consciousness yields and gives way to mediative awareness, we begin to recognise the surprising nearness of God already perfectly present in the intimate recesses of our very being.

God is here, all around us, within us – the very source and ground of our being as in Acts 17:28…

In Him we live, move and have our being.

But, James Finley says…

…when subject to the limitations of ego, we tend not to experience the divine mystery that is the very reality of who we deep down really are and are called to be as persons created in the image and likeness of God.

When practising contemplation as a faith practice we are opening ourselves to the realisation that our very being and the being of everyone and everything around us IS the generosity of God.

It is a practice of awakening to what already is.

When engaged in contemplation we rest in God resting in us. We are at home in God at home in us.

In mediation we are detaching from our normal reliance on thoughts, memories and other aspects of ego-consciousness that can block the contemplative states of realising our oneness with God.

There are many different ways to engage in contemplative practice but the aim is the same in each one.

It’s going to a deeper place within ourselves and therefore within God who is dwelling within us.

We go beyond and deeper than the ego noise which largely happens in the head space.

We drop down into a still, quiet knowing where God is entwined about us and we with God.

We enter a space where we can let go of everything else and be present to “simply this”.

In the temporary falling away of all that entangles us, of all the demands, of all that is ego, we are utterly free and awake to our oneness with The Divine.

I will return with more reflections on this topic and continue to offer different contemplative practices.

For now, if you want more you can go to the the meditation tab on my website

So, as we end I’m going to facilitate a short contemplative practice.

Coming to stillness by sitting straight and placing your hands in you lap.

Make sure you’re comfortable but attentive.

Bring attention to breathing aware of the movement of air gently in and out like the sea ebbing and flowing to shore.

Take a few deeper breaths filling the lungs fully, pausing at the top of the inhale for a few seconds, exhaling fully and pausing again before inhaling.

Repeat this a few times.

As you slowly exhale allow the shoulders to sink, your body to rest and be fully supported by the chair.

Know yourself to be seen, held and loved by the ground of all being.

Now, gently bring attention away from the head and move downwards inside yourself to the centre, the core of your being.

Imagine being in the centre of the place where the true Divine essence of you is entwined with the fullness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Be aware of this oneness. You with the Trinity.

Be aware of the stillness, peace and love that is here in this space and moment.

This is all there is, let everything else fall away, if just for these moments.

Be aware of what you notice here, in yourself, your body, your spirit. Let your noticing come to you and then drift away. You don’t need to cling to anything.

Surrender to being fully known and fully one with God in this place.

All is well, there is freedom and peace.

We will stay here in this wide open space of love for a few moments.

Continue to stay present by returning to breath.

Let any thoughts come through and then leave again.

As your Spiritual Director, I will be a companion on your spiritual journey, creating a safe place to help you discover the truth about yourself, about God and about your relationships with others.