Two Dimensions in a Cycle: Focus and Movement:
Each of the six Cycles of Meditation has focus and movement. As previously discussed, attentive though differs from active or managed thought. In attentive thought we allow our thoughts to arise, to come to us and we pay attention to them. Another way of thinking of this sort of intelligence is being mindful or out mental processes. In managed thought we chose what to think about and what to do. As Christians, we believe that a loving God initiates a relationship though our ordinary experiences. God may want us to be available to someone in the joy or their sorrow. God may want us to stop and really listen to someone in our circle of people. And if we are going to hear and respond, we have to turn loose of our metal processing from time to time. Otherwise we will be so distracted we don’t hear God. We can even turn prayer and Bible Study into a self directed activity that completely misses God’s Presence.
So we practice attentive intelligence. The simplest way I have found to do this when we want to be aware of our actual experience is to ask a simple question. It focuses our attention without actively managing what happens next. The movement of thoughts within our mind comes from within. God is found in the space between thoughts. Memories and intuitions come to us. In attending to them we can learn what our experiences actually are and we make space for God to rearrange our conclusions. As you experience these things, you will come to understand this more clearly.
The first question I start people with is, “Lord, do you love me?”
We all know the right answer is “Yes.” But we all have had people in our lives that did not care for us. Even those who do care for us are not always happy with us. And then there are the times we mistook correction for anger rather than the firm face of love. Meditation helps us to sort though our conclusions about life with God’s eyes.
The Result of Our Mixed Experience with Love Is We Need to Learn to Listen for the Voice that Speaks God’s Truth:
When we ask God, “Do You Love Me?” we limit our focus to one movement: God to us. Other movements includes Us to God, Others to Us and Us to Others. Each full cycle will take your focus through all the movements. And you will hear or feel a simple “Yes” at times. You will recall quite wonderful moments from your day which you would otherwise forget even happened. And you will bump into other stuff. As you practice you will learn to “move past” thoughts that are simply incompatible with the nature of God and the relationships God calls us to. You will have practice tuning into the Truth and ignoring the endless chatter between our ears that does not make sense. It is incompatible with God’s nature.