This is a guest post by R. Glenn Guillory
A Simple Meditation Practice
Every day I am in the practice of walking outside and standing under the 4 a.m. sky. I stand on a stepping stone on the path that leads off into the garden and the small wood at the far end of the garden. I tell myself that when I stand on this stone and center, become mindful, I am as enlightened as I ever will be. I have been standing on this stone, each morning, for many years, since the late 60s, and I almost pop into a meditation state instantly. I looked up this morning and saw the full moon hidden behind cotton gauze-like fast moving clouds and I had the experience of the presence of God. I felt the God of the joy of my youth: “Ad deum qui laetificat, juven tutem meam” [I go to the altar of God, God the joy of my youth].
God in the Familiar
I sensed God’s immediacy, the intense intimate presence of the enormous consciousness that knows every particle of me and the world! I realized why it has been so hard for me to explain what it is that characterizes my faith in God. I believe in God. Lately, when asked about my belief in God I have said things that sum up to, “I just believe in God on faith, and my faith is weak.” However, I always feel that I verbalized my spiritual experiences with less accuracy that I can have when I talk about my political beliefs. Well, this morning at 4 a.m. on my garden steppingstone I looked up and saw evidence of the presence of God.
Now I know why I’ve been missing out on the presence of God in my life. I’ve been saying my faith is not based on any facts, but on a strong desire to believe in God no matter what. I realized why I had lost touch with the God of my youth.
Connecting with Love, and Its Source
I noticed suddenly that God was enormous, tremendously phenomenally vast and endlessly everywhere. I felt him in my heart and my heart-knowing of God warmed me and connected me to a presence of God that was larger than the earth, the moon, the clouds and the light. God is more vast and present than the brightest of lights. God is more enormous than the darkness of space and the darkness in my mind. God was not hard to see for me this morning, and I felt myself renewed with the same font that renewed me every day as a child, and young boy. I was so always aware of the presence of God, especially at the altar, and in the forest that I was never alone. I was always accompanied by angels, but more importantly even than a guardian angel, I was always and completely connected to God.
I wondered at the faith of my youth for years, but now I know where that feeling of being loved by an ever present God came from. As a child I was moment by moment reaffirming my belief in God and moment by moment my God showed me grace and light. I thought it was a continual experience, without interruption and without any limitation. As an adult, an old man, I was trying to reconnect with that continuous awareness of the presence of God and only discovered that I only could have a rare moment now and then of the presence of God, but this morning it changed.
Meditation as a Faith Builder
My moments of “faith confirmed” have begun to be frequent enough stop being experienced as isolated packets of God consciousness. The confirmation of my faith in moments of felt presence of God have become so frequent that I no longer experience them as discrete moments. No. Now I find that my faith has lept from the single steppingstone to a continuity that runs from my heart to the ends of creation. I feel the continuity of my faith. I feel the continuity of my faith as it now flows incessantly and reliably like a river of belief. Doubt is washed away.
I stood on a stepping stone in the garden this morning and saw the vastness of God manifest in the world and in my heart!