Summary: Sunday, June 18-Friday, July 3, 2015
If there is indeed one God of all the earth, then it is this one God who is breaking through in every age and culture. (Sunday)
Non-dual thinking grows almost unconsciously over many years of conflict, confusion, healing, broadening, loving, and forgiving reality. (Monday)
Alternative consciousness is largely letting go of my mind’s need to solve problems, to fix people, to fix myself, to rearrange the moment because it is not to my liking. (Tuesday)
The contemplative, non-dualistic mind withholds from labeling things or categorizing them too quickly (i.e., judging), so it can come to see them in themselves, apart from the words or concepts that become their substitutes. (Wednesday)
Many come to the contemplative mind as the fruit of great suffering or great love. (Thursday)
“To find peace, to live peace, we need to keep restoring our original Oneness.” —Mark Nepo (Friday)
Chanting as contemplative practice naturally draws our focus to the present and calms the dualistic mind. The very physical act of breathing and forming sounds brings body and mind together. Chant has a place in many sacred traditions, from Gregorian melodies to Native American drumming to the polyrhythmic chants of West Africa. There are as many ways to chant as there are bodies and vocal cords. You may enjoy exploring different kinds of chant, or even creating your own, as a way of meditating and strengthening the non-dual mind.
Perhaps the simplest, most familiar chant is “Om.” In the Hindu tradition, Om is the original and basic vibration of the created world, the sound that holds all other sounds. The mantra is also called pranava in Sanskrit, meaning it infuses all of life and fills our prana, breath. Om represents the fullness of reality and encompasses all things; it has no beginning and no end.
You might practice chanting this single syllable alone or in a group, from five minutes to more than twenty, followed by a time of silence. Begin by sitting tall and straight so you can breathe deeply. Inhale, and on your exhalation vocalize the three sounds of Om, AUM, on a single tone. Feel the sound moving upward with your breath: beginning in your belly—aah; moving to your chest—ooh; vibrating your lips and nasal cavity—mm. Take another deep breath, and sing AUM again, slowly shaping the vowels and closing your mouth to a hum.
Repeat the chant as many times as you wish, letting all other thoughts and sensations disappear. If you are distracted, return your focus to breath and sound and the way it feels in your body. When you are ready, let the chant subside into silence.
Gateway to Silence:
God is all in all.
For Further Study:
Contemplative Prayer (CD, MP3 download)
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
Falling Upward Companion Journal
Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation