'Watch and Pray' - A Sabbath Meditation

Zen Master Jesus gives us this koan: "Watch and pray." (Matthew 26:41)

Like all koans, it is a paradox, for one cannot watch and pray at the same time. He seems to ask the impossible, because the silent Witness who rests as pure awareness does not ask God for anything.

But Jesus is pointing the way to a deeper kind of prayer, one that does not ask, but watches. This prayer is its own answer, because in awakened silence, no question arises.

How could questions arise from hollow naked Being? In the silent inner garden of the Witness, there is no movement of thought. Jesus loves us to rest here with him, beyond asking.

But our Sabbath rest in the heart's hollow is neither passive nor devoid of love. It is a dynamic repose. How can I explain this? I can't, but I will try.

Awareness free from thought meets no limit, no resistance, no conception or desire, in a stillness that widens without effort to encircle the earth, the sun and stars. What is the flavor of motionless expansion?

Ananda. Bliss.

The ever-opening blossom of emptiness fills all, encompasses all, unites all. And what unites is compassion. The fruit of silence is love.

This is how a fountain of active love springs from the wordless prayer of the witness. This is how compassion springs from dispassion. This is how light is born of darkness, waves of stillness, Christ of Mary's womb.

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