There must be implicit faith and trust in God in all that He guides us through. When we are sensitive and perceptive, through meditation, experiences that come to us seemingly from the realm of the Higher Mind – from the sixth ‘sense’ that we use to hear the whispers from Eternity – are in fact direct contact with God!
In truth, when we experience that heartfelt Presence, it is not at all a “feeling” but a direct advent, a gift, from God to us. God teaches, God guides, God draws us unto Himself 24/7. This is His business, and His shop never closes. During our early morning meditations especially, everything is on sale at huge discounts. In fact the rules of the sale are: “What you can carry away in your cart (heart), is free for the taking!
So what actually happens when we are taken up to heights of bliss that smother us within the embrace indescribable Love and Compassion? Just this, a revelation unfolds from within when the mind is rendered still and pure through the transforming power of meditation, especially on God’s Name. God manifests from the core of our being! The joy and the completeness felt is a gift that comes to us through the use of the Name of God, which in fact, in reality, caused inner vision. The Name invoked the Named! God was not wowing us, God was teaching us the way home.
Let’s analyze what actually happens. We are pulled away from our repetitions of the Name of God, or purely Om, and given a glimpse and a taste of what lies beyond the sensual mind. We temporarily lose our lower form of individuality to worship and adore God! We possess, even for a moment, that which is our birthright. And God knows, we have struggled nearly a whole lifetime to see and taste That, which though ours by right, is daily assaulted by sorrow, doubt and unbelief.
Where is the teaching in all this? Just this! We should begin experiencing this very thing outside of meditation – to invoke and dwell in loving union (yoga) with the Lord through the practice of the Presence of God. His Presence is the purest manifestation of love. Love itself is the actual form of God!
“When we are busied, as well as while meditating on spiritual things, even in our time of set devotion, whilst our voice is rising in prayer, we ought to cease for one brief moment, as often as we can, to worship God in the depths of our being, to taste Him though it be in passing, to touch Him though as it were by stealth. Since you cannot but know that God is with you in all you undertake, that He is at the very depth and center of your soul, why should you not thus pause an instant from time to time in your outward business, and even in the act of prayer, to worship Him with your soul, to praise Him, to entreat His aid, to offer Him the service of your heart, and give Him thanks for all His loving-kindness and tender-mercies?
“What offering is there more acceptable to God than thus throughout the day to quit the things of outward sense, and to withdraw to worship Him within the secret places of the soul? Besides, by doing so we destroy the love of self, which can subsist only among the things of sense, and of which these times of quiet retirement with God rids us well-nigh unconsciously.
“In very truth we can render to God no greater or more single proofs of out trust and faithfulness, than by thus turning from things created to find our joy, though for a single moment, in the Creator. Yet, think not that I counsel you to disregard completely and forever the outward things that are around us. That is impossible. Prudence, the mother of all virtues, must be your guide. Yet, I am confident, it is a common error among religious persons, to neglect this practice of ceasing for a time that, which they are engaged upon, to worship and love God in the depth of their soul, and to enjoy the peace of brief communion with Him.” *
“Just as the ankola fruit falling from the tree rejoins it, or a piece of iron is drawn to magnet, so also thoughts, after rising up, lose themselves in their original source. This is bhakti (Love of God). The original source of thoughts is the feet of the Lord, Isvara. Love of His Feet forms bhakti.” (1)
“Know that the wondrous jnana vichara is only for those who have attained purity of mind by softening and melting within. Without this softening and melting away of the mind, brought about by thinking of the feet of the Lord, the attachment to the “I” that adheres to the body will not cease to be.” (2)
“One must bring one’s thoughts to bear on God. By long practice the mind is controlled and made steady.” (3)
“Love itself is the actual form of God.” (4)
“In Thy Presence is fullness of Joy.
Good when he gives, supremely good;
Nor less when He denies.
Afflictions, from His sovereign hand,
Are blessings in disguise.
Believe me, count as lost each day
you have not used in loving God.” *
– Brother Lawrence
* All sections in quotes within the body of the text are excerpts from a rare publication of the “Spiritual Maxims of Brother Lawrence” on the Practice of the Presence of God.
(1) Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, recorded by Sri Munagala Venkataramiah, Sri Ramanashramam 2006, Talk 428.
(2) Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Muruganar, Avadhuta Foundation 2004, p. 186. (Reference is to Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham, vol. 7, verse 340).
(3) Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, recorded by Sri Munagala Venkataramiah, Sri Ramanashramam 2006, Talk 91.
(4) Letters from Sri Ramanashramam, Suri Nagamma, Sri Ramanashramam 2006, Letter #179.
Posted by Swami Sadasivananda at http://blog.spiritualpracticeofbhagavan.org/