Sometimes, I delude myself into thinking there is this either/or.
One way of expressing this dualism is through the question, ” Which is best: prayer or meditation?”
A deeper way to view this is to think about positioning myself to hear from a God who is outside of me versus orienting myself to quiet the mind.
The problem is that the prayer road seems rather ignorant of the convoluted workings of my inner landscape, and The meditative path seems to be functionally agnostic.
I began to find a way beyond this either/or when I realized that quieting all the noise that happens in my head (meditation) is the best way to hear from God (prayer.) But this? It is just the tip of the iceberg!
Today, I had this realization that an encounter with God is a thing that is so awesome, so holy, so worthy. It is something like sex, in that it is an interaction which happens on so many levels at once.
More than any other interaction, this is the one that demands the fullest, most authentic ‘me.’ And so, a self-centered act of meditation is a necessary preamble to an other-centered reaching out. And at the same time, the best way I find God is not by reaching out and out and out, beyond me… Despite all appearances, the place I really find God, is by an inward journey, finding God at the very most inner place of all!
And so it seems that suddenly, these are not different acts at all, but meditation and prayer live in the same kind of mutually interdependent dance that God and I exist in.