A Contemplative Conversation


The following is a compilation of dialogues I had with someone over the recent weeks.
The compilation was made by that person, who decided to put together the substantive portions of the spiritual conversations we had.

In his own words: “I wanted to share my reactions and observations about your emails from August. You hit things right on the spot there and offered some valuable troubleshooting for my spiritual journey. Being quite impressed by your remarks, and processing them for over a month, I wanted to put your quotes and my comments into a fictional dialogue.”

At my suggestion and with his agreement, the compilation — his fictional dialogue — is now published here verbatim (except for the interspersed highlighted quotations from the compilation itself). I encourage the reader not only to read the spiritual insights contained therein attentively but also to reflect on them and to contemplate them heartfully. They are spiritual refreshments in our world today.


Marc: We are to glorify this God in our private personal lives and publicly, too, for the world to see the greatness of God. This is the sole purpose for which we are born into “this world” — to bear witness to It (God) and to glorify It in all things.

Neo: It’s not like we must have a specific personal life purpose — we are already living our true spiritual purpose. It can be even said that everyone is glorifying and expressing God at his/her level of understanding. However, more often than not, this Purpose needs to be awakened and recognized in humans.

Marc: God’s life is indivisible and can never be broken up into degrees, fractions or percentages. Be mindful of that always.

Neo: Easier said then done, being mindful of God’s indivisibility, living in a human world that operates on degrees and fractions. We always measure something.

    Beware of the illusion that you have to become “enlightened.”

Marc: Beware of the illusion that you have to become enlightened, which drives you to the desire to have the mystical experience. You ARE already one in God. Oneness between God and you is already established as the Truth. So, you cannot be any more one with God than you already are right now.

Neo: Though I have heard this before, this time something clicked. I did fall into a common spiritual trap: chasing after enlightenment. I kept forgetting the basic spiritual truth: I am already one in God. Luckily, and with your help, I got out.

Marc: But you are not “comfortable with the Truth” because you have not realized it in individual consciousness. You are ill-at-ease with it as you live your life daily and confront the appearances of this world. That builds up mental/emotional stress and anxiety over your spiritual practice and the spiritual journey and the progress you are making.

Neo: You caught me there, Marc — I felt like a thief suddenly illumined by police lights. I was making unnecessary anxiety around my spiritual journey and even forgot to enjoy in my practice, which I did earlier. Truth be told, unnecessary anxiety is pretty much the state of human scene today.

Marc: You meditate so that you can literally “rest” in Truth or in God’s presence.

Neo: Can you believe that I forgot that, too? Instead of resting, I’ve been pushing the “experience”.

Marc: All is done, finished, completed. All is good, that is, all is God ultimately and absolutely. What are you, therefore, striving at and struggling for? Enlightenment? Oneness? Mystical experiences? Can God as you be not enlightened? Can God as you be other than one? Is not God as you experiencing oneness with you all the time? Is there a time when God and you are not one?

Neo: This is where you started kicking ass. Like a master of spiritual karate, you attacked me with several well-measured punches, while my intellectual defences were down, and left me trembling and passing out on the floor. Unable to respond to the koan, embarrassed student returns to his hut, dreaming of defeating The Incredible Marc.

Really, what am I striving for? I was searching after God, like a proverbial fish who wanted to know what the water is. Everything is already here.

    We need the opportunity to feel at ease and comfortable with the skin of our divinity; that is why we meditate.


Marc: The belief that one has to meditate to realize oneness is precisely another belief that needs to be set aside together with all our other human beliefs. It implies that there is some lack of oneness in you which you are trying to have, get, acquire or compensate for through meditation.

Neo: What a beautiful trick of the mind! Spiritual practice even becomes an obstacle for contemplation. It’s not like we have to “add” something to realize oneness, we have to “subtract” human beliefs. I guess you would use the term “DE-condition” instead of “subtract”.

Marc: We need the opportunity to feel at ease and comfortable with the skin of our divinity; that is why we meditate.

Neo: That’s precisely why I thought it would be a good idea to establish a regular meditation routine, but I was forcing it, and it became somewhat dry. Like I said, I forgot to just rest in the truth.

Marc: We are healed once we realize there is NOTHING to be healed.

Neo: This one is another Mind-Fuck Revelation, to use a technical term.

Marc: actual secret to spiritual healing was finally realized and revealed. A sublime quietness and calm and spiritual poise came to me as I smiled and became aware that I was healed.

