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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 9/9/2012 -- CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER  (Read 4446 times)
Alan
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« on: September 09, 2012, 02:01:25 AM »

September 9, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
The contemplative mind is the most absolute assault on the secular world
view, because it really is an altogether different mind. The ego cannot
rely upon it to do its bidding.

The calculating mind of the “small self” reads everything in terms
of personal advantage, short-term effort, and “What's in it for
me?”—“How will I look?”, “How can I look good?”. It cannot
see things in a new, imaginative, or disinterested way. It is still
“all about me.”

All the great religions have taught that we need an utterly different
perspective, a different vantage point, and a different starting point
to see things as God sees them. It cannot start with “me,” or it
will end with “me,” too.

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 09:20:29 AM »

John, can you put this is lay terms: contemplative to me is to contemplate the possibilities,
secular suggests sections or part of the church possibly?, ego-what you think/how much
you think of yourself.

I know the terms are meant differently and i want to get a better grasp.

The contemplative mind is the most absolute assault on the secular world
view, because it really is an altogether different mind. The ego cannot
rely upon it to do its bidding.
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 10:19:16 AM »

Lana, we talk about your "mysticism" and to me that's very closely connected to contemplative prayer.

The contemplative mind is the mind that knows, that feels, that is.  It is that mind in you that helped me when my "secular world view," basically the things I thought in my mind, became out of control.  It is that mind that wanted the tech-free zone.

Most of us do not have this contemplative mind, or rather we do but our "noisy" mind won't shut up long enough for us to get to know ourselves.  To "chill out together" with ourselves, much less others.  To us, is appears chaos because it only knows how to look at a beautiful scenic view with a flashlight.  It looks here and sees a branch.  There and sees a stone.  This mind is blinded to the beauty that is this world, because it has not even imagined it being anything "random" or "unstructured."

Remember the Logical Song we talked about?  That is exactly what happens when a person is trained to override their contemplative mind (like little children) with all sorts of complicated thoughts.

So one thing you could answer for me, is to tell us what it's like, when you see what you see in people who want to discuss and debate.  What is it that's keeping them from chillin' enough to enjoy a moment of life?  When people ask pointed questions, they might not even know it; they don't know gentle and smooth, from staccato and abrasive.

Think of the world of contemplative prayer, and contemplative mind, as the world as you see it at its best -- the world where all of our loved ones are with us in our very being.  I am certain is was a contemplative mind which Jesus was talking about here.  Notice the secular, or logical mind, is basically what Jesus is talking about that see but cannot see, hear but cannot hear.  That's like I was until just this year, and I can see why Jesus uses the term "born again."  It is very exciting; more than I care to try to describe in any number of words right now.

Matt 13:10-17
The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.  To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’

Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
‘You shall indeed hear but not understand
you shall indeed look but never see.

Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart and be converted,
and I heal them.’

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

**************************

Jesus spoke to them in parables because if he talked straight, nobody would "get it" until He had them sufficiently prepared for the "new wine" in their "wineskins."  Moreover, they would kill him for telling them their faults; so instead he told stories that just planted seeds of thought, so that for hundreds of years people would ponder those stories.

Kind of like the old "concept ads" that Levi Jeans, following the lead of some Japanese companies, used to have.  They were commercials that didn't even name the product, or maybe right at the end.  But it was scenery, people, events ... the advertisers were trying to "condition" the minds of the people so they could be more easily influenced in the future by putting them in some sort of mood or mindset.  Jesus is planting stories that are just as alive now as they were when He spoke them, and more so with the Internet and printing press.

I think that today is an extremely important day.  I used to get consolations every few months, lately maybe a few dozen a day, but yesterday I felt it so strongly I felt strength and warmth coming from nowhere, and even penetrating my bad leg.  I couldn't even count them.  I felt like I'd ascended into a place that cameras see but I never did before.  One way I think about it is that after 11+ years of contemplative prayer (and as engineer I was impatient so I found ways to speed up the process) it's finally kicking in.  I have the field and the treasure.  I've tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord.  

This is why we have so many problems at CAF.  Those who have a secular, worldly mind and like to debate and argue also can't help themselves from dominating the discussions they're in.  That's why now, after seven years on there, I can finally walk into any thread and nobody can get my goat.  Their spirits are no stronger than mine, even though their words might be fancier or more eloquent.  There have been rare few exceptions in the last couple weeks but I'm getting to where I can at least fool most of the people.

