After last month's brief detour, we're back to examining another passage, and we've picked out a favorite by Saint Teresa of Avila. The passages in the anthology God Makes the Rivers to Flow, chosen by Easwaran as ideal to meditate on, are indexed in a variety of ways: by title, by first line and, of course, by author and source. There is also a section offering background information on each author and source, showing the rich variety of experiences and traditions the passages represent.
At a recent Bay Area YA Satsang day (check out a photo here), we did a reading study on the introduction to God Makes the Rivers to Flow and we were stunned! If you're ever in the need of a good boost, you should definitely read through this introduction – it's amazing. In addition to beautiful stories about how passage meditation works, Easwaran details the power of the passages. Here's a short excerpt from Easwaran's introduction:
The test of suitable meditation passages is simply this: Does the passage bear the imprint of deep, personal spiritual experience? Is it the statement of one who went beyond the narrow confines of past conditioning into the unfathomable recesses of the mind, there to begin the great work of transformation? This is the unmistakable stamp of authenticity. Only such precious writings can speak directly to our heart and soul. Their very words are invested with validity; we feel we are in the presence of the genuine.
Within this framework, we chose "Her Heart is Full of Joy" by Saint Teresa of Avila as our "passage of the month" for February. It's quite short, so if you don't have it memorized yet, we encourage you to add it to your repertoire and maybe we can all work it into our meditation rotation this month.
We'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Share your thoughts:
- If we become what we meditate on, what might we become by meditating on this passage?
- Is there a part of the excerpt from God Makes the Rivers to Flow that you found particularly striking?
Her Heart is Full of Joy – Saint Teresa of Avila
Her heart is full of joy with love, for in the Lord her mind is stilled. She has renounced every selfish attachment and draws abiding joy and strength from the One within. She lives not for herself, but lives to serve the Lord of Love in all, and swims across the sea of life breasting its rough waves joyfully.