by Ken Rolheiser
Spiritual beings in the human condition and TM

"We are not so much human beings experiencing the spiritual condition but we are spiritual beings experiencing the human condition." Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

What a beautiful challenge! The intersection of the human condition and the spiritual reality in the world are summed up in Father de Chardin’s phrase.

Now that is a fascinating concept to ponder. We could reflect on that message for the rest of this week; just sit with it. We are spiritual beings created by God and we are holy.
Every single human being is a spiritual being.

Now let's just take that in for 10 minutes every day. No big exercise in prayer. Just simply sit with the Lord and enjoy our spiritual condition.

For most of my thirty five years of the often stressful job of teaching I enjoyed restoring my balance through meditation. Often it was simple and physical Transcendental Meditation ™. Relax, breathe slowly, blank the mind for twenty minutes or so twice a day.

If you have ever been a passenger in a car or bus, lulled by the humming tires or the sound of the road but not asleep, suddenly becoming alert and realizing that a half hour has passed and you don’t remember being conscious of it? You have just experienced transcendental meditation.
Meditation can be a mystical experience as it touches inner peace and God. Enjoying a state of grace is part of this tranquility of heart. Leonard Cohen spoke about every morning seeking this place of calm where creativity is enhanced.

To reach this religious experience you follow the same basic steps of TM. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and put yourself into God’s presence. This may be easier than you think.

Consider for a moment that every breath of air is a gift from God. Most of us are blessed with the ability to breathe without pain -- a greater gift!. Breathe deeply and slowly, listening to God’s energy and gift in you. Say “thank you” for each breath. You have just established a mantra. This may work for you.

With practise over time you may find a deep and rewarding method that is easy to recall when you seek that deep relaxation. It is not difficult. I first got into the habit following a small meditation primer that cost 25 cents.

Mantras are sometimes said to be deeply personal and secret. Some descriptions say the mantra is seven beats or syllables long. My experience of a current favourite follows some of these prescripts.

My high school German text showed an old man in a state of relaxation in a chair. Under the picture was this caption: Er war in seinem jugend. In his mind he was in his youth. This idea works for me as I place myself back in time to a place or state in my youth.

Variously I can link to a tiredness of mind or a physical tiredness back then and this enhances my current relaxation effort. Or I may enjoy a scene that takes me from the present to a peaceful state or past memory.

The secret to successful meditation is tranquility of heart and soul. Realizing that we are spiritual beings experiencing the human condition can certainly enhance the process.

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