In essence, even nerds have hope in the Cross -- they don't understand it or believe it hard as they try, through their faith they have a chance at healing.

1 Cor 1:17-19
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”

Alan
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 02:59:50 PM »

When i read or listen to a conversation, i avoid ALL facts, story, points...everything you deliver!
I first listen to key words, feelings, tone, intentions, mood and all background information about the teller.
If i can not paint this "Intention" before you speak, i glaze over and skip the post altogether-or until i give it a second go.

Same if someone goes towards me or speaks to me. I read body lang, tone, abrasion, or love BEFORE i contemplate the words.
I want to know the persons intentions, and if i gauge them honorable, i will help. If they are selfish, i guard myself or words.
They are my people traffic signs. Without them, it has no picture, no voice, or passion.

In math, i needed to know how or why the formula was invented and used before i would DARE use it...
I have no use if i can not gauge the intended delivery. I can not watch a movie without first watching the pre-view,
or a book befor the cover and back flap...i need something before i go on.

These are my threads that root a conversation, and the only way i can let the conversation grow or nurture it.

If this does not happen, it is segregated from important, to not useful, and filed under "G" so there is no clutter.

It must have life, breath, and character to catch my eye. THAT is why math sucks...lol...IMHO
Math is a geeks Duplo Blocks...i get it, but they are not MY toy of choice!

Lana
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 06:48:17 PM »

When i read or listen to a conversation, i avoid ALL facts, story, points...everything you deliver!
I first listen to key words, feelings, tone, intentions, mood and all background information about the teller.
If i can not paint this "Intention" before you speak, i glaze over and skip the post altogether-or until i give it a second go.

Same if someone goes towards me or speaks to me. I read body lang, tone, abrasion, or love BEFORE i contemplate the words.
I want to know the persons intentions, and if i gauge them honorable, i will help. If they are selfish, i guard myself or words.
They are my people traffic signs. Without them, it has no picture, no voice, or passion.

In math, i needed to know how or why the formula was invented and used before i would DARE use it...
I have no use if i can not gauge the intended delivery. I can not watch a movie without first watching the pre-view,
or a book befor the cover and back flap...i need something before i go on.

These are my threads that root a conversation, and the only way i can let the conversation grow or nurture it.

If this does not happen, it is segregated from important, to not useful, and filed under "G" so there is no clutter.

It must have life, breath, and character to catch my eye. THAT is why math sucks...lol...IMHO
Math is a geeks Duplo Blocks...i get it, but they are not MY toy of choice!

Lana


Wow.  I'm understanding your perfectly.  A year ago I would have defended against it.  My training, my upbringing, and my profession, all required paying a lot of attention to details because people literally lived or died based on whether I made the tiniest of errors in my figuring.  For me it was a matter of survival to listen to people who might be hostile, and learn things from them that nobody else could learn because I was better at diplomacy.  That's the "special projects" I worked on with Bell Labs -- took factories that fought about the details of how to do things with the other factories, and find a way we can All Get Along.

All of this is nice, and you need this, but there's nothing like finally seeing my ego and my technical mind let go the spotlight enough to let natural light in.  If I went back into the ratrace now, I'd be sooo cool and collected.  I would no longer feel oppressed by the dominant emotional character in the room.   Cheesy

There are no strings on me.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAykOz1gWi4

Which reminds me.  I found an old college buddy for whom I got a job in 1980, who is willing to let me come work with him.  I offered him 2-3 weeks of my help for no pay, just so I can enjoy the time getting back to work on something technical.  Chris said that he knows me well enough he thinks I'd contribute very soon after getting there.  He will ask his boss to make sure, but I think there's a real good chance I am going back to work technical work soon after 11 years of being too sick!!  Grin

I mean, there's even self-esteem involved here, eh?   Grin  (OK, pride.  Roll Eyes  )

So it looks like a good chance I'll go to Chicago for a few weeks, hopefully soon like even this month?  Cool

Alan
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 07:10:43 PM »

BTW Alan, no one ever asked me the question that you did...i had to think about it a lot. Thank you, as it told me a lot about how i see things verses some one else. But every different person brings a different perspective, right? The hard thing is that there are almost zero people like me in a crowd, or even my own family...it is lonely. Since it is so different, you start to believe people when they second guess you so often. Hurts even worse when it is family. No one believes me, they think i am either making it up or fabricating my wishes...AKA lies...to suit my situation.

