4. Leaving Self Behind

Published on Kung Kao Po, Chinese Catholic Weekly, on 26th July, 2020

While we give our attention totally on the recitation of the mantra as we pray, it helps us focus on God. From St. Matthew’s Gospel, this is the teachings on prayer: "Enter your inner room and pray to your Father in Secret" (Mt 6:6).

While meditating, we see the true side of ourselves reflected in our minds as if in a mirror, being very distracted, confused, frightened, anxious, agitated and even resentful and so on. What then can we do?

When we meditate, thoughts keep jumbling in our mind; either we recall and cling to events in the "past" or fantasize about the "future”. Every time we meditate, we have to dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly and give our full attention solely on the present moment in silence, while repeating the mantra "Maranatha" (meaning “Come, Lord Jesus) or another chosen mantra. Then in our heart a quiet narrow path will naturally be created, guiding us through the inner confused noise and turbulence.

In St. Mark’s Gospel, we note Jesus’s teachings to his disciples: "Whoever is willing to follow me, he shall abandon himself and carry his own cross to follow me." (Mt 16:24)

This is Jesus basic call to us as well as the foundation of our Christian faith. While meditating, we should leave self behind, take the spotlight off ourselves to enable us to join Christ, heading on the return journey to the Heavenly Father.

Meanwhile, once the soul is rested, moisturized and sanctified, we then have the capacity to experience the fountain of life's happiness. In modern society, there is a tendency to place more significance on self-improvement, self-protection and self-expression.

John Main OSB, the Master of meditation, believes that in meditation, our "true self" meets the core of our “being". In stillness and silence, the concrete essence of the "true self" gradually becomes apparent, allowing the light of the Spirit already dwelling in our hearts, to penetrate our entire "being" under the influence of the spiritual endowment.

Meditation is not an escape, but on the contrary a self-affirmation, letting the Lord heal us so that we can live in harmony with Him. When we abandon and let go of the external manifestations of our consciousness, such as thoughts, languages, and imageries, and enter into silence; then the Holy Spirit is completely open to us as St. Paul said, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (Cor. 2:3:17)

by Lina Lee, Hon Member, The World Community for Christian Meditation (Hong Kong)

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