"The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but is one who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect to anticipate the words that will transform his darkness into light.
He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and, when he is answered it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence. It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God."
- Thomas Merton
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I have long been perplexed by "the power of manifestation". So... you want me to sit and visualize what my future self looks like? How am I supposed to know?!
I believe I don't yet know HOW to imagine what my future will hold, because my mind does not yet have the capacity, the framework. The mind cannot visualize or imagine something that is not already within its existing framework -- so why would I want to limit myself to that?
This is where the potency of getting quiet speaks to my heart. To my intuitive knowing. This is where getting OUT of the mind -- and coming back again and again to inquire into its patterns and contents -- feels the most true.
Because what I CAN see is where the patterns of the mind, 'samskaras' in yogic philosophy, trip me up on my journey to expand. When I fall into the same habits of self-doubt, sabotage, distraction.
When I don't answer that email for three days because it would mean a big and exciting but kinda terrifying commitment. When I choose to putter about the house instead of taking my pup to the beach until -- oops! The daylight is gone. When I delay scheduling that workshop, or private session because... what if?
When Fear is running the show, there's no way I can even begin to tap into what it might feel like to be living my life to my highest potential.
So before I get there, before I'm imagining cavorting through the streets of Morocco with a posse of yogis, I must get to know the patterns that send me spiraling into Fear:
What Need am I afraid will not be met?
Love? Support? Connection? Money?
And by letting Fear speak the loudest, how am I blocking the flow of those VERY things?
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I return to this: "[S]He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. [S]He does not demand light instead of darkness. [S]He waits on the Word of God in silence, and, when [s]he is answered it is not so much by a word that bursts into [her] silence. It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to [her] as a word of great power, full of the voice of God."
There is always room to soften and receive.