Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meditation and Renunciation - The Art of Mind-Body Integration - The Mystical Perspective

These are instructions for you, instructions in opening a “spiritual” door….you will notice they are basically the same, even though they come from men who spoke quite different languages, lived centuries apart, and went their own way. The instructions can be summed up simply” practice renunciation and meditation.

Fundamentally renunciation can be understood as relating to a change in attitude. It is a shift from doing to allowing, from grasping the world to allowing the world to enter us. It is the meditative attitude carried into everyday life.

“Therefore if you desire to discover your soul, withdraw your thoughts from outward and material things, forgetting if possible your own body and its five senses…St John calls for the banishment of memory:

‘Of all these forms and manners of knowledge the soul must strip and void itself, and it must strive to lose the imaginary apprehension of them, so that there may be left in it no kind of impression of knowledge, nor trace of aught so-ever, but rather the soul must remain barren and bare, as if these forms had never passed through it and is total oblivion and suspension. And this cannot happen unless the memory be annihilated as to all its form, if it is to be united with God.’ (St John of the Cross)”

~Walter Hilton, The Scale of Perfection

To have renunciation is to be beyond various forms and colors. We have full appreciation of forms and colors but they are bound to disappear and we should not be caught by that. We do not give them up but accept that they go away; that is renunciation.

~Shunryu Suzuki, Wind Bell 1968

~From Arthur Deikman, Personal Freedom and in Symposium on Consciousness

Art: He Qi

To discover the mystical, the inner viewpoint, one must leave outer viewpoints aside. The process of meditation or contemplative prayer, is inherently designed toward subjective experience and away from objective ideation. Objectification, even of the self, is imperative for a mind acting in the world. In Western culture we are taught and affirmed through the use of the objective, outwardly directed mind. But below the radar of thinking and outward sensing, we bring to our worldly experience, insight, memory, feeling, intuition, all inward sensing mechanisms that influence our thoughts and behavior, yet usually go unrecognized and invalidated.

Hydrogen atom through quantum microscope
In physics, the diagram of an atom is an imaginary objectification of particles and space that assists the scientist in working with energy, which cannot be seen. In the consciousness of human minds, form takes shape out of formlessness, matter out of energy. We can work with what we can objectify, i.e. (thought and) matter.  But we forget that these are mental concepts and impart an assumption of longevity and intense value to material reality.  So which is the longer lived? Energy, of course. All matter, all form is fleeting, including thoughts and concepts which create form.

Meditation is the practice of BEING. It is the practice of the simultaneous PRESENCE of objectivity and subjectivity, of form and formlessness, the body and the mind, the storehouse of subjective experience and the administrator of the body in the physical world. To achieve the convergence of, the integration of, a perception of body experience with mental awareness, one must allow that which is formed  - even the concept of time - to yield to formlessness, one must allow active mind to give way to receptive mind. Renunciation is this yielding: of doing for being, of thought for no thought, of outward sensing for inward sensing, of objectivity for subjectivity, of some thing for no thing. This is the creation of a vessel (form) into which the spirit (formless) may be expressed, the womb in which new life is birthed. It is simply the wisdom we carry within us.

Peace and well-being are yours already. You can access them anytime you wish…to be still and know.

_/\_ Peggy @ Ecumenicus