Depleted selves or gifted selves to offer

By Dave Henning / November 5, 2021

“Though taking ten or twenty minutes to meditate may seem like a self-indulgent luxury, without it we will only have our distracted, depleted selves to offer.  A practice that centers us, refreshes us, and enables us to offer more of ourselves to God and others is wise stewardship of the only gift — the gift of ourselves — that we have to offer the world.”- Ken Shigematsu

Ken Shigematsu concludes Chapter 4 of Survival Guide for the Soul as he talks about two goals of meditation.  Next, Ken contrasts those two goals with two goals that cloud your focus..

Hence, when you meditate, Ken counsels, don’t mainly seek to experience a singular moment of bliss.  Rather, rest in your Father’s company and seek the working of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of your life.  In addition, open your soul, mind, and body to the quiet work of the Holy Spirit.  You’ll find yourself more aware of God’s movements in and around you.  So, don’t look to become a ‘successful meditator.’

In his book Intimacy with God, Father Thomas Keating describes the Holy Spirit as a ‘divine archeologist.’  Just as workers at a dig unearth successive layers of an ancient tel, the Holy Spirit excavates layers of your soul.  Ken adds:

“Though this excavation process can be painful, when we offer our hurts to God, we experience cleansing, healing, and greater wholeness. Our relationship with God and other people becomes less cluttered by obstructions.”

In conclusion, Ken notes, the external pressure to produces often pushes us to begin living outside ourselves.  To the neglect of our Soulful Adam.  As a result, we need the Holy Spirit to awaken us to the Ancient Beauty within us all.  As Augustine once prayed, ,”Ancient Beauty, ever new, you were within me, but I was living outside myself.”

Therefore, deny stress the chance to send you running frantically on the treadmill of work.  Or tempting you to turn to an addictive habit to numb your pain.  Instead, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” – Psalm 34:18

Today’s question: How do you see meditation helping our depleted selves?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “An act of resistance – celebrate the Sabbath”

About the author

Dave Henning

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