Inner Peace by Moshe Ross: A spiritual principle is like the writing on a bright, alluring candy wrapper, whose ends are to be untwisted so the hidden sweet pops out.

Inner centering or meditation is the spring from which flows our spiritual life. There are various approaches to meditation, with contemplative inquiry being an effective form. Whatever our method, the intention of our heart is what counts.

In contemplative inquiry, we sit down in a quiet place, which becomes The Quiet Place, and we close our eyes. Then we explore a statement of Truth, receptively letting our core wisdom bubble up. Many aspects will come to us, as we return to our Source devotedly over months or years. We can find spiritual principles in holy books, or we might reflect on a symbol or image.

Suppose we meditate, and delve into the statement, "The place whereon thou standest is holy ground." The first thing we might see is that the statement could read, "The place whereon I stand." So it's not the exact words; it's the spirit that gives the statement life.

Another time we may see that if the place whereon thou standest is holy ground, then you my enemy or problem person are just as rooted in divinity as I am. Then, too, wherever we're standing, even if seemingly terrible, is holy ground.

Again, we might look at the statement in context. "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Strip away your defenses against direct contact with the infinite life we call God. And who is speaking here to Moses? A flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. Here is an image of the divinity of nature and at the same time the threat of conflagration. Yet the bush was not consumed; in the attainment of spiritual awareness there is rescue from the danger. And more: The proclaiming fire is "an angel of the Lord;" that is, "angel" means "messenger," and this message bearer is not an object or personage distinct from God.

Or on other occasions we might realize that the sacred is "below" us as much as "above" us. Or as much in the visible world as in the invisible sphere. Paradoxically, all these complementary opposites are poles of a continuum, all of a Oneness.

There are many questions that will appear and resolve themselves, many insights we will gain. Twenty minutes would be a lengthy session. At other points in the day, while driving the car, in the midst of a crisis, or stubbing our toe on a pebble so to speak, we might want to re-enter this internal chamber for, say, 10 seconds.

A spiritual principle is like the writing on a bright, alluring candy wrapper, whose ends are to be untwisted so the hidden sweet pops out. The goal of each of our meditations is the opening of the door for the contact with our eternal Self. It's always there, It stands at the door, but it's up to us individually to turn away from the barriers we mistakenly thought were insurmountable.

Different statements of Truth are like various robes worn by the same Presence. So a number of these great words are interchangeable. "You stand on holy ground" is the same as saying, "This is a spiritual universe" (which is the sentence I dived into for many years). They're the same as saying, "I and my Father are one," or, "The Buddha Body is omnipresent," or the Tibetan slogan, "Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation."

This understanding, which we gain from the contemplative inquiry that leads us into communion, will teach us that as we go through our days we are always secure, moving in an ocean of God. We will have specific Truths to rely on in any circumstance. A greater understanding will straighten out the paths and reveal the vistas, so that our whole life is transformed, and we begin to live a miraculous, spiritual life. Peace and love.

Moshe Ross (488-2571) lives and teaches in Ashland.

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