Over a year ago, I met with a priest I had known since childhood. I was deeply troubled then, and felt at the end of my tether as to how to handle some really hurtful personal problems. He listened with great love and compassion. Of course he didn’t offer any solution, as there were none. But he prayed with me, and then he spoke to me about meditation.
He asked me to try a different form of prayer, a meditative one. With no words, no dialogue. “Just be in the presence of God,” he told me. I sat there and listened intently. But while I could understand what he was trying to say, I couldn’t fathom how to do it. There was something about stillness, solitude and silence that I had not yet learned back then. I had not yet actually befriended them, though I had already crossed paths with them now and then.
I’m on much better terms with solitude and silence now than I was back then. Now when I feel restless or lonely, I no longer ignore it or try to run away from it. I sit with it, and I find it’s true… loneliness can be turned to solitude if I learn to listen to the inner voice of love in the core of my being.
A year ago, that same priest gave me a little booklet on meditation. For more than a year it was untouched. I brought it back with me to Toronto this time. I’ve found a new way to get better acquainted with my new friends Silence and Solitude. It’s not easy, but I’ll try my darndest to be really disciplined for once! :P
Actually, even earlier than a year ago, my mom had tried introducing me to a method of prayerful meditation. I think I tried it once, felt nothing, found it too hard to keep doing, and gave it up. This time it’s quite different. Because I’m not expecting anything to happen. I just be.