In this week's episode of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts on The Mystical Path, we deal with the all-important topic of distractions: the barrage of thoughts, images, memories, and emotions that rise up and clamor for attention in our mind just when we want to be silent and focused in meditation. We consider different types of distraction, from agitation and dullness, to spiritual inspiration and the desire to become a mystic! We discuss antidotes to distraction, as taught by the Desert Fathers, the Cloud of Unknowing, St. Teresa of Avila, and modern mystics. We examine the use of a mantra or sacred word to cut through distractions and refocus the mind on God. Yet we realize that if we’ve not yet had the direct experience of divine encounter (or even if we have and wish to return there), we don’t know what it means to "focus on God." On what do we focus? We discover that we need to become acutely aware of the movements of the mind and the heart in meditation, without grasping on to any of them, but letting them go, one by one. As we develop this technique, we may become aware of the very fact of being aware. And thus we may move closer and closer to an experience of Divine Awareness at the ground of our being.
The Guided Meditation leads the listener through just such a meditation practice, first watching the movement of the breath and sensations in the body, then becoming aware of the thoughts and images in the mind as well as the emotions attached to those thoughts and images, and finally resting in the stillness of awareness. This is a mystical path of meditation that can radically transform our daily lives.
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