On my morning run I listened to this podcast with host Michael Taft of Deconstructing Yourself talking with Buddhist teacher Culadasa (John Yates), author of The Mind Illuminated. It was a great discussion of the deepest realizations that come through meditation, from a Buddhist point of view.
The ideas we have about God are not God. Any idea, thought, or concept never was and never will be God. They may be helpful symbols that point to God, metaphors, analogies, allegories, images, but they are not God as God is. They will inevitably conflict with one another and be fallible, as every symbol eventually fails at actually being the thing it is supposed to represent. The symbol is never the thing-in-itself.
"The highest form of meditation is not an activity that is undertaken by the mind. It is a relaxing, falling back or sinking of the mind into its source or essence of pure awareness, from which it has arisen."
An addition to the BHT, known as "The Lord's Prayer." (The painting above is "In the Wilderness" (2003), by Ron DiCianni.)
An addition to the BHT, where Jesus describes how to pray, meditate, contemplate, and commune with God.
Fifty years ago in April 1967, David Oman McKay (1873-1970), the ninth president of the LDS Church, gave a talk in the priesthood session of General Conference that was unique. It was entitled "Consciousness of God: Supreme Goal of Life."
It seems to me that many people consider meditation to involve elaborate fantasies, imaginings, and visioning in the mind. This seems to be facilitated and encouraged by many guided meditations. I perceive that these kinds of meditation can have many positive benefits in creative pursuits, visualization, and problem solving, to go on adventures and vision quests in the mind. However, I think meditation can offer much more than this.
Eckhart Tolle is a very wise man, among many. Let his words sink in deep.
Sam Harris is a noted philosopher, author, and neuroscientist. He is known for often speaking quite negatively about religion, and has been called one of the "Four Horsemen" of the New Atheism, which also includes Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. Harris has often spoken very harshly of modern Christianity, among other religions, particularly in his books The End of Faith, and Letter to a Christian Nation. What I find fascinating is where he has spoken positively about it, and Jesus in particular. This is may be a key where I think the discussion should take place for there to be a constructive dialogue between science and religion.
Exactly 500 years ago today, October 31, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to a church door that started the Protestant Reformation (31 October 1517). What were those "theses"? Do they have any applicability today?