“You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle
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Jesus instructed his followers: “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
This passage is one of the key passages in the foundation of Centering Prayer, a Christian form of meditation.
Basically, Centering Prayer is resting in God.
That means simply being present to the Divine Presence.
But while sounding simple, as you may know, it’s not so easy!
Our minds don’t like silence and non-activity.
Our minds like to fill such voids with constant chatter.
Many mistakenly believe that they are their thoughts.
They get attached to and identify with their thinking minds.
It comes as a revelation to them that they can actually observe their thoughts.
This was a revelation to me years ago.
If I can observe my mind’s activity, then who is the “I” observing the stream of thoughts?
In the words of Thomas Merton, that would be my true self.
Or you could say it’s my soul or my consciousness.
It’s really the only thing that is real.
The construct that my mind has concocted to form an identity in this world will one day dissolve.
It is ego-generated.
But the real me, my true self, will not dissolve.
It will go on when my body dies.
At least, that’s what I believe.
Near Death Experiencers have affirmed this belief in that they have experienced the continuation of consciousness despite their bodies being clinically dead!
What would be helpful to each of us would be to, in a sense, die before we die.
This is why Jesus taught to lose your life to find it (Matthew 16:25).
The ego’s false version of you has to be let-go-of so that your true self can rise.
That’s why Jesus also said that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit (John 12:24).
In today’s scripture passage, Jesus gives us a great way to practice this dying-to-self on a daily basis: by going to your inner room (meaning inside yourself), closing the door (as in closing your eyes and resting in your interior), and praying without using words (as in saying nothing and letting your thoughts dissipate).
Just resting in God, in the Divine Presence, is very transformative.
It helps lead you to your true self which is as close to you as your very breath.
Listen to the song of the day “Breathe On Me” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.
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Remember: God loves you!