The living Truth

Meditation. Being Human

Guest writer and CAC teacher James Finley continues to share insights on meditation (another word for contemplative prayer).

Reading the Gospels, we get the impression that Jesus was fully human from the ground up. He did not live out of his head. It was not mere ideas that he espoused, but deeply lived truths about what it means to be a fully alive human being. We see the glory of God in the fully alive human person of Jesus. And we see how Christ invites us and empowers us to see the glory of God in the flesh-and-blood human being we simply are and are called to be.

When we meditate, we enter the mind of Christ from the ground up. We settle into the mystery of the concrete immediacy of our breathing and our bodily being. We are quietly attentive to the thoughts and feelings that arise, endure, and pass away within us. Sitting in this way, we do not fly off into some eternal realm. Rather, we enter into the mind of Christ, which knows and is the divine generosity of the concrete immediacy of ourselves just as we are. There are not two minds of Christ, one human and the other divine. Rather, the mind of Christ is the realized oneness of the divine and all that we are as human beings. Who we are in Christ is in no way reducible to our everyday, ordinary self. Nor is who we are in Christ in any way dualistically other than our ordinary self.

Sometimes we might believe that we are meditating to open ourselves to some kind of extraordinary experience beyond what we are accustomed to in our day-by-day life. And there is some truth in this. There are incremental degrees of spiritual awakening to oneness with God beyond ordinary experience. But as the spiritual journey continues to deepen, it comes full circle back to where we started. We get up in the morning and touch our feet to the floor. And we know that this ordinary experience of this utterly ordinary event is the mystery of oneness with God manifesting itself in and as this very ordinariness.

~ James Finley


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