Part of our problem is that we are convinced that I am – whether it be God, ourselves, or our present circumstances and surroundings – is something to be suspect of, probably terribly boring or terrible bad or terribly not me. Like the God whose main building tool is explosions is going to want us to stand around all day humming melodically. Seriously? (Sometimes when people talk to me, this just pops into my head.)
But we resist I am. If we didn’t we’d have to learn to slow down and be present. We’d maybe even have to let ourselves be irreperably imperfect. We’d have to face things we didn’t even know we’d be running from. And that would be uncomfortable. We’d have to do things the people around us might not approve of. It might be too hard. It might even drive you into the arms of God, no? Because it’s not easy to learn to just be. I would never want to have to do it on my own.
When you are determined to learn to embrace I Am whether it is the I Am God or the I am Rebecca or I am going through an unwanted divorce and I’m really embarrassed at what the people I’m related to will think of me because of this, then you will reach a place that I call zen – although it’s probably a terrible abuse of what the actual word means. To me zen is just a very deep acceptance. It’s when you can let go – even for just a few seconds at a time – of your emotional need for reality to be different than it actually is. It’s not letting go of desire – wanting something is part of reality, and acceptance of reality is what living with and in I am is all about. One of the differences between real zen and the Christian version, donchya know.
When I am at “zen”, I find that I have all the patience in the world when I need it. There is peace. There is joy. Things make much more sense from the point of zen than they do any other time. If I’ve ever said something that was so obvious that it made you feel stupid for not having thought of it that way before, it’s something that came from being in zen. If you can stay in zen – just being – through grief and pain and anger and all the reality of life – as long and as often as needed, it doesn’t take nearly as long to work through what comes your way.
You know, brain scans have found that people who meditate and people who engage in contemplative prayer have the same unusual characteristics in their brains. I believe that this is something our brains are just made to do. And all the evidence supports that idea that even people who don’t view time this as a religious thing can benefit. It’s a gift to us, really.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights – James 1:17