Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of thee;
Thou only knowest what I need;
Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself.
O Father, give to Thy child that which
he himself knows not how to ask.
I dare not ask either for crosses or for consolations;
I simply present myself before thee,
I open my heart to Thee.
Behold my needs which I know not myself;
see and do according to Thy tender mercy.
Smite, or heal;
depress me or raise me up;
I adore all Thy purposes without knowing them;
I am silent;
I offer myself in sacrifice;
I yield myself to Thee:
I would have no other desire than to accomplish Thy will.
Teach me to pray.
Pray Thyself in me.
- François de Salignac Fenelon,
Archbishop of Cambray, 1651-1715, AD
My closest, greatest teacher (Abdi Assadi) has to constantly remind me of this fact (posting title) but I’ve struggled with the idea of it my entire life. More-and-more I look at myself and see the problems with my mind – the way it works – the ‘monkey mind’ as it were. It’s extremely difficult NOT to be your own greatest obstacle/enemy, especially when you have significant ‘childhood woundings’, caretaker tendencies, and self-esteem issues that you’re working through.
I recently came across the Web site for Steve Pavlina and specifically his blog posting for working with intentions: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/06/how-intentions-manifest/
Steve says, “Whatever you imagine with enough energy will eventually manifest. If your thoughts are clear and focused, you’ll manifest your desires relatively quickly and easily. If your thoughts are jumbled and chaotic, you’ll manifest a seemingly random and haphazard life for yourself.”
Also well put was, “Regardless of whether I think the universe is objective or subjective, I know that my dominant thoughts are the key determinants of my results in life. My thoughts control my decisions, and my decisions over time control my results. When I really understood that, I assumed a new level of responsibility for every thought that went through my mind. I decided to take conscious control of my thoughts no matter what. I saw that I could no longer afford to have my mind haphazardly dwelling on things I didn’t want.”
I read his posting a couple of times and really appreciated his message. I looked at his biographical information and came to appreciate it even more. It seems that some of us must hit ‘rock-bottom’ before we can begin our ascension. Another teacher of mine (Rolf Gates) said that (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “I had to be utterly and completely humbled before I was willing to surrender to guidance from a higher power”.
It is an interesting type of masochism that works in me (us?) that wants to continually validate the idea that the universe is conspiring against me or at least ‘deaf’ to our intentions and prayers. I can honestly say that my mind has an unhealthy affinity for gravitating towards the negative. It’s self-sabotage at the level of thought – and these tendencies are the ‘intention killers’ that Steve Pavlina talks about. Every time I think that I can’t do something, I’ll fail at something, something won’t work-out, something will go wrong, I won’t be supported, etc. – that’s EXACTLY what happens. I’ve grown extremely adept at manifesting the things I don’t want because I focus on them at the level of thought MUCH MORE than the things I do. Interesting stuff! I mean, my ego is EXPERT at this – and the ego LOVES being the expert. The great masters tell us that this is the ego mind continually trying to CONTROL everything – and it asserts control by negating the limitless possibilities of the universe. Basically, the mind doesn’t want us to believe that there is another power (other than itself) that is actually in control – another power (the only power) that we’ve forgotten by design – the power we must strive to remember, honor and access.
I remember Myron Stolaroff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myron_Stolaroff) speaking about “being above the line or below the line” in meditation (podcast: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=110 - an astoundingly beautiful tribute to Dr. Albert Hoffmann on the occasion of his 100th birthday). My understanding of this concept has a lot to do with the noise of the mind, a kind of ‘thermo cline’ – like barrier that separates realms of thought/being (emptiness/receptivity). If I can remain ‘above the line’ I am in a place where the negative tendencies of the ego mind can’t go – if I fall ‘below the line’, I am at their mercy and lost in suffering.
I am not a good meditator. I do not have a consistent practice. My Ashtanga hatha yoga practice is the type of ‘moving meditation’ that I can easily grasp on a consistent basis because it suits my personality type and perhaps my level of spiritual development. I wish I could do better in this regard. I am too easily distracted. Consistent meditation is too difficult for me. Funny thing about these thoughts – I’ve done it yet again…