But getting back to school or work would be wonderful after so long. It certainly will make you wonder what you did with your time, but much easier with a pay check, for shure! (said like lure...da's lingo...lol)

In essence, even nerds have hope in the Cross -- they don't understand it or believe it hard as they try, through their faith they have a chance at healing.

OMGoodness, do not feel badly over what others see...every eye is exactly where God wants it to be. These lessons before us are treasures!
Hope is in, around, above, beneath and before every single child of God...everyone has hope, but they must seek and hold on to it.

LAna
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 07:25:28 PM »

BTW Alan, no one ever asked me the question that you did...i had to think about it a lot. Thank you, as it told me a lot about how i see things verses some one else. But every different person brings a different perspective, right? The hard thing is that there are almost zero people like me in a crowd, or even my own family...it is lonely. Since it is so different, you start to believe people when they second guess you so often. Hurts even worse when it is family. No one believes me, they think i am either making it up or fabricating my wishes...AKA lies...to suit my situation.

Yes, but I believe that here on WF we have broken some barriers, and I see us becoming closer.  Our point of view will never be the exact same as yours, so as long as we keep adding to the visions we have by sharing them with each other, the more I hope we will continue to feel closer in the future.

Quote

OMGoodness, do not feel badly over what others see...every eye is exactly where God wants it to be. These lessons before us are treasures!
Hope is in, around, above, beneath and before every single child of God...everyone has hope, but they must seek and hold on to it.

You are so right.  If we trust in the Holy Spirit, it seems inescapable conclusion that we are all where we are supposed to be.  I finally learned, people need their drama, and they want their games.  Telling them the answer isn't what they are looking for, since they have attached importance to what they do with life.  They say they want to be a saint, but they can't press a button to become one and might even be afraid to press it if they had a button like that.

Alan
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 07:47:58 PM »

There are so many angles...a spectrum of them, to simply learn to die to self. Religion when it includes silence, is the holy grail. No need to debate, challenge, announce, confront...these are about trying to be right. When this is lost, we find our little niche with God, and this is when the journey begins. I want the peace to be able to do this, but i am not there...i do not seek these vision possibilities because the negative reactions are influencing my growth. They can not say i am lying if i have nothing to tell or report. Stupid, but it has planted a fear in me called avoidance!
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 08:37:18 PM »

There are so many angles...a spectrum of them, to simply learn to die to self. Religion when it includes silence, is the holy grail. No need to debate, challenge, announce, confront...these are about trying to be right. When this is lost, we find our little niche with God, and this is when the journey begins. I want the peace to be able to do this, but i am not there...i do not seek these vision possibilities because the negative reactions are influencing my growth. They can not say i am lying if i have nothing to tell or report. Stupid, but it has planted a fear in me called avoidance!

So are you saying you still struggle with trying to be right?  Or you struggle when other people are trying to be right?  Maybe both?

Alan
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 07:25:13 AM »

I am saying both. I do not debate theology because i do not have the knowledge or tools to do so. But to tell or share my experiences has turned into a lifelong debate with my family. I do not know why they doubt my word, but it is devastating to see the looks of them wanting to place me in a straight jacket or pat me on the head and walk away. They tolerate my views spiritually. I do not want to prove my point of view, but i want to prove to them that i am not a liar. Truth is the foundation to everything, it is the essence and core of my being, so to doubt this of me is to invalidate me as a whole person. I am shattered by their perception of me. But they love me totally outside of this. But that is not enough for me...i do not feel whole.

Lana
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 08:37:34 AM »

I am saying both. I do not debate theology because i do not have the knowledge or tools to do so. But to tell or share my experiences has turned into a lifelong debate with my family. I do not know why they doubt my word, but it is devastating to see the looks of them wanting to place me in a straight jacket or pat me on the head and walk away. They tolerate my views spiritually. I do not want to prove my point of view, but i want to prove to them that i am not a liar. Truth is the foundation to everything, it is the essence and core of my being, so to doubt this of me is to invalidate me as a whole person. I am shattered by their perception of me. But they love me totally outside of this. But that is not enough for me...i do not feel whole.

