Purpose: To clear a place in your mind where God’s gifts of joy and peace are welcome and experienced.
Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes (if you cannot do this, at least do the alternate).
- Begin with, “I seek but what belongs to me in truth. And joy and peace are my inheritance.”
- Then again embark on a meditation aimed at experiencing the joy God has placed at the center of your being. This lesson speaks of going to the holy altar within you, the deep place in your mind that contains your fundamental devotions (you may want to visualize this altar). You have covered this altar with the meaningless gifts of the world, thereby obscuring God’s gifts. In your meditation, try to clear these gifts away. “We clear a holy place within our minds before His altar” (4:2). Then seek the gifts of joy and peace that God has laid on this altar for you. They are already there, even though you do not see them yet. Ask to recognize them. While seeking them, hold above all else an attitude of confidence, trusting that God’s gifts are your inheritance, that they belong to you, that they have always been yours, and that you can claim them now.
Frequent reminders: As often as you can.
Repeat, “I seek but what belongs to me in truth. God’s gifts of peace and joy are all I want.” Doing so frequently will keep you from losing sight of God’s gifts in between your hourly practice periods.
Today I set aside the complex and focus on two very simple things: joy, and peace of mind. For today I will not concern myself with profound metaphysical truths, nor the invisible reality of my Self. Today I simply seek to know the peace and joy that are mine by right of what I am. I forget about the urgency of my self-made goals, the self-imposed importance of everything I think that I must do. I ignore the man-made standards by which I so often judge myself or let others judge me. Today I center on the only things that are truly important: joy, and peace of mind.
What could be of more value than these? If I lived in a palace, had unlimited wealth, and the partnership of the most perfect mate in the world, and had not peace of mind and joy, I would still be poor. If I lived in a hovel with peace of mind and joy, I would be rich.
And I can have these things; they are my right because of what I am. Joy is my divine right. Peace is my divine right. They are within reach of everyone, regardless of background, regardless of education, regardless of income. Today, in the times I pause to remember, this is what I want to remember. I open myself with gratitude to God Who gave me these gifts; I honor Him by enjoying them. I honor Him by being joyful and peaceful in these five minute periods, and I will not forget in between.
I recall a seminar I did years ago in which we engaged in deep self-searching, attempting to ferret out some of the lies we had been telling ourselves, the negative, self-deprecating thoughts that dragged down our lives. We then distilled these down into what seemed, for each individual, the fundamental lie we were telling ourselves about ourselves. Next, we were asked to take that lie and reverse it, turn it into an affirmation. And finally, we walked about the room, introducing ourselves to one another, and stating our “eternal truth.”
I will never forget one woman, although I forget her name so I will simply call her Carol. She walked up to me, looked me directly in the eyes, and smiled a radiant smile. “Hi!” she said. “I’m Carol, and my joy heals.”
And you know what? It did. Right in that instant. Something clicked within my mind, and I have never forgotten her, never forgotten her joy. She had discovered a truth about herself. Joy heals! When I am joyful, those around me are healed. Haven’t you ever noticed that about other people who are joyful, truly joyful? Their joy heals you. What could be of more value than joy such as that?
Peace heals, too. One peaceful person in a room full of agitated individuals can bring calm to everyone. I choose to be that person today, because it is my right. I settle down in each practice time and “clear a place within [my] mind before His altar” (4:2). I clear that place to receive the eternal gifts, the joy and peace God wants to give me. “Nothing else belongs to us in truth” (4:4). None of the other things I think I want belong to me in the way that joy and peace belong to me. These are “possessions” that bless the world, instead of taking from it. No one loses because I have joy and peace; everyone gains.
I already have these gifts! “I seek but what belongs to me in truth.” Joy belongs to me; peace belongs to me. Thank You, God. Thank You.