As I continue with my spiritual practice of prayer, reflection and meditation, it becomes clearer and clearer that it is my resistance to life that causes my discomfort, doubts and fears.
What causes this resistance? A judging mind that is stuck in the past, going over and over what should or might have been; or focused on the future and what should or ought to be. Anything to stay out of the present moment and connect with what is going on inside me now!
The self-centred mind does not focus on the present moment. Yet it is only in the present that we can access peace, joy, love and goodwill. As we learn to still the mind, these qualities rise up from within, because they are already here. We think we have much to learn, but in truth life is more about unlearning and releasing the false ideas we have previously accepted, so we are free to claim and know the truth of who we are.
Mindfulness has picked up on this need and gives wonderful tools to help the mind get still – for example, focusing on our breath, our hands on our laps or a simple word like peace.
As we practice stilling the mind and quietly meditating on peace we are practising the art of non-resistance. When busy thoughts take over, we can say to them, peace be still, gently refocus our attention within and return to stillness. The more we practice this, the more we can release and move through the fear and discomfort to the true centre of peace within.
The first step is to know that we are always safe, loved and precious. In the Mind of God we are loved no matter what we do. Thus when we make mistakes, we can hear the gentle nudge of encouragement to make amends and learn to respond in a new way that blesses us and those around us. And we practice, practice, practice, making this a daily routine.
So have faith and take heart. Peace really does lie at the centre of our being. We can find what we seek, because it is who we truly are.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
The season of Lent, which starts on 14th February, is the perfect time to take this practice on-board more deeply. The new Unity Lent booklet has daily ideas to reflect and meditate on, enabling us to free ourselves of unwanted thoughts and practices, to experience ourselves in a renewed, revitalised and transformational way.
Our spring retreat at The Kairos Centre is focused on helping us free ourselves from resistance, judgement and blame, to the deeper experience of peace. Based on the book, “The ‘I’ of the Storm” by Gary Simmons, we will delve into ideas and practices that we can use to experience the peace we seek to know, first in ourselves and then out in the world.