Lana

Lana, this really shouldn't be unexpected. I deal with the same thing with my family, and often with friends who don't know me well on a spiritual basis. Even Jesus himself dealt with this problem:

54 He came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished* and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
55 Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
56 Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?”
57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.”
58 And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Since those around us know our weaknesses and our faults it is hardest for them to conceive that there could be something "special" hidden within us or that we might have received gifts they can't begin to understand.

I think we just have to trust that God sends someone to them who has that credibility that we don't have with them. As you noted earlier here, credibility is always the key. Someone you don't perceive to have good intentions will not have credibility with you.

I think that is the major point that so many at CAF miss. They feel like they have "the truth" and everyone should just accept what they have to say and get on with doing what they command. What they don't seem to understand is that when they have acted in a way that has reduced their credibility and brought their intentions into question people stop listening and just tune out. You really summed up beautifully the basic way people react in such situations. When I was there and was able to keep my composure and speak lovingly I might not change the minds of anybody who was questioning me but I did get messages from people who thanked me for saying what I said. Unfortunately I had too many occasions where I too got dragged into the fray, essentially from being triggered by those implying I was a liar or that  I didn't know what I was talking about, and then I lost just as much credibility as they did and lost any "moral high ground" to speak from. Once I recognized that I was prone to those triggers and wouldn't be able to short-circuit them before they kicked in and I had responded, I knew that my effectiveness there was greatly limited and I was going to more frequently lose my peace.

There are times when we just have to accept that we know what we know, even if others don't understand. We can then spend our time in places where that means something and let God send others to those who can't hear it from us.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 12:52:29 PM by ncjohn » Logged

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 09:03:25 AM »

Whe I was there and was able to keep my composure and speak lovingly I might not change the minds of anybody who was questioning me but I did get messages from people who thanked me for saying what I said. Unfortunately I had too many occasions where I too got dragged into the fray, essentially from being triggered by those implying I was a liar or that  I didn't know what I was talking about, and then I lost just as much credibility as they did and lost any "moral high ground" to speak from. Once I recognized that I was prone to those triggers and wouldn't be able to short-circuit them before they kicked in and I had responded, I knew that my effectiveness there was greatly limited and I was going to more frequently lose my peace.

My strategy has become more "not even considering" there even is a moral high ground.  I jump right into the boat with them, or drag them in after me.  Grin

Seriously, it is much easier to get in the "back door" to the heads of these people, because they don't even know they have a back door, much less that their constant focus of attention in only one direction forward of their own intent, has left that back door wide open.

I sneak in like a thief in the night and convict them from within -- they don't even know what I'm doing but they can't touch me anymore.  I have been humiliated and humbled enough that I simply don't care what anybody thinks.  Actually I care greatly, but if I behave as if I care more than on an academic basis, I give them leverage I may not want them to have.

I like "Don't Let it Show" by Alan Parsons Project:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mY-zdEJkNU

The beginning of the song:
If it's getting harder to face every day
Don't let it show, don't let it show
Though it's getting harder to take what they say
Just let it go, just let it go


Alan
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »

As happens, I went to get the link for that Alan Parsons song, and another one I've never heard of came up but I think it's pretty cool.

I think it's time to resurrect the music forum and talk seriously about how all of our music has influenced the way we experience life.


The song is:  Ammonia Avenue.

I wasn't listening to it -- I played it while I was working on something else and then I glanced over and noticed the video and got interested.  Turns out there is more than one nice video with the song.  Here is one of them:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK-_2G7MMgc

Alan Parsons Project -- Ammonia Avenue: 

Ammonia Avenue Lyrics:
Is there no sign of light as we stand in the darkness?
Watching the sun arise
Is there no sign of life as we gaze at the waters?
Into the strangers eyes

And who are we to criticize or scorn the things that they do?
For we shall seek and we shall find ammonia avenue

If we call for the proof and we question the answers
Only the doubt will grow
Are we blind to the truth or a sign to believe in?
Only the wise will know

And word by word they handed down the light that shines today
And those who came at first to scoff, remained behind to pray
Yes those who came at first to scoff, remained behind to pray

When you can’t hear the rhyme and you can’t see the reason
Why should the hope remain?
For a man will be tired and his soul will grow weary
Living his life in vain

And who are we to justify the right in all we do?
Until we seek until we find ammonia avenue

Through all the doubt somehow they knew
And stone by stone they built it high
Until the sun broke through
A ray of hope, a shining light ammonia avenue
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 09:25:22 AM »

September 10, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
“Contemplation,” or meditation as it is called by some, became more
popular in contemporary times through the writings of Thomas Merton. The
word most Christians were more familiar with was simply “prayer.”

