Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of October 2, 2006

Aiming Higher

Even in meditation, we get distracted, following stray thought streams or images, remembering the past, anticipating the future, comparing, rehearsing, and so on. The distractions pile up, clamoring for our attention. And we certainly let them take us.

Time-tested approaches toward non-distraction include focusing on some object like the breath, the body, or a particular thought or image to push the distractions aside. Alternatively, one can open to a spaciousness that allows the distractions to exhaust themselves.

But for this week we examine another approach: wholehearted, immediate attention directed toward the Divine. By turning our heart-mind and attention beyond our ordinary reality, even beyond consciousness, toward what is truly higher, we find our attention more riveted, more focused than otherwise possible, because at that level there is nothing else to distract us and because the wonder of the sacred attracts us irresistibly. The higher one aims, the greater the unity found. Lower levels might distract us, but staying wholly oriented toward the higher brings total focus and immersion.

Prayers, chants, rhythmic movement, and other methods exist to collect and aim our totality toward the higher. But no method can carry us near or through that doorway. Only by reaching toward and into the Sacred does the whole of our nature converge. Only then do we enter the nearness that surpasses all. And in that nearness, all distractions pale.

For this week, work at reaching toward and into the Sacred with your will, with your immediate attention and intention, with the whole of yourself. Notice whether distractions fall away at such times.


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