To continue the theme of our last couple of posts, deepening our meditation, we chose a passage this month that speaks to that very subject. One thing we always find appealing about Easwaran is his emphasis that the concept and practice of meditation is present in all the major world religions, although various terms may be applied to it. In the Judeo-Christian context, meditation is often referred to as “contemplative prayer” and many Western mystics have described in their writings that through absorption in prayer, they have reached the unitive state of existence that Eastern mystics call nirvana or samadhi.
This month, to inspire us to give our best effort in meditation, we chose a passage that describes this very state of total absorption, deep concentration, in meditation. Easwaran explains in his book, Passage Meditation, that there are three stages of meditation in which we realize first, that we are not the body, then, that we are not the mind, until at last, in the final stage, we make a great discovery. “In this absorption,” Easwaran says, “we break through the surface of consciousness and plummet deep, deep into our real nature.” In this passage, the “World of Thought” that Dov Baer refers to is another way of describing this breakthrough.
We invite you to join us this month in memorizing or refreshing “You Must Forget Yourself in Prayer.”
And, as always, don’t be shy! Share with us in the comments what struck you about this passage.
You Must Forget Yourself in Prayer – Dov Baer of Mezhirech
You must forget yourself in prayer.
Think of yourself as nothing and pray only for the sake of God.
In such prayer you may come to transcend time, entering the highest realms of the World of Thought.
There all things are as one;
Distinctions between “life” and “death,” “land” and “sea,” have lost their meaning.
But none of this can happen as long as you remain attached to the reality of the material world.
Here you are bound to the distinctions between good and evil that emerge only in the lower realms of God.
How can one who remains attached to his own self go beyond time to the world where all is one?