Unfortunately, in the West prayer became something functional; something
you did to achieve a desired effect—which puts you back in charge. As
soon as you make prayer a way to get something, you’re not moving into
a new state of consciousness. It's the same old consciousness. “How
can I get God to do what I want God to do?” It's the egocentric self
still deciding what it needs, but now often trying to manipulate God
too.

This is one reason religion is in such desperate straits today. It
really isn't transforming people, but leaving them in their separated
and egocentric state. It pulls God inside of my agenda instead of
letting God pull me inside of his. This is still the small old self at
work. What the Gospel is talking about is the emergence of “a whole
new creation” and a “new mind,” as Paul variously calls it.


Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 10:13:08 AM »

September 10, 2012


This is one reason religion is in such desperate straits today. It
really isn't transforming people, but leaving them in their separated
and egocentric state. It pulls God inside of my agenda instead of
letting God pull me inside of his. This is still the small old self at
work. What the Gospel is talking about is the emergence of “a whole
new creation” and a “new mind,” as Paul variously calls it.


I wish that Fr. Rohr could provide an example of this.  To me, this is possibly a place to apply "both/and" thinking. 

My agenda, God's agenda, working together.  Letting the small self motivate us a little.  Competition in moderation.  Seeking of status in moderation.  Letting these things pull us a little, but not becoming a slave to the small self. 

We can even keep each other in check when we get out of hand.  This is my request of those who know me.  When I get to the point that I am sounding like I am better than someone else, tap me on the shoulder.  When it seems like I am only trying to win, not to help, give me a friendly punch on the arm and say "hey".

"Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, 'Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.'".  Of course, we all want to be first, and that compulsion, the desire for status and dominance, is what will motivate the person that follows Jesus' words.  Jesus is talking to the people who want to be first.  Isn't that all of us? 

So, Fr. Rohr's message here should not be separated from the rest of what he says.  His mild criticism of religion should not be carried into a mild criticism of the small self. There is a place for everything, and I think that the Church (institutionally) is trying to do its best.  Not to say that there isn't room for improvement.  I think Fr. Rohr is part of the "improvement".
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2012, 11:16:19 AM »

September 10, 2012


This is one reason religion is in such desperate straits today. It
really isn't transforming people, but leaving them in their separated
and egocentric state. It pulls God inside of my agenda instead of
letting God pull me inside of his. This is still the small old self at
work. What the Gospel is talking about is the emergence of “a whole
new creation” and a “new mind,” as Paul variously calls it.


I wish that Fr. Rohr could provide an example of this.  To me, this is possibly a place to apply "both/and" thinking.  

I see this kind of thing in petition prayer.  We want peace, so we pray that we want peace.  We do that with the intent that God is going do do something peaceful, or avoid something non-peaceful, because we have said that.  It's like banging our knives and forks on the table, "we want peace!"  And God's supposed to say, "yes, well peace wasn't in my plan today, but since you asked ... "

This is how I see us bringing God into our agenda, with no transformation on our part.  All we do is voice our desires, and now the monkey is on God's back to either a) answer it yes, b) answer it no, or c) answer in some mysterious way.

I see a prayer for peace as one that helps change us to become more peaceful.  That is, we bear fruit.  Fruit of the spirit, one of which is peace.  So instead of praying for world peace, why don't we pray that we become more peaceful ourselves?  That way we KNOW our desires are in line with God's will, and of course He knows what we need before we ask.  Sometimes He needs us to ask, before He can work a miracle in us.  Ask and you shall receive, in cases like this.

Trouble is, God has quite a sense of humor.  Sometimes when I ask for peace, He gives it to me by putting me in the most stressful situations to date, and when I come out I'm dazed and confused, but peaceful.  Basically a spiritual lobotomy.  Grin

So yeah, it is certainly something other than either/or thinking we need here, or as I outlined, "God's multiple choice quiz."  (Do not quiz the Lord your God. Wink )

Quote
My agenda, God's agenda, working together.  Letting the small self motivate us a little.  Competition in moderation.  Seeking of status in moderation.  Letting these things pull us a little, but not becoming a slave to the small self.  

