Meditative grace

I have been practicing daily meditation for about 3 years, though with some irregularity at times. I started with 20 mins, then to 25 mins, 30 mins, and once, an hour. But though the time spent meditating can be long, my experience is that it is not often, and not for very long, that I can enter into that center of peace – where all thoughts cease and an overwhelming yet gentle sense of peace settles into my being. In fact, sometimes practicing the discipline of meditation is arduous and discouraging. I can spend an entire 30 mins meditating and for the entire time my brain is actively thinking of other matters.

For some reason, I have not been meditating for the last 5-6 weeks. Neither have I felt guilty for missing my meditation. But I had began to wonder how I will work in my meditation and prayer time again, because these days, my days’ schedule vary from day to day. And yet I know that despite not having been meditating or ‘praying’ in the old way that I do, I have been spending more time in prayer these days than I ever have. Sometimes it’s praying for others, sometimes it’s in dialogue with God, sometimes it’s just a presence in my heart.

And so it came as a surprise to me when just now, while I was praying for a man who had stabbed his mom with a pair of scissors, I closed my eyes, and suddenly slipped into a meditative trance. I was not in the physical position for meditation (back straight, feet on the ground, hands open upon my knees), and I did not even begin a mantra. Yet I felt myself filled with a relaxing energy, and a serene and calming love began spreading from the center of my being, filling my body. My thoughts ceased and I became simply present, and I knew that this was the first time in my life that I had touched the core of the peace that meditation brings.

Yet I had not even tried! My heart is filled with the understanding that even this – is given by God’s grace. I feel assured that I need not worry when I can practice my meditation. That even this, He will plan for me.

These days have been more liberating than I had ever imagined. I do not need to plan anything, and yet my day is filled to the brim. ‘Appointments’ may come up suddenly, be they in person, via email, via video-conferencing or phone. But they never clash. And often, just as one ends, another crops up. So it is that though I never feel the need to plan my next ‘action item’, somehow, things just fall into place.

I am well known for not being able to suffer hunger. I get grumpy, then dizzy if I as much as skip a meal. And yet, for the last 2 weeks, I have skipped several meals, sometimes without any hunger if I was ministering to someone during meal time. And yet I am never dizzy or weak or grumpy. In the past I was rather obsessively fond of food. But these days, I never have any craving, and I feel ready to eat whatever is set before me.

I am grateful that the first people that God has called me to minister to are my family and my husband’s family. Changes are really happening in my family. The impossible relationship between my parents for the last 20 odd years which, despite many attempts at ‘fixing’ had only made worse, is now making rapid progress towards reconciliation within days. Changes are happening in the people around me too as they seem much more filled with grace and love and patience.

I am deeply aware that none of what is changing is of my doing. In fact, it is precisely because I have learned to empty myself and trust completely in God that I can feel His grace much more powerfully than before.

I marvel at God’s promises and I wait in joyful anticipation to see them fulfilled.

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