Finding Our Divine Name

As we try to focus on the breath and the posture, our mind will inevitably wander. Thoughts, bodily sensations, noises, and visual stimuli arise, and sooner or later these things carry our awareness away. This is in no way a failure in meditation. Rather it is part of the process. The critical moment in meditation, in fact, is when we realize that this has happened—that our awareness has been carried away by a thought or a sensation. Then we simply take note of the thought that has carried us away, let it rise up as it needs to do, let it fall away again—as it will if we don’t hold on to it—and then gently bring our awareness back to the breath and the body.

Over time we will become quite conscious of the thoughts that tend to carry our awareness away. After all, we witness them doing so dozens of times during each meditation. Particular thoughts may seem random, mundane, and insignificant, but when we observe them over time, we see that they form patterns, patterns that point us to unconscious psychological truths we very much need to become conscious of. This is one of the great values of meditation. Over a long period of time, we witness our unconscious thoughts carrying our awareness away time after time, and our true nature—the way we really are as opposed to the way we would like to think of ourself—begins to emerge. We begin to learn the name God has given us, our essential self. We begin to see that the way we really are is more powerful than the way we thought we should be. We begin to understand that those things we didn’t want to see about ourself are really the source of our unique power.

The Place You Are Standing Is Sacred Ground
After time, the concrete objects of focus—the breath and the particular points of our posture—begin to fall away, and our effort becomes simply to enter the present moment of our experience. Those things we were focusing on were simply the lineaments of the present moment, its most fundamental and accessible elements. Now we allow every breath to carry us deeper and deeper into the moment itself. Breathing in, we enter the present moment. Breathing out, we settle into it, we enjoy it, we feel it. This moment is the only life we have—the only place we can live our life, feel it, experience it. Sitting still in silence, we feel a sense of timelessness. Present, past, and future dissolve in the eternal present, a boundless field of mind in which we feel our connection to everything and everyone in the range of our experience. This boundless, eternal realm is the realm of God. Approaching it, we approach God.