Early morning rise. The sun is shining from outside my bedroom window. Sounds of the green leaves on the trees rustle as the wind blows the cracks in my old crickety windows. My initial thoughts of the morning: thankful to be alive, excited to see the sun, grateful to be in Oxford, and proud of myself for figuring out how to work the coffee machine’s automatic timer as I can now smell the morning brew!
I jump out of bed ready to greet the day. I mean…it’s a day of running, reflecting, reading and writing…how amazing is that?! Pour some hot black coffee into the white porcelin mug, take a seat on my couch overlooking the view of the River Thames, the trees, and boats floating across the waters. Enjoying a few sips of the hot coffee, I set my alarm for a 20 minute meditation, sit upright and begin to turn inward.
The meditation starts out a bit restless as I’m ready to get outside and explore. Slowly the restlessness moves its way out of the room and I settle into myself. God moves. The soul, heart, mind and body respond. Receiving takes place.
Meditation I’ve learned over the years is not about your attention, but your intention. My attention will always wander about wherever I am. The goal is not to judge the state of my attention, but to focus on my intention. Why am I sitting? Who am I sitting for? What is my purpose? Those are the questions to ponder. The best analogy I’ve heard is by Thomas Keating who basically says, “What parent gets upset at their child when they fall asleep while sitting in their lap as they read them their evening bedtime story? The parent is actually happy that their child feels so safe and secure sitting in their arms that they are able to fall asleep.” So too is God. God isn’t preoccupied with where our attention is going, but appreciative that our intent is to rest in God’s loving arms.