Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor
Before we are reborn, we do not know even that an inner being exists, let alone what it is, imagining there is no difference between the two selves. This is because we are absorbed by bodily and worldly interests and merge the concerns of the inner being with those interests. Out of distinct and separate planes we make one confused whole. Therefore the first verse says that there should be an expanse in the middle of the waters, then that it should exist to make a distinction…The second thing we begin to notice while being reborn, then, is that the inner self exists. We become aware that the attributes of the inner self are good feelings and true ideas which are the Lord’s alone. (Secrets of Heaven 24)
Madyama vikasha cittananda labah…The bliss of Consciousness is attained through the expansion of the center. (Pratyabijna Hrdayam 17, trans. Swami Shantananda in The Splendor of Recognition)
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Angels are in the Lord and the Lord is in them…God—that is, the Lord—is in the sun above the heavens and is in the heavens by means of his presence in warmth and light…Further, even though the Lord is present in heaven in this apparently distant way, he is still also intrinsically present there, so to speak, since…the distance between the sun and heaven is not a distance but a virtual distance. Given the fact that this distance is only apparent, then, it follows that the Lord himself is in heaven. He is in the love and wisdom of heaven's angels. (Divine Love and Wisdom 113)
Okay, that’s a lot of quotes. But all of these played a part in my meditation this week. Meditating on the idea of the expanse in the middle of the waters, my mind immediately brings up the sutra from the Pratyabijna Hrdayam, about expanding the madya, the center, or the middle. So I found myself in this meditation going through several opposites or dichotomies that surfaced in my awareness and I practiced holding them together in my mind, while I breathed and focused on just being present to their existence—focusing my awareness not only on the expanse that might be between them, but also the expanse within and around them, in other words, holding them in the atmosphere, so to speak, of the Lord’s love and wisdom.
“The bliss of Consciousness is attained through the expansion of the center” between…