Meditation as Encounter with God: Summary of a Class Presentation

I really enjoyed the class yesterday, which was on meditation as encounter with God. Afterwards, I got a little clearer on the overall picture, which goes like this:

The Course’s meditations that have God as their goal, when all added together, have the following characteristics:

Letting go of everything that is not God

  • Withdrawing our attention from the world
  • Clearing the mind of thoughts and activity—stillness
  • Reducing words to either no words, or the repetition of a few words or only one—silence
  • Letting go of all beliefs—open mind
  • Letting go of all things we value in this world—empty hands

Pointing our mind in the direction of God

  • Putting all our attention on God
  • Directly addressing God, as a call or invitation
  • Desire to be with God—open heart
  • Confidence—being confident that joining with Him is possible and inevitable

This second aspect itself has two parts:

  1. “I come to You”–coming to God, moving in His direction
  2. Waiting for God to come to us, in a state of “silent expectancy” or “still anticipation”

So the Course’s techniques for God-centered meditation boil down to a very simple idea:

Making ourselves fully present to God and fully absent to everything else.

Oh, and here’s the story I told:

There is a story of a simple French farmer who would come daily to the chapel in Ars, France. Pastor at the time and future saint, Fr. John Vianney, asked the man about how he prayed, to which the man responded: “I just look at Him, and He looks back at me.”


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