And advancing practice of meditation requires more of the practitioner but also bears appropriate results. If the preliminary practices are understood and ingrained in the meditator, then the habits of meditation begin to take over and lead to a ripening of meditative states. The states, themselves, will depend on what aspects of meditation have come easily for the practitioner, for instance, light, vibrational refinement, serenity, centeredness, clarity, penetrating perception, and such. Each of these can open into a corresponding meditative state.
We explore this a bit in the experience of this meditation.
With the Intermediate practice, we work with energy, inside and all around us, in a variety of ways. Some include:
the energy of gratitude, wonder, and gladness. These lead to the experience of less personalization, less drama, less stress, and more appreciation for people, events, and circumstances in our life. These are perfect in the role of teacher, teaching, and opportunity for awareness-compassion.
the energy of sacred sound and sacred word. There is much to explore with sacred mantra: the meaning of each syllable, the qualities of pure being and compassion that are behind, represented, and invoked by the mantra, as well as oneself as a vibrating being sounding through existence. This leads to the truth that cosmos is also a vibrating, dynamic whole that is sounding sacredly and energetically.
the energy of one’s body, thus of phenomenal existence. Stemming from the above points, one’s meditative capacity for Awareness and states of Being become more factual and begin to repeat as experiences in one’s practice. Due to these, one begins to perceive beyond the form of oneself, beyond the labels that daily expression is predicated upon and, instead, to perceive the energy and radiance that is demonstrating through existence.
Good things take time. These illuminations take practice on and off the cushion, but are accessible to any practitioner because these points are factors of reality which meditation reveals.
At this time of the year, we meditate with Theotokos. She represents the divine mother who births, nurtures, and protects the essential divinity within all people. Yes, in a classical Greek Orthodox Christian tradition, she is the Mother of Christ and the Queen of Heaven. But, if the symbolism is understood – like that of the Christmas story – then, the instruction and inspiration of the spirit is freed from the veils of a particular faith or doctrine.
As the mother of the essence within, then, Theotokos (like Tara, or Prajnaparamita, or Isis, Hathor, Ceres, and more) represents the ability of a person to give rise to the powerful spiritual nature that is innate and ready for birth. She also represents the ongoing nurturing and protection of the vulnerable and toddling spiritual novice as well as the tender sensitivity that all practitioners experience as one opens to the inner grace.
This image of Theotokos also presents something of one’s destiny. Christian imagery aside, the image of Jesus in the bottom left corner reminds us that each of us will mature into the fuller stature of a powerful human being and asks what will we do with that?
As the new year approaches and the current year fades, we can ask ourselves how we have grown, what have we birthed, how have we grown in vulnerability, sensitivity, and thus in the inner capacity of wholeness? With this meditation we meditate as the light within.
The divine feminine principle is the principle of substantiality: matter. As we hold ourselves accountable for this principle, we hold ourselves responsible for and in the joy of bringing forward the greatest light. Substantiality and matter have one purpose: to express the highest potential, the greatest vibration, the livingness of Awareness itself.
We are all pregnant. It is the intention of being human to be a constant point of birth and creation. Relation is birth, kindness is birth, creativity is birth, words are births, thoughts give birth. Every moment already is the mystery of birth, so let us give rise to the best. Let us no longer birth anger or impatience, bigotry or contempt, but like Theotokos, bring forward great Light, common Compassion, Inspiration, and Responsibility.
We are incarnated, made flesh by our intention to be in this world. One’s substantiality is proof of the vibration of one’s Being. Let us vibrate this essential quality of Life and Light into the world, through our relations, through the common moments and events of every day.
The days of Light (solstice, full moon, Hanukkah, and Christmas) remind humanity of its purpose and nature. Like the rhythm of the sea making sand of great boulders, the repetition of Goodness will transform the pain of the world. Humanity’s light, lived as the commonality of each peons’s daily existence, is all that is needed. So, the Christ said, “You are the light of the world,” and so Theotokos holds the eternal child: humanity.
Make your light common! Be the gift the world needs this Christmas. Be the light!