7/22/2016

Kenosis: Entering Loss

       Magdalene Chapel, Bedoin, France
To meditate is to enter the centerless convergence of every pair of opposites. This is the Cross, a black hole where polarities collapse in a burst of self-annihilation, which is at once the supreme loss and the supreme luminosity. 

To be crucified with Christ is the infinite negation at the heart of the world, where creation explodes from emptiness, light from darkness, life from death, particles from the quantum vacuum. Only naked consciousness can enter the needle's eye at the empty center of the Cross. Thought, memory and desire must be abandoned, along with the "me" who thinks, remembers and wants.

 In transcendental deep meditation, emptiness is absolute. No-thing remains. "Absolute" comes from the Latin ab - away - and  solvere - to loosen.  "Absolute" and "lose" share the same Indo-European root - leu - meaning to loosen, divide, cut apart. 

Meditation is not meditation if I cling to any concept of meditation. Meditation is not meditation if I name it "yoga," "advaita," "zen," "christian," "jewish" or "muslim." When I transcend, all names and forms are cut away. Meditation is the fullness of unconditional loss.
Is this not what Jesus means when he says, "Whoever clings to his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will save it"? (Luke 17.33)

The Epistle to the Philippians declares that "Jesus emptied himself." (2.7) The rarely used Greek word kenosis lies at the heart of Christianity. It means "self-emptying." Self-emptiness is the hollow at the center of the Cross. Kenosis is precisely what the Buddha called anatta, "no-self," and what yogis call nirbija samadhi, "seedless meditation." 

In the depths, no "I" can encounter the void. But meditation itself becomes the void when "I" disappear. To merely encounter the void makes me empty, like a dumb-founded hiker staring into the Grand Canyon. But to become the void is quite different. There is no observer, no hiker. The one who was standing on the edge leaps in.

To become the void engenders compassion. Because I am no-thing, I get entangled with every electron in the universe. That entanglement is the only "I."
My own awareness is the quantum vacuum, where particles vibrate out of the Uncreated into creation. My surrender is the stillness between the heartbeats of a mouse. My silence envelopes the trillium growing in virgin forest shadows where no one has ever walked. I am thousands of fathoms beneath light.

Surrendering to this process of self-annihilation is passing through the center of the Cross. "I" am crucified.

The practice of transcendental meditation and the way of Christ are exactly the same. This was revealed to me at the Prioré de la Madeleine, a small 9th Century monastery in the village of Bedoin, France, while offering my heart before a single candle on a primitive stone alter, carved with the figure of Mary Magdalene. LINK
 Magdalene Alter, Bedoin, France

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