I practice meditation in the “tradition” of Unified Mindfulness (which I won’t describe here: plenty of online resources) — I consider the practices of UM to be supportive and/or gateway practices to 1) develop more skillful awareness in daily life; and 2) make myself most susceptible to the Grace that is Contemplation.
I’m not sure what I can say about Contemplation. The way I think about Contemplation is that it is to stop doing all the things that prevents me from being liberated right where I stand at this instant: these “things” relate to the torturous way in which the self that I feel myself to be convinces me (and everyone else, I assume) that I am this thing that I think I’m controlling throughout the life I think I’m living aimed toward some goal (or goals) I think I want.
When I sit, however, my aim is to surrender all aims; my motivation is to set down all motivation; my effort is to release efforting; my intent is to crucify intent and sit in the loving Gaze of whatever it is that all this comes out of and returns back into.
When I talk about it, I call that God.
When I sit, I do my best not to call but wait to be called… wait in the innermost secret place of my soul beneath all image and thought (as Meister Eckhart might say) for the eternal birth of Christ within me to invite me to rest ever more deeply in that very moment of Stillness — to gaze into the Gaze that deeply gazes into me; to listen intently to the Silence that silences me while speaking me into existence.
Thomas Merton (a favorite contemporary Christian mystic) said he had no program for this type of seeing: no instructions, no guidelines. If he didn’t, I’m not sure I could either. Below, however, is some attempt to capture a snapshot of how I practice meditation aimed toward making myself most susceptible to the gift of Grace that is Contemplation.
- Unified Mindfulness techniques (especially SeeHearFeel, FeelFlow, BeSpace, BeSelf, BeSource)
- Comprehensive organization of many of the worlds major contemplative traditions
- Serves as a supportive platform for my “Real” practice…
- Something like “Do-Nothing” in UM vocabulary
- Practice of Stillness (“non-action”; open receptivity; letting the mind settle beneath its own contents): Very influenced by ancient Christian contemplative practice & Mahamudra/Dzogchen (at least, what I have come to know about those traditions)
- Developing a “palate” for Christ through other traditions
- Deep sense of connection to Christianity (“I was born here… it will always be my home for better or worse.”)
- Practice of Stillness:
- Don’t act (body, speech, or mind) by committing to dropping all intention, effort, or expectation and to reflexively Receive-Release all that occurs (instead of following and/or fighting)