I think this is a very good exercise.  Ultimately there is no sense of who is in control at all, as the small self and true self dance in beautiful harmony!

Quote
We can even keep each other in check when we get out of hand.  This is my request of those who know me.  When I get to the point that I am sounding like I am better than someone else, tap me on the shoulder.  When it seems like I am only trying to win, not to help, give me a friendly punch on the arm and say "hey".

OTOH, I don't mind say, "hey dude you totally rock," or, "you're the go-to person for a discussion about forgiveness."  These are not to build your pride, but your confidence and our relationship.  It's OK to be better than someone else at some things, as long as one doesn't attach undue importance to that thing.  Like I can say, "you really know a lot about forgiveness," or I can say, "dude you are a merciful s-o-b."  It doesn't mean you're perfect, but that's the hat I chose to put on you.  Now if I say that people with different hats are not as well off, then I'm crossing the line into the pride-building.

Here's a video I saw recently about letting other people play their games.  For example, I can't tell you "but you don't need mercy if you'll just move to the next step on absolute non-judgment," well we all need mercy to some degree or other in our lives for when we fall short of the ideal, which is perfection itself.  So we all seek a different path to the same light, or maybe it isn't the same light; maybe there are lots of lights to go after, and that's why there are lots of people to go after them?

Egos, Dramas & Peoples Games - How to Stay Immune
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z44qzqTJIXQ

Quote
"Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, 'Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.'".  Of course, we all want to be first, and that compulsion, the desire for status and dominance, is what will motivate the person that follows Jesus' words.  Jesus is talking to the people who want to be first.  Isn't that all of us?  

I think it calls that part of each of us that is like that.  Some need it more than others.  But it says, "you want to be first in my book?  Wash this man's feet."  And lest you think it's about pride, He says, "ok, now I'm going to wash your feet so you'll even be in My book."  He isn't about to tell us to be a servant without showing us the Way!  Smiley

Quote
So, Fr. Rohr's message here should not be separated from the rest of what he says.  His mild criticism of religion should not be carried into a mild criticism of the small self. There is a place for everything, and I think that the Church (institutionally) is trying to do its best.  Not to say that there isn't room for improvement.  I think Fr. Rohr is part of the "improvement".

 Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 01:06:13 PM »

I think our "prayers of the faithful" at mass are a prime example of the problem with most of our prayer life. "For a more peaceful word", "for the healing of x and y", "that the hungry may find food and the unemployed may find work", etc, etc...

It's our agenda of asking God to do all the work while we sit back rather than us asking God for the strength, wisdom and courage to know how to engage in being "His hands and feet" in providing the solution.

As Alan noted, rather than praying for world peace, asking, like Solomon, to know how to be more peaceful and then DO IT.

The problem is that prayer like that requires listening instead of being the one doing all the talking. The Church likes to tell us how to talk, and does a great job of modeling that, but never seems to get around to teaching us how to listen and then act. Instead we learn the right answers before we know how to ask the right questions so when we are old enough to know how to ask the questions we think we already know it all and the job is done. We are never introduced into the struggle.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 01:23:00 PM »

I think our "prayers of the faithful" at mass are a prime example of the problem with most of our prayer life. "For a more peaceful word", "for the healing of x and y", "that the hungry may find food and the unemployed may find work", etc, etc...

It's our agenda of asking God to do all the work while we sit back rather than us asking God for the strength, wisdom and courage to know how to engage in being "His hands and feet" in providing the solution.

Oh, you are so not kidding.  I just cringe sometimes, depending on the voice of the person reading.  If it is mechanical or disinterested or "properly sparkly" I'm ok, but if it gets heartfelt I want to barf and if it gets "tee hee we are the OFFICIAL pray-ers here" in there voice it makes me want to set off the fire sprinkler system.  Wait I don't know if our church has one I'll have to set the pew on fire!  J/k  Grin


The problem is that prayer like that requires listening instead of being the one doing all the talking. The Church likes to tell us how to talk, and does a great job of modeling that, but never seems to get around to teaching us how to listen and then act. Instead we learn the right answers before we know how to ask the right questions so when we are old enough to know how to ask the questions we think we already know it all and the job is done. We are never introduced into the struggle.

John, I think you're really zeroing in on the root problem right there.  And like you say, introduced into the struggle... that unites us with the mystery of Christ (duhh -- contemplative) and ultimately helps us enjoy His Glory.

