I have finally been getting back to my meditation practice. Little Michael (now six months) is still not sleeping through the night, so I’m still up with him each night. But meditation is so foundational for my life that I’m just utterly fed up with not doing it. So I now get up early and just stumble through the rest of the day on the sleepy side.
My main method of meditation, drawn from Lesson 183 (“I call upon God’s Name and on my own”) is very relational. It is very much about trying to have a total encounter with God by calling His Name, rather than trying to have a more impersonal experience of peace or bliss or higher consciousness.
I have been feeling so grateful to get back to this, and while feeling that, what came to mind was a line from the Workbook. This line speaks of our heavenly relationship with God. It goes, “In this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal.”
I have always loved that line, since my earliest days with the Course. But now I suddenly saw so much more meaning in it. It paints a picture of a relationship that is so deep and so close that words aren’t needed (“communication far transcends all words”). Communication takes place through more direct means. In this relationship, words are just too indirect, too formal, unable to bear the weight of all the meaning that must be conveyed.
And yet, since we associate clear communication with words, when we hear “no words,” we might be tempted to think that communication would be vague and fuzzy, like looking at a scene through foggy glasses. Yet it’s just the opposite here. The communication instead “exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey.” In this wordless knowing of each other, what passes between us is far deeper than what words could possibly convey, and far higher, too. What passes between us, although wordless, is total.
Do you see now what I’m seeing in that line? I’m seeing a brief portrait of the most profoundly intimate relationship that there could be, in which the two parties share everything, share their very being, with nothing held back. It is directly heart to heart, soul to soul, with no barriers in between. Even words would be a subtle barrier, getting in the way of direct and total communion. It is perfect relationship, the kind that we long for here on earth yet never seem to achieve. That is our true relationship with God.
If we really were in such a relationship, wouldn’t it fulfill every longing? Wouldn’t we be completely sated, content? As the end of the line says, wouldn’t it bring “peace eternal”?
So what I did was spend a day making this line the focus of my practice. It was a wonderful day of practice. It got me in touch with what I love about Name of God meditation. That kind of meditation gives me just the tiniest taste of that perfect relationship. Or maybe “taste” is too strong of a word and what I feel is just a stirring, a deep pull toward that perfect relationship. Either way, it’s a step toward that “eternal, still relationship,” however small.
Then I realized the obvious. This line is from the end of Lesson 183, which is where that Name of God meditation is taught. The line is describing what that meditation will cause us to experience, if we go all the way with it. Indeed, the next line says that very thing: “In our Father’s Name, we would experience this peace today.” So I had the same idea that was embedded in the lesson, that this technique of meditation is a distant reflection of my true perfect relationship with Him, a reflection that, done right, can usher me into the experience of that relationship.
Anyway, this is all a way of saying that I’m very happy to be meditating again, and that I’m very happy to be on a path in which God is the perfect relationship partner. I just don’t relate anymore to the more impersonal pictures of God that are so prevalent out there.