Once again I am feeling the pull to “sabbatical life” as I did this past summer, which never materialized. Life kept me preoccupied, my continual lament. Maybe “contemplative life” is only my idealization of “spirituality.” And yet – this inner need for Silence and Solitude continues to beckon me. I have carved out moments of solitude for myself here and there within the reality of my life as it is – yet, something within still calls; calls for the shedding of old paradigms again, emptying myself of all that is irrelevant and extraneous - to just BE.
It is not a “contemplative” life in the religious sense that calls to me. One does not need to be a Christian in order to be a “contemplative”, nor cloister one’s self in a monastery. I left the religion of my childhood many years ago, wanting something deeper. Neither is a contemplative necessarily one who “ponders” everything in the mind – but, is more one who seeks the Truth of Existence through Silence, through an intimate relational, experiential spirituality with “the Unknown Self” that resides within; waiting in the space of Silence, without agenda or expectation, for the presence of the Eternal to reveal ItSelf.
Mirabai Starr, author and teacher of Philosophy and World Religions at UNM-Taos, and student of Ram Dass, defines being a “contemplative” as a “practitioner who has carved out a space inside herself through the intentional cultivation of stillness.” She says that through “surrender one sits in prolonged silence and waits for the presence of ‘God’ (however one defines that) – being aware of the presence of that which transcends our individual self – deepening into our experience of Source.”
Ivan Granger of Poetry Chaikhana says: “A mystic is content with nothing less than to touch the Truth in its most universal purity.” Ahhhhh – music to my mystic heart. J While some may make a disctinction between a “mystic” and a “contemplative”, I do not see the dividing line. In our Hearts, we “both” want to *know* the Truth. We both want to “experience” the presence of the Eternal in our lives – no matter what our “spiritual practice” may be.
I am essentially unattached to either, not identified with any religion, or label really, even though I use the term “mystic”, or “contemplative.” I am just someone who has a passion for Truth and communion with what some call “The Divine” – which I know as "Silence", the Infinite Essence of our Beingness. This passion is what compels me in life, and what compels me to write…
When sitting in meditative Silence there is a sense of *meeting* the quintessential Silence that embodies and animates all life; a sense of the Ineffable in you recognizing ItSelf, and an inherent *knowing* that you are that Essence of Being as well. The key is staying open and becoming *aware* of that Essence, feeling the intimacy that is already there – waiting for our recognition – our awareness of its Presence…
“Contemplative spirituality”, undefined by any religious affiliation, is still just another label for my mind to wrap itself around. In reality, at least this reality J, it is about taking deep refuge in the inner Sanctuary of Silence, allowing oneself to lose one’s self in communion with the Infinite Silence that is alive, aware and awake; that doesn’t make distinctions, but only knows ItSelf as Life ItSelf – as us…
Out the window
at 3am with flash J