Matt 17:4-8
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents* here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,* then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”  And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.


I like to note that the voice said, "listen to him."

It did not say, "be like Him, bow down to Him, erect stone monuments and fight wars in His name," but Jesus knew all this would happen because Mary was told that was part of the deal.  Or whatever it was.  Gosh why not let the Word speak for itself:

Luke 2 (NIV)
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”



Alan
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2012, 10:43:49 PM »

I think our "prayers of the faithful" at mass are a prime example of the problem with most of our prayer life. "For a more peaceful word", "for the healing of x and y", "that the hungry may find food and the unemployed may find work", etc, etc...

I just started being a lector again this year, after a 20 year or so break, and I really put my all into the prayers of the faithful.  They are really great prayers, and the delivery is so important.  They can be heartfelt, read as if impromtu, or they can be read like the congregation says the profession of faith, which is with very little feeling whatsoever.  If they are read in a heartfelt way, they are a call to action, with prayer being the starting point.

I have heard plenty of lectors slog through the prayers with no emphasis whatsoever, and the "Lord, hear our prayer" as some kind of mindless refrain.  It's a shame, so much can be done with it.
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 07:13:12 AM »

September 11, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
In order to understand contemplation and the contemplative mind, we need
to talk about our true self in God. This is the only self that has ever
existed, and the only self that contemplates reality in its first and
final big frame. The small, false self can only “calculate”—with
itself as the reference point. As if it were! The work of religion is to
get you to know who you are and always have been: “hidden with Christ
in God” (Colossians 3:3 [1]). From this vantage point of love and union
alone is spiritual knowing possible.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3:3&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

You came from God and will return to God. Your deepest DNA is divine.
You are already a spiritual being—the much more difficult question is
how to be human! That is what we have yet to learn. I believe that's why
Jesus came as a human being: he didn't come to teach us how to go to
heaven but to teach us how to be simple, loving human beings here on
this earth. Some “non-religious” people do this much better than us
“spiritual” folks.

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2012, 07:28:11 AM »

September 12, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
The “false self” settles for ritualism and legalism, petty moralisms
instead of true mysticism (which is available to all once one does not
make it a contest or an achievement). The true self is not about
requirements, it’s about relationship—the quality and capacity for
relatedness. This lays the foundation for contemplation. The
contemplative does not need to be “right,” but only in relationship.

The false self will say its prayers but the true self IS a prayer. This
is why Paul can say “pray always” (Ephesians 6:18 [1]). We pray always
whenever we live in conscious union with God. Then every action is a
prayer no matter how secular, mundane, or ordinary it might appear. I
would more admire someone cleaning the house in loving union than a
priest saying Mass outside of union.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6:18&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV


Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2012, 01:31:09 AM »

September 13, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
I think some experience of God is necessary for mental and emotional
health. You basically don't belong in the universe until you are
connected to the center and the whole, and a word for that is “God.”
When you live in the false self you are “eccentric,” or off-center.
You're trying to make something the Center that is not the
center—yourself or anything else. It will never work. Thus the ONLY
real sin is idolatry—making something God that is not God!

I would call the false self a relative identity. I would call the true
self your absolute identity. The relative identity is not of itself bad
or wrong. It's simply not the true self! It cannot get you where you
finally need and want to go.

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 03:32:22 AM »

September 14, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
The word “presence” is a relational term. The real Presence is
offered in the Eucharist, but if we don’t know how to be present to
the Presence there is no presence; certainly no “real” presence that
can change you. What we’re doing in contemplation is learning, quite
simply, how to be present. We're learning how to access what is—and
how to offer ourselves to it.

The reason most people run from contemplative prayer is because what
comes up first is usually the garbage. That’s why most teachers of
contemplation insist on at least a 20-minute sit to begin with, so that
you have a chance to separate from the garbage—a chance to move to a
level beneath your thoughts to the level of pure being, the level of
what we call pure consciousness or the prayer of quiet.

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2012, 07:11:43 AM »

September 15, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

   
Contemplation is meeting reality in its most simple and immediate form.
The only way you can do this is by getting rid of your usual mental
grid—your practiced ways of judging, critiquing, and computing
everything. That's why the mind has to be placed to the side. It just
operates in its habitual neural grooves, and nothing really new can get
in. God, who is always new and mysterious, has very little chance of
breaking through.

