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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in the presence of the Lord (2)


Meditate | Expansion of the Center

 “In every subsequent church, the inmost part, closest to the Lord, has also been the Sabbath. The same holds true for all regenerate people when they develop a heavenly nature…

‘If you turn your foot back from the Sabbath by not doing your own desire on my holy day; if you refer to those things that belong to the Sabbath as pleasures honoring the holiness of Jehovah, and you honor [the Sabbath] by not going your own ways and not gaining your own desire or speaking a word [of your own]; then you will be a pleasure to Jehovah, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth and will feed you the inheritance of Jacob’ (Isaiah 58: 13, 14).

Heavenly people act not on their own desire but on the Lord’s pleasure, which is his desire. So they are blessed with inner peace and happiness (their being ‘lifted up on the heights of the earth’) and at the same time with outer calm and enjoyment (their being ‘fed with Jacob’s inheritance’)” (Secrets of Heaven 85).

The first part of this passage is reason for meditation—to connect to that inmost part and experience the Sabbath there.

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Meditate | Inner Stillness 

“The Lord created us to be capable of communicating with spirits and angels while still living in our bodies, as people actually did in the earliest times. After all, we are one with spirits and angels. In fact we ourselves are spirits clothed in flesh.

Over time, though, people have immersed themselves so deeply in bodily and worldly concerns that almost nothing else interests them, and so the path has closed; but as soon as the body-driven concerns that absorb us drop away, it opens and we find ourselves among spirits, living life together with them” Secrets of Heaven 69.

I don’t have thoughts, per se, for this meditation. I share instead my experience. It happens to relate to the passage indirectly.

During my meditation, I focused on the space between the breaths: the space or moment between the in-breath and out-breath, and the opposite space or moment between the out-breath and in-breath. The latter moment gets to feeling so peaceful and it lengthens each time I get there; both lengthen and increase in peacefulness, but the second one more so. As I cycle through breaths, my breath softens and my mind becomes completely still. When I do start to “think” I can feel a pulsation begin in my head that wasn’t there before, like a simple wave on what was, to use the common analogy, a still, windless lake.

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