Non-duality and the importance of contemplative practice

Franciscan Father and contemporary mystic, Richard Rohr, was recently quoted as saying that contemplation will save our Church. I would argue that not only will it save our Church, but it will save the world.

The ultimate purpose of contemplative practice is to unite ourselves with God, with the Divine Light that permeates all things. When we meditate we move away from our ego-mind, the place where we deduce, categorize, and make distinctions between ourselves and everyone else. Meditation grants us the opportunity to experience oneness of being and oh, Lord, how we desperately need that.

In my own experience I have witnessed a Church divided, a Church so committed to maintaining the status quo that it often dismisses the actual teachings of Jesus. The teachings of radical and transformational love. The teachings of turning the other cheek, and the last shall be first. Instead, we’re time and time again stuck in the mindset of this not that and us not them. This is not Christianity. This is living with dualistic thinking as your guide, not Jesus.

The problem with dualistic thinking is that it will never get us to God, it will always drag us further away because God is whole – always everywhere and in everything, we just don’t know how to recognize Divinity. Until we realize this, that we’re the problem (i.e. not the other person), we’ll be reaching for an unattainable goal. This is why Jesus says “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mt:37).

So why are we averse to doing the work? Because it requires us to change and who wants that? Unfortunately my dear friends, it is the only way.

But don’t forget, the harvest is plentiful! Do not fear the work, it is for your benefit.

For those who are willing to join me in transforming ourselves into vessels for Love, this is the practice:

  1. Be kind and merciful, always.
  2. Spend time alone in meditation (don’t overthink this, just sit down and be for some time everyday).
  3. Spend time in nature.
  4. Sing songs and read poetry.
  5. Move your body in a way that results in joy (e.g. dance, yoga, walking, etc…)

These practices are bound to bring you a deep sense of contentment and who knows maybe you’ll meet God 😉

So much love,

Aurelija

Advent

Hello sweet people!

Advent is the first season of the Catholic liturgical year and it spans the 4 weeks before Christmas (this year it began on Sunday, December 2). It is a time of waiting and preparing for the birth Christ through the Mary. Actually, it is a time of preparation for an entire year of spiritual growth and development. These four weeks can set the tone for all the weeks and months that follow and it has the potential to really get us off on the right foot as we dive deeper into relationship with the Divine.

Advent is quickly becoming one of my favourite times of the year, not because I’m Christmas junkie but because I’m coming to love the idea of being in anticipation, of being in the waiting. 

As I think back, much of my time has been spent waiting – waiting to grow out of adolescence and into adulthood, waiting to get married, waiting to have children, so on and so forth… Those periods of time were long and arriving at each one of those major events took years. Though some preparation was necessary, I know I could have spent that time in anticipation more productively, more intentionally. I’m sure I missed opportunities to grow and cultivate skills and relationships available during the days, weeks, and months spent as an adolescent, as an unmarried women and without children. 

Now, when I find myself longing for the next “big” thing to happen, I remind myself that there is so much available to me at this very moment.

We celebrate the coming of Christ every year all along knowing that he has already come and that he is with us in the waiting. The presence of God is omnipresent – everywhere and in all things. So while we think that the next “major” event will bring us more joy, more contentment – we’re really after that which we already have. 

That joy, that contentment, that peace is within you and it has always been. Once you realize this, you will begin to value the times of waiting just as much as those of abundant fulfillment.

Love,

Aurelija