Finally, “you,” that is, your small mental ego, is out of the way!
Once you experience this more oceanic awareness, you’ll never finally
be satisfied with anything less. You now have “the mind of Christ”
(1 Corinthians 2:16 [1]), as presumptuous, arrogant, and scary as that might
sound.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+2:16&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2012, 07:25:04 AM »

September 15, 2012


Finally, “you,” that is, your small mental ego, is out of the way!
Once you experience this more oceanic awareness, you’ll never finally
be satisfied with anything less. You now have “the mind of Christ”
(1 Corinthians 2:16 [1]), as presumptuous, arrogant, and scary as that might
sound.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+2:16&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
Clear my mind for your truth.


This is what I am talking about.  This "oceanic awareness" that Freud spoke of and Alan Watts lectured about, like a baby before it learns anything right.  I knew I had this "mind of Christ" nearly a year ago, but I'm just getting now to the point where I am getting used to it enough to talk about it comfortably.  Funny thing, that.  Things that I couldn't talk about without making people upset, now aren't even problems for me.  Every day gets easier.  When I go among a new group of people I feel "calibration" usually within the first five minutes, and I'm totally at ease and seem to be an "easing" factor for others.  Funny, two years ago everyone in the room would be nervous because I was in it, without my even have to say anything.  Now I have a calming effect.  And I've been going a lot of places lately with different emotional configurations.  First we have the hospital where Julie's dad is expected to die any moment, and her nearly hysterical mother and her snippy family members, and none of them -- even Joe the football player who came across the room after me once -- intimidate me in the slightest, now.  I've been to places I can't admit having gone, for more "calibration."  These past couple weeks, I went a few times to a bar I used to play poker at, and feel "calibration" tweaks sometimes a few still after 10-15 minutes.  They usually manifest as "microexpressions" in terminology of body language experts -- and I can see them in others and feel them in myself during the "calibration."  Just about the time for one beer, then I'm done.  So it only takes about one beer for me to hang out at the bar.  Gone are the days I would drink cases of beer a day!  Shocked

Everywhere I go, instead of avoiding me like they used to usually do, I can strike up a conversation anywhere -- grocery store line, gas pump, homeless people on a bench -- and often it ends up them telling me something personal, and then telling me they were glad to meet me.

And what would have been awkward an hour ago, or even 10 minutes ago, I'm ready to plunge into now.  That's because all I have to do is think of an uncomfortable situation, and soon my subconscious gets done processing what it needs to clear my emotional obstacles, and I'm ready.  For example, instead of saying "maybe" to things for days or weeks at a time, I either say "no," and clear the air about the things, or "yes" and get up right now and do it.  No more collecting junk in my "maybe do sometime" list.

I did have to pay a price.  I ended doing all sorts of evil against many people, including myself.  Both "actual" and symbolic.  I had no idea at the time why I was doing it, but I didn't think of it as "bad" but just that I was compelled to do them.  I can see mystically why I was led into this sort of "evil."  I never mentioned it before because people could just say I was using my mania as an excuse for bad behavior, or something like that.  This is different.  This has to be so evil in my mind that nothing else I'm likely to run into, seems evil in comparison.  I had to become the biggest sinner in the room.  The most sacrilegious, the most questioning, the most extreme anything.  Now it's all coming together.  It's about "been there, done that, feeling your pain."

Now can you imagine if I went to CAF and told them that I'm in the kingdom now and that I went through an initiation "rite" of sorts (more elaborate than any number of "normal" initiations I've heard of even in weird countries) that involved my doing things that were, let's say, bad.  I'd be told that it was not from God if it was telling me to break the moral, civil, or natural law.  If they say I was friends with demons, they might just be right.  Gosh, once you hang around with the enemies a while, they don't seem nearly as bad as what people make them into being.  But now I can talk to strangers for less than two minutes and already be on their life story, often including their sharing of their "demons" or even "joys" with me.  And I know what to do about them -- not intellectually but instinctively -- so those people walk away with seeds planted that can help them.  Strangely, the "bad things" I did that were most symbolic, were so thoroughly evil I can't even mention them to an anonymous confessor -- except maybe by category of sin, no way the details.

And now I'm happy and peaceful, like the calm after an 11-year storm!!  Cool

Alan
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