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Meditation Session from the Responsive Universe

Awareness of Space within the Mind and our Surroundings….

In this meditative session, we will begin as usual with rhythmic breathing. Breathing will continue to be the mainstay of all your sessions. Breathing in and out and connecting to this pattern of mindfulness centers your energy and concentration to an apex of clarity and awareness. Once you feel your breathing is free of effort, focus on your internal body. Mentally travel from your toes all the way to your head, internally checking in on your limbs, your heart, and your mind. Do you feel pain? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? Being mindful of your body allows you to connect to something more personal and intimate. It also keeps your mind in the present. As thoughts race in and out of your mind, greet them, label them, and move on. This time, try a new mantra which will help refocus your attention on your breathing: “Breathe in positive energy, breathe out space.” The quality of boundless space is the focus of this exercise. At some point during your meditation, visualize the heavens above at night. Call on that information you learned in high school science, and visualize the planets in the solar system. First visualize our Sun, blazing hot and the center of our planetary family. The Sun is so huge you can fit 109 Earths across its fiery diameter. As we travel away from our host star, we see Mercury. Dwarfed by the Sun, its environment is airless and strewn with craters. Minutes later, we pass Venus on our visual journey. Venus is about the same size as Earth and light beige clouds obscure its surface. Quickly, we pass our own planet, blue and teeming with life. We have already traveled 93,000,000 miles. We next pass the red planet of Mars and then Jupiter. The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter is eleven-times the size of Earth. Our journey then takes us to the ringed planet of Saturn and the greenish-blue world of Uranus. Looking back to the Sun is surreal now. We have traveled so deep into the solar system that the Sun is merely a bright dot, almost impossible to distinguish from the myriad of other stars that dot the background. Soon we pass the icy reaches of Neptune and the proto planet affectionately called Pluto. The stars we see at night are merely neighborhood stars within our own host galaxy. Further, scattered across the vast Cosmos are billions of other galaxies home to billions more stars – spaced millions upon millions of miles apart – so vast we have yet to fully see the past.

We have just visually traveled millions of miles in our minds. We visualized our solar system which is vast in size, but is a like a microscopic atom compared to the larger Milky Way Galaxy we call home. Here is a new paradox: We just visualized a space inside our minds so vast with past and present horizons that go beyond the realms of observation. Still, within our own minds, we can picture its structure. We can visualize the Universe and its immense vastness. Much like the Universe, our mind is unlimited in space and capacity. In the theory of everything, God is the Universe. Western religion proclaims that humankind was made in God’s image. Yet, our minds are like images of the Universe; with their own past and future horizons spreading outward intrinsically into space and time beyond the realms of our perception. To have the ability to conjure up the vast reaches of a solar system during meditation begs the question: Which is more spacious – the Universe or the mind? Continue to visualize this amazing journey during your next meditative session. Marvel at the space in our solar system and Universe and within your own mind. This is the essence of openness and space. Your mind, like the Cosmos, is vast and infinite, capable of collecting millions of thoughts, actions, and memories. Stop and appreciate the boundless and shapeless characteristics the mind exhibits. Feel the relationship and how we might be all connected to this theory of everything – the essence of God and Universe…..

As a new Daily Life Practice spend a little time outside on a clear night. Look up at the stars and settle into the vastness of the Universe and consider how it relates to your mind. We are products of the Universe. We can feel True Nature and how we are connected to this vast realm. Can you feel the spaciousness in that connection? Maybe you feel lighter and a little more liberated. Breathe in the night air deeply and exhale any fear of unknowing. Be aware of your thoughts right now. As you ponder this spaciousness, are your thoughts positive, negative, or neutral. Settle into the immensity of everything. If you begin to feel overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, turn toward the space within your mind. Feel the connection between that space and the space within the Universe. That connection is True Nature. Look up into the night sky again. Do you need proof that God exists? Well, there is your proof right before your eyes! The Universe is God. We don’t need to fully understand the past and future horizons of the Universe or dark energy or dark matter to know they exist. Conversely, we do not need to fully understand who or what God is to know God exists. So much of the Universe and God go beyond the limits of our observation and even our understanding. Where facts end in the narrative of our Universe, reason and faith begin. Gazing on the night stars is proof that something exists that is amazing and grand. God and the Universe are immense, intricate, and beautiful, and here is a new paradox: God and the Universe are indefinable but dependable. We know the sun will rise tomorrow. We know the stars will shine at night. We know we are born from the Universe (where matter won over antimatter) and, because matter cannot be created or destroyed, we will return to the Universe. Life is not linear with a beginning, middle, and an end. It is a Mandala, a revolving circle, whose meaning is not the balance between its opposites, but rather, the unity of them. If this is not God, I don’t know what is…

Take these thoughts and this energy with you into next week. Sense it… Live it… Be it… and your mind and awareness will expand to meet the shapeless realm that is your mind and Universe…

Please feel free to forward any questions and or comments. I am here for you!

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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