    I had a few glimpses into Grace… it resulted in a feeling of sublime calm… when I heard Joel say: “Thy presence is the activity of divine grace and Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things”…


Neo: This is wonderfully said. There is the secret (or secrets) to spiritual healing, but this realization is quite personal, even intimate.

I had a few glimpses into Grace, which is closest thing to a mystical experience I had. It’s difficult to put it into words, but it resulted in a feeling of sublime calm. It started when I heard Joel (Goldsmith) say: “Thy presence is the activity of divine grace and Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things” and evolved to a deeper understanding and higher awareness of divine grace. I could almost say that mere existence is grace and inherently healing/healed, but I don’t know if that makes any sense.

I felt strangely attracted to Joel’s phrase “activity of grace”, and later discovered the exactly same term in Orthodox tradition. This led me to an interesting online research about the theological concept of grace. Of course, actual experience, no matter how vague and short, is more important than any amount of research.

Not that I want to obsess about mystical experience. I learned the lesson.

Marc: Sincerity gives you spiritual mileage on the path during the course of the journey, not seriousness about your practice which only invites anxiety, stress, difficulty, discouragement and frustration.

    Sincerity gives you spiritual mileage on the path.

Neo: Being sincere, among other things, means being able to laugh at myself.

Your advice about sincerity resulted in my leaving the practice of Centering Prayer for a several days, and then returning to it with a more relaxed and flexible attitude.

Marc: Our spiritual practice can be counted among our burdens. So, the bottom line of the instruction is: “Come to me, to rest.” Forget about your inner realization of oneness or of God or truth. Forget about having psychic or mystical experiences. Go, just go to the Christ-Self within you. And, just rest, simply rest in there. You need to become familiar with your Christhood. You need to become comfortable in your own God-skin. Literally resting in God helps you with that.

Neo: A masterly instruction, beautiful in its simplicity, cuts through all the fads and non-essentials. And a few more karate punches. Not much to say after this. Let the rest begin.

    You need to become comfortable in your own God-skin. Literally resting in God helps you with that.




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About Marc of Contemplative Pathways

Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of contemporary mysticism. His understanding of the mystical life is rooted in over 30 years of study, practice, unfoldment, realization and experience, in the course of which he has received the gifts of spiritual discernment and transmission. His teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in a student through the process and alchemy of mystical transformation. Marc facilitates the mystical teachings under the style of Contemplative Pathways, enabling others to embark on the spiritual journey by learning the Truth teaching and living its principles. He has been conducting classes and meditation meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area in a classroom, lecture, workshop or group practice setting, for over fifteen years. His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure, authentic mysticism. His approach to the mystical life is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, spiritually transreligious, and definitively unitive and nondualistic. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring and spiritual healing practice. Within the context of the great shift in consciousness now occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work presently focuses on individual and collective spiritual transformation and healing through the practice of contemplation or meditation, as the vehicle for transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness. He remains firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination.
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2 Responses to A Contemplative Conversation

  1. colinwinborn says:

    Dear Marc

    Thank you so much for this! As is God’s way, it arrived at the perfect time, and with exact synchronicity. Wow! I have been agonising recently over the similarities and differences between Vedanta and Christianity, trying to make them “fit”, feeling guilty about lack of commitment, conjuring a “me” who needs to decide one way or the other – and reading far too much, and getting mighty dizzy on proliferating perspectives. This is all the false, would-be self — the wannabe usurper — every bit of it. So rather than getting ensnared in “Should I be agreeing with Cynthia Bourgeault or Joel Goldsmith?”, or, “Should I be practising self-inquiry or centering prayer?” — just relax, and see where Love leads! God has infinite ways of expressing Himself; infinite ways of joying in His Being. No need for right or wrong; this path or that path.

    Thank you for everything you share! It is a wonderful gift.

    With much love

    Colin

    Like

    • I’m glad to know you like the post, Colin, especially how it is speaking directly to your heart and soul.

      I resonate strongly with you when you say: “No need for right or wrong; this path or that path.” Indeed, God is the only being or presence there is that is expressing in life. It is foolish hair-splitting to think that one form of God-expression can be better than or different from another form of God-expression.

      Yet, despite the many, many forms of God-expression we may encounter, ultimately it is how God is expressing through you personally that should matter the most to you, because that is how God is uniquely living its life in you, as you.

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us along this path of life. Just call out to us; we’ll be there for you always.

      Marc

      Like

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