4th Sunday of Advent
In the womb…
When the dark inner space of the womb was our world we knew we were one with God. We didn’t know this cognitively or intellectually but directly through our body being. In this paradise time we were serenaded, massaged and nourished by the womb. Our knowledge was an undifferentiated communion with our mom, the universe and God. This union was pure bliss.
Through the womb we began to know something of the outside world too. Touch, voices and vibration. Sometimes we could pick up vibes that could unsettle us. Maybe the stress of our parents came to be our stress simply because we were all one body union. After birth the unrelenting flood of new phenomena: color, sound, temperature, people and the ups and downs of our own body where overwhelming. Now we experience bliss, but only occasionally.
The unpredictability now creates a lot of worry, nervousness and stress. We have lost contact.
This is the universal story. But we are haunted by the memory of bliss of our undifferentiated union with God and the universe. The memory of the bliss is actually the counterpoint to why we feel so lousy most of the time. We blame ourselves for dropping the golden ball, spilling the shining wine and letting the fire go out. The good news is that the union with God is still there.
It does take a bit more intention to cultivate our experience of the bliss now that we have minds, hearts and instincts that are continuously distracted and impaired by our crazy world. Mature vocational discernment begins when we start to practice the silent trust that we were in the womb.
Contemplative prayer mimics being the womb. It is a posture of trust that you do now as an adult to recover a felt sense of God. Sit in a chair until you are comfortable just sitting there. Once the restlessness has died down. Begin to gently rest your attention on some part of the body where you can feel your sensations. This gives your mind something to “do” without stirring up thoughts. Gradually you will become more and more deeply at rest and silent. This is a way to practice metanoia which is the transcending of the egoic or cognitive mind. What is above this chattering nervous mind is the vast spacious mind of the womb.
Through the womb of contemplative meditation you are being born again with the joy that surpasses all understanding.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director