Though many people every day all over the world sit on floors, on cushions, on their heels or on chairs in an attempt to enter into some level of inner stillness or broadened consciousness, very few actually ever manage to go very far into that sought-after state. Most people do feel more relaxed after the quiet times in which they chose to meditate. That is in itself a worthy result. But most wish that they could go further into the stillness, further into their inner beings, further into the world of spirit — and they are saddened and frustrated that the times of attempted meditation do not bear more fruit. What is it that keeps most meditators from achieving higher consciousness and lasting inner peace in spite of their repeated efforts to do so through their meditative practices?
The most frequent reason that keeps people from having the greater, more desired effects of their meditative practices is that they do not love. If you enter into meditation with intentions of stillness and peace, but your heart is not opening with love to that which is the Great Love, not much will happen. The great mystics of all traditions have not coincidentally also been the great lovers of God. When they entered into meditation, they went into their inner chambers anticipating with great yearning and devotion to have a meeting with God. That God is God of Love, so the meeting and the relationship had to be one of love. This is not the romantic kind of love, because it is not about what you can get for yourself. But it is most definitely about the possibility of entering into the fullest, deepest and most profound love relationship any person can ever have.
To have a lover/beloved relationship with God within, you will have to be ready to accept the profound experience of being completely known and loved to your very core. You will need to be prepared to have the experience of that love changing you and your life in unexpected ways. When you feel that loved by this Being that knows all your faults, all your weaknesses, and all your wounds, you will either accept it in awed humility or you will pull back in fear and shame. To be prepared to be able to accept the experience of such profound love, you will need to do some work. The work involves you opening up to the feelings that you have repressed and which you have been afraid to feel or too ashamed to acknowledge. The inner experience of Divine Love has to move through your heart, so your heart will first need to be opened up to your own feeling of all that is in it. Then, when you can face yourself and your feelings, you will need to be able to ask for and accept forgiveness for what you have done wrong. Without this step, you will be too afraid or too mad to be able to open to the influx of that great Love.
If you are willing to do this preparatory work and make your heart one that will be able to receive and hold the experience of the Love that God within you holds for you, you will discover being completely, deeply and unconditionally loved in a way no human could ever give to you. Then you will begin to know who you are and who God is. Then you will begin to truly know how to meditate.
Mother Clare Watts is a mystic, ordained Priest, Master Teacher of Christian mysticism, and Co-Director of a mystical Christian Order and school with 15 Centers of Light in cities across the country. She holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, with extensive post-graduate training in Jungian Analysis, is a Certified Professional Midwife, and has enjoyed successful careers in both fields. She is the mother of four grown children and currently lives in Dolores, Colorado where she co-directs the effort to develop the Sophia Peace Center.