One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same any place in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear. — Dave Brubeck

Showing posts with label The Jesus Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Jesus Prayer. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


 January 18th, 2022


At this particular moment in the current debate about the Jesus prayer, strained as it is, I come down firmly on the side of “dangerous.” For the meditator it’s a step down from that lyric on the car radio that stays in your head and you can’t turn off. Instead of prison and mother, it weaves a lovely spell of angels and divine nectar. Perhaps this is not the danger that the fathers of the Eastern Church warn about, but nonetheless a danger.

The repetition starts out as a simple concentration exercise, riding the breath like 123. The terrain is familiar but the vehicle is clumsy and unpredictable like an imaginary Model A Ford. Boredom sets in as stories & associated phantasms begin to loop, and on that radio a lyric purporting to be from the son of David pops up, or, my favorite, the thespian voice of the god of Abraham faking Aristotle. Rattling around the head’s Netherspace, it’s a wily enemy, play acting to hold onto power. It wants to be accepted as "the Truth." 

If we don’t play close scrutiny, it maintains secret sway over our choices and our futures. But we might get lucky enough to understand deeply that we alone, no one else, sustain the imagined conversations and images that flow through the mind. This moment of enlightenment can strike instantaneously! 

Avoid the loud applause.

To Nobodaddy 

by William Blake 

Why art thou silent & invisible 

Father of Jealousy 

Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds 

From every searching Eye 

Why darkness & obscurity 

In all thy words & laws 

That none dare eat the fruit but from 

The wily serpents jaws 

Or is it because Secresy 

gains females loud applause 

UriZen, William Blake

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