“It is also important to distinguish between stages and states. You can have a momentary state of unitive or high level consciousness, where you experience your union with God, with other humans, and with animals, the sun, the moon, and the stars. But a momentary state doesn’t mean you’ve practiced it and changed your hardwiring so that it has become a lasting stage. A momentary state has to be practiced for years before it can become a genuine new stage of consciousness. And still it’s up to God, grace, time, love, and suffering to nudge you forward and to keep you there. Even then, at times–for example, when we’re hungry, angry, lonely, tired (H.A.L.T.)–we all backslide. Knowing this will help you understand and forgive yourself and others. “- Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation: Thomas Merton Day- December 10, 2015 Center for Action and Contemplation.
It’s a long quote but a great one today! I couldn’t stop meditating on this quote this morning because I am doing more listening than speaking these days. As I am twice daily practitioner of contemplative prayer in the tradition of Fr. Thomas Merton and Fr. Thomas Keating, I am working on attempting to connect deeply and closely with my fellow human beings. For me, to see the wonder of God and spirit in my fellow humans is as necessary for my life and practice as oxygen and water are for my life. I feel that it would be difficult for me to call myself a physician, teacher and genuine human being if I could not connect.
Since it’s the Advent season for me, I have been making a very feeble attempt to just sing. I have no talent for singing but singing Handel’s Messiah (with a very large group of people) was something that made my heart glad and deepened my resolve to grow in spirituality and awareness. I found each note a joy whether I could sing it or not. Those around me could sing and at the end, we all felt the joy and fellowship.
As Fr. Richard Rohr has said above, “a momentary state has to be practiced”. I resolve that I will keep practicing these momentary states of connection and joy for these moments have helped me to understand and forgive others. I am thankful, grateful and joyful for the fellowship, the friendships and pure joy of just being a human who is growing at this point. I will keep singing the song!