Contemplation: the Workshop of Awareness
by Brian C. Taylor
WHETHER OUR PAIN DURING MEDITATION is physical, mental, or emotional, it will inevitably evolve, simplify, clarify and lessen in its power as we bring it into the workshop of attention, where it gets exposed to the healing light of God's graceful truth.
In a real sense, the kind of awareness I suggest here is nothing less than the judgment of God at work. It is the Spirit's eyes that we use when we see ourselves as we really are, with objective clarity and acceptance. And God's judgment is simply the truth about our sin and brokenness, offered in love so that we might be healed.
It is becoming clearer and clearer to me over the years that at the deepest level we cannot change ourselves; but we can be changed. All we can do is bring trust and non-judgmental and thorough attention to our experience. That is all we can do.
The rest is up to God, who with clarity and compassion contains everything we see. Transformation occurs as we allow our difficulties to be what they are -- nothing more and nothing less -- and offer them to God in humility.
This is tremendously hard to do. It takes everything we've got. But we do not need to go the next step, and try to get rid of or change our pain. All we must do is be patient in the workshop of contemplation.
In the silence, something else, the relentless power of healing, wisdom and life which we call God is at work in a hidden way. Over and over again we bring awareness to our lives; we turn around one day and notice that we have been changed. This is the hidden grace of God at work.
From Becoming Christ: Transformation through Contemplation by Brian C. Taylor (Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2002), pp. 198-9.