Creative Meditation – Can trees speak?

Contemplative Prayer, The Contemplative Journey 1 Comment »

The contemplative journey includes hours of meditation to find one’s self and one’s God – and to discover where they meet. Meditation practices can involve focusing on one’s breath, using a mantra or prayer word, focusing on sacred words and focusing on God’s creation. My personal practices have revolved around using a sacred word to keep me silent and still while I recognize that I am in the presence of the Divine, who is everywhere but also dwells within.

I have recently experimented in my contemplative prayer practices by focusing on parts of God’s creation. I have always been attracted to trees and how holy and essential they are in man’s existence. Scripture speaks of the tree of life, the fig tree, the broom tree and good trees bearing good fruit. So I started my meditation on trees, sitting silently in awe of these wonderful creations.

Tree with leafTo my surprise I discovered that while meditating on trees, I realized that I was focusing on the space that holds or moves the trees. I was meditating on what could not be seen by the naked eye; breezes, the wind, stillness and no movement. I started to notice what I couldn’t see! The space that envelops the trees seemed to take form and have substance. The CO2 that the tree produces combines with the nitrogen and oxygen to form an invisible mold that supports the tree in its existence. I realized that the atmosphere was a vibrant sea of atoms and molecules that were providing energy to all of creation. It could not be seen with the naked eye, but you could see the impact of this composition of energy. This is the same way that I feel about the God that I can not see using my eyes.

The very air that I breathe unconsciously every day has become the mechanism for me to dream about the awe and daily creations of my unseen God. While meditating, I used my journal to note the thoughts that sprung forward about this invisible soup of energy and love. Our atmosphere is much more that the naked eye can perceive. Our atmosphere

  • Appears like the ocean with no water; full of life and energy
  • Is a cradle of energy given for man’s uses
  • Is a hidden highway for prayers to travel
  • Permits remote healing
  • Is a paper thin doorway to the spiritual realms
  • Allows international communication (Radio, TV, Telephone, Location…)
  • Exerts the power of Neptune and Katrina
  • Facilitates personal healing through the deep breathing of air
  • Is a Divine Web of spiritual communication

Our atmosphere is invisible, holy, life giving, and a gift from the Divine. We can not see air but we can see its footprints. Just like we can not see God, but we can see the footprints of God every day of our life. Just look! Just meditate!

  1. Find a tree that attracts you and sit quietly in front of it
  2. Take some deep breaths of the very air that you want to focus on
  3. Meditate on the air that envelopes the leaves
  4. Focus on how the invisible holds the visible
  5. Reflect, ponder on this interaction
  6. God is everywhere (“Spirit of God was hovering”) beyond your visual comprehension
  7. Let the Indwelling God come fuse with the Omnipresent God
  8. Rest in the knowledge that you are held in love by what you can not see

The contemplative path is one that invites you to use your creative powers to see with your heart what you can not see with your eyes in the material world. Allow the Divine to speak to you in a period of reflection and ponder how God is speaking to us through all creation. The space between the leaves is simply a metaphor for a God’s vibrant web of energy providing us love, knowledge and sustenance. What will we discover next? As the ancient monks said “God is closer to us than our very breath.” In closing, a poem of affirmation by Denise Levertov about God’s deep embrace:

“The Avowal” by Denise Levertov

“As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and waters bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace”

Overcoming the Fear of Death – The Path of Presence

The Contemplative Journey No Comments »

By Leonard Jacobson | Published: May 1, 2010

Question: I have been a spiritual seeker almost all my life. I have had many wonderful experiences and feel I have grown and evolved immensely. However, there is still one area which I feel has not changed much and that is my fear of dying. How can I overcome this fear of death?

Leonard’s answer: If you are not present, and you are functioning mostly from within the mind, then death is always approaching, and it creates fear in two ways. The first is that we are afraid of the unknown, and generally what happens after death is unknown, and so we are afraid of it. To the extent that you are afraid of death, you will miss life, simply because the fear of death keeps you in the future, and life is only truly experienced in the present.

Fear of death also arises because of our attachments. The more attached we are to people or things, the more we will fear losing those things and so the more we will fear death. To overcome the fear of death, you will have to become more present.

When you are present, you are in the unknown in the sense that the remembered past or the imagined future is not with you. All you know is this moment, not because you understand it or know it with your mind, but because you are experiencing it, moment to moment. It is very peaceful, and the more present you are, the more you will trust the unknown and the more relaxed and accepting you will be.

If you are truly present, there is no such thing as death. One moment, you are here, alive. The next moment you are here, alive. If you remain present, then at the point of passing all you will experience is a moment of transition as you leave the body. Prior to that moment of transition, if you are present, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion. During that moment of passing, if you are present, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion. After that moment of passing, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion. You will also experience a lot of light as you are returned to the dimension of the soul. Before this incarnation, you existed as a soul within the soul dimension. After leaving the body, you will be returned to that dimension, but your experience there will be radically transformed by the level of Presence and Oneness realized in this lifetime. Future incarnations will be radically affected by the level of Presence and Oneness realized in this lifetime.

To be fully present, you will also have to surrender your attachments. You accomplish this by bringing everything that you are attached to into consciousness. Own your attachments. Acknowledge them and confess them. Your attachments keep you imprisoned in the past or future. Your attachments keep you out of Oneness and in separation. Realize that you came into this world alone, and you will leave this world alone. You cannot take anything or anyone with you, but you can take your sense of attachment with you. This will create fear and it will contribute to the soul’s sense of separateness and loss.

In truth, you are the champion of the soul and it is through your awakening into Oneness through Presence in this lifetime that your soul will be restored to immortality. The more present you are in your day-to-day life, the more present you will be in that moment of transition. If you are present, it is truly a moment of great inspiration for those who love you. It is a moment worthy not of grief, but of great celebration.

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