Of import is what one understands meditation to be is from the aspect of consciousness he or she is speaking from. One can review the developmental phases in the last writing. Suffice it to say, I am speaking of meditation as a spiritual, so in-spirit, act, or process. I say "process," for Life is and is becoming, a complete unity of stillness and action. This seems a duality to the mind, not in Spirit. In Silence, stillness and action are not opposites, we simply divide this in language, for language is based on the bipolarity of mind. In Life, stillness is movement, movement is stillness, is and is becoming are one. In traditional language, we can say, That God is, means God is Goding.
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Over twenty years ago, I had been trained in Centering Prayer, and certified as such. I, later, was sitting with my Spiritual Director, a former Buddhist. He was a priest in the Episcopal Church. He said, "I don't think Centering Prayer will work for persons now." He clarified why, for persons in our culture, in the United States, have minds too busy, so they cannot sit in such simplicity. I understood the claim, yet it reminds me of how much we need a way of meditation, partly for we need to tone down that monkey mind.
So, I initially began, even before training in Centering Prayer, a form of mantra meditation, working on taming the mind. I recall a simple beginning. I would sit quietly and count the in and out-breaths. One practice was going to 100, another was to 4 and to keep repeating the sequence. This was a form of concentrative meditation, a prelude, according to some meditation traditions, to awareness meditation where one is simply open in attention, not focusing on any one thing. Centering Prayer is a hybrid form, wherein I was taught to use a prayer word or phrase, or mantra, but release it when open awareness introduces itself. When the mind begins to wander, one returns to the mantra. So, one does not feel a need to keep with the mantra. Finally, in time, maybe years, one enters contemplative prayer, or contemplation, wherein on open awareness is engaged; this I have called Pure Prayer. Here, one is not utilizing any means like images or words, only resting alertly, receptively in the Silence. Here, one is more alert than usual, receptive to whatever arises, so we can call this open awareness.