9/17/2016

Drop This Thought

"Take no thought for tomorrow." ~Master Jesus
For thinking addicts, here is a one-moment meditation: DROP THIS THOUGHT. The practice is unbelievably simple, so don't believe in it. Don't even do it.

Dropping this thought doesn't mean trying not to think. Trying to not-think is a repressive waste of energy, because thoughts are inevitable. But we can drop a thought as it arises, and not-clinging requires no effort. In fact, dropping a thought increases energy.
When I drop this thought, the energy bound up in thinking is released from form and expands as pure awareness, sparkling possibility, and boundless joy. The moment I drop this thought, an explosion of transparency fills my inner and outer sky, blessing every atom, resonating into the stars.
Drop the thought, drop the affirmation, drop the belief. What can be formed in the mind is only an idea, and an idea can never bring us one step closer to Being. A thought of happiness is not happiness. A thought of God is not God. The image of Jesus in your mind is not what Jesus IS. Crucify the image.

When you pray, drop the divine name. When you meditate, drop the mantra. The very letting go of the mantra is like dropping a seed into dark loam, sprouting its power. The mantra only bears fruit when it dissolves into silence.

Truth is never the outcome of thinking. We will never construct a chain of thoughts or an argument that will end with the realization, "I found the truth: now everything will be OK!" Truth is a wave of spaciousness in the heart, not a particle of thought in the head. So drop this thought and taste your actual blissful nature.

Although we have been addicted to thinking, thought is not our true nature. One authentic taste of awareness-beyond-thought can awaken our real destiny. This is not a new teaching or an Eastern teaching. In the Bible, awareness beyond thought is called "the peace which passeth understanding." In the Sermon on the mount, Jesus tells his disciples again and again to "take no thought."

This is not the Information Age: it is the Age of Now. We are in recovery from our thinking addiction. Humans all over the earth are discovering the redemptive power of thought-free awareness, in short moments of awakening.

Fall into the well between words. One breath of this clarity is a baptism. Bathe in the blessing that has no content, no name, no ideology. There is no word for this blessing because it is the silence from which words arise. It is ananda, bliss. It is to alight from the ever-circling mind upon the clarity of the heart, like a swan settling upon still water.

And yet this stillness is a dynamic stillness, not a state of inertia. When I drop this thought, there is a surge of awareness, an awakening of space itself. And because this space is unobstructed by any conceptual form, it is dynamically expanding.

The early Christian mystic, St. Gregory of Nyssa, called this experience "epictesis": ceaseless expansion in God. The Greek philosophers had removed God from our experience, into the static idealized realm of pure Being. But St. Gregory described the true taste of mystical experience: the Divine is not static, but ever softly and silently exploding in a widening spiral of ecstasy. The Sanskrit term for this dynamism within the Godhead is "spanda," from which the English word "expand" derives. This spanda, or pulsation within the depths of silence, creates the universe. Quantum physicists now describe it as "fluctuation in the vacuum."

Such pulsing clarity cannot remain enclosed within us, but motivates us to give joy to others. In the subtler strata of creation, this awakened radiance overflows through our senses, energizing our environment. Awareness, sensation and environment are a single continuum, one field. When I drop this thought, I illuminate my senses. I can see hear taste touch more energetically, and this burst of awareness reverberates throughout the earth, cleansing and healing.

The innocence of dropping thought need not be spoiled by turning it into a "technique," or attempting to give it duration through time. I can practice short moments of this throughout the day, without clinging to the experience. Such moments of ecstatic non-doing are excellent meditations for those of us whose minds are fickle and incapable of self-stilling. Which means all of us!

Brevity is the soul of practice. Dropping this thought now, I take a sip of eternity, then go back to work. What happens in that instant? "I" dissolve, and nothing is so refreshing as the dissolution of the do-er.

We have heard of instant karma, but what we need is instant grace. Grace is not a state of duration, maintained by concentration, affirmation, or mindfulness. As C. S. Lewis wrote, we are rather "surprised by grace." Trying to hold on to grace is just an artifice of the ego, a vanity that robs our character of spontaneous joy. Let grace be discovered again and again in the moment, by dropping this thought.

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