Also in the series:
There is an old saying that when you take one step the Universe takes ten. Here’s a little exercise I want you to try which could be seen as taking that one step. I call it encounterment, because it’s something I stumbled upon quite by accident one evening while meditating.
In this, the concluding part of the God series, it’s time to stop talking about God, and start engaging with this thing, this part of ourselves, of everything, which we’ve obscured with foggy images, and skewed with mistaken interpretations of parent and authority.
Begin by either sitting comfortably or lying down, close your eyes and enter into a meditative state. Just let the world drift away. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just get into a comfortable state. Briefly scan your body; feet, ankles, legs, lower back, upper back, neck and shoulders. This is just to notice if there is any tension there, and then let it go. It’s surprising how much tension we hold in our bodies.
Mentally tell your body to relax as you scan, and then enjoy that beautiful feeling as your body responds. Don’t forget your eyes and jaw line. Often we clench our teeth unconsciously and hold tension in the jaw area, as well as around the eyes. Spend no more than five to ten minutes doing this, and then forget about it. Don’t become obsessed whether some part of your body is fully relaxed or not.
Now mentally say, ‘I want to talk to God, or All That Is, or my Higher Self’, whatever name you feel comfortable with.
If you find your thoughts are distracting you just set them aside. Agree to deal with whatever’s distracting you later.
Now, very simply, I want you to imagine that you have no body, don’t so much think about this, just feel it. Feel the empty space where your body is now, the air rushing through it. Be that empty space. Imagine it being drenched in beautiful light. Feel the nothingness. Feel yourself as nothing. Don’t be afraid of this. It’s not as scary as you might think.
Like to go further? Ok. Now try reaching into this nothing. And now reach a little further, and a little further still. See what this brings up for you. I can’t say what exact experience you’ll have. But I believe you will have a response. When we engage with something more than ourselves, that something seems to reach back, to engage with us.
When we ‘awaken’ to it, it suddenly awakens to us, in us. I think it’s our willingness that is the key. It is our desire that causes it to come into our knowing, to become aware of us, and our desiring. The two reaching out, or rather reaching in, is what makes the encounterment.
You first learned about God through stories. And these stories, along with attendant circumstances, went on to form ideas about yourself and what you are in relation to the power that created you. Your story of God is your story of yourself.
Simply recognise that you are inventing this and all these new versions of yourself as you go along. That’s all.
It’s hard for us not to think of God as outside us, whether we use the model of parent, or some other. That’s because we’ve been conditioned to do so. But God is, as all the great teachers have told you, inside.
Still we keep looking to the sky.
There is a voice that doesn’t use words - listen!
Reality is merely an illusion - albeit a persistent one.