Topic: Practicing Stillness
Group: N. Idaho TeaM
Aaron (Jonathan TR): Greetings to you, I am your friend. I have been given another opportunity to be with you as an instructor, to share and to encourage. This is Aaron. Having been in your presence through your earlier discussion, I am anxious to offer some comments of my own.
You have spoken regarding stillness, and you have expressed in sincerity your deep desire to improve this method of association with the divine and have also expressed your difficulties in doing so. I wish to present a means whereby you can practice stillness without having to necessarily create a scheduled event. There is among you an expression that goes something like, "as the days pass by". You have another expression, that you are "running to catch up" when your schedule is hectic and you feel behind. Let us work with these two expressions and apply them to stillness.
When for example you are busy, you have in your expression of "running to catch up" a dual motion at play. The first is that your schedule of events, your daily activities, are moving forward at a speed faster than you are heading, and you are falling behind, attempting to accelerate to bring your velocity in line with your schedule. This is what I would call two temporal actions at play. They are transient; they are in motion; there is no fixed, still reference. When it is encouraged by myself and my teaching friends that you practice stillness, to sit in silence quietly for ten minutes to let the Father speak, it is with the intent that you will cease one of these two motions. In actuality if you practiced this successfully both motions would stop, your advancing schedule and your running to catch up. This stillness can be difficult to accomplish, for the time of pause only brings a sharper sensitivity to all that needs to be done and all that you are not doing and the stirring to get up and get after it. It takes discipline. It may not suit your specific needs of a particular day, though at times you may find it a beneficial approach to fellowship with the Father. But let us look at the expression, "days passing by".
Now we can assign to yourself and "days" different time frames. The days are transient; they are in motion. They have temporal sequence. You are fixed. The days pass you by. You stand still. This is a means of communion while you are engaged in activities. Father has bestowed upon each one of you His divine gift, the fragment of absolute perfection, your local representative of the perfect will of the Father. The Father never moves from Paradise. All the universe is astir around and about Him. This spark of divinity within is its own central Isle of Paradise, and you, your life, is like a universe astir around and about Him. You can exercise your activities as a reference of comparison to the stillness of the Father's presence.
Your technology of a computer can also illustrate what I mean, for there is a mode wherein you can scroll your page while your cursor is fixed rather than scroll your cursor while your page is fixed. Your "days passing you by" is your moving page with your fixed cursor. This approach to stillness can be done at any time, in any place, during any degree of intensity of activity. All it takes is a moment's reflection and, perhaps more significantly, a moment of association wherein you reference yourself to this motionless divine spirit at the center of your miniature Paradise Isle in your being. While you are busy running here and there take a moment to freeze yourself and perceive all else in motion in reference to you. The world comes your way and passes by rather than you running to it. Integrate this perspective with your already well formed understanding of friendship with God. Develop this technique and you will find stillness ever-present, not necessarily an exercise to go do, but something always active.
Elyon: I greet you, this is Elyon. I want to play some with Aaron's description of stillness. I will not speak about stillness per se, but his comparison of your being to the Father resident on Paradise.
You know that the Father gave thought to creation, His Son gave expression to creation, and the Spirit activates creation. To sense centeredness, control, in your busy schedules, you can use this same pattern from your mini-paradise within. The thought of creation is the expression of the will of the Father as given by your Thought Adjuster. You are the Father's son and you express the manner in which this will will be accomplished. You, the Son or Daughter of God, have your own universe stations through which you can activate this will, and that is your mind, your body, your growing soul. Know that even the Father is not immune to events taking place throughout His busy universe of the potential and the actual occurrence of developments that do not fit with His projected plan for universe unfoldment. Likewise, have you experienced such changes in your projected plans for your day. But the Father has done well in absorbing these events into the grand scheme of things. It is not unusual for yourselves, myself -- as I am much like you -- to react negatively, with frustration or discouragement at unexpected changes in our plans. But we should draw from the Father's example the quality of patience, of overarching comprehension. He has never, to the knowledge of anyone in this vast universe, exhibited discouragement or disappointment with what has taken place all about Him. No event topples that peaceful, serene divine dignity, rather they contribute to the emerging manifestation of God throughout the universe. This you know is the Supreme.
We likewise are our own Supreme Being; we have souls that are absorbing the events of our lives, recreating through time the perfect will of the Paradise Father. In this case this is your mini-paradisaical Father, the Thought Adjuster. If the Father were to move from Paradise, the universe would crumble.
Picture your divine gift within in the same manner. Be still and you will find greater acceptance of what appears to be chaos about you. You will discern more of the complex inter-working of events that contribute to soul development, and you will begin to perceive that all people around you are in the same undertaking whether they know it or not, the same mechanics at play; this is, in collective, a rubbing of shoulders. What appears to be an unnecessary twist of events for you, you will begin to see is the contribution to the development of another's growth. This will give birth to compassion, understanding, and acceptance when things do not appear to go your way but do in greater insight help a brother or sister.
I think we both said enough and would like to open the floor to you.
Mary: I find it useful to refer back to the words of Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God to keep focused on the reality of God within and without at all times. Joy and happiness would result from cultivating that presence, the same as cultivating the stillness.
Elyon: The very beauty and nature of the mind is also a contributor to one's frustration with the practice of stillness, for Mother Spirit has given you this mind that you may discover, become more knowledgeable, discern reality, choose, accumulate and express. Its very nature is dynamism. That is its beauty. It is your gathering mechanism; it is your extension mechanism coupled with your physical vehicle for being about the Father's business. But it can work difficulty in the practice of communion and worship, for it isn't naturally given to a state of repose. This is where the image that Aaron has shared today is useful, for even your mind can move around you as you sit in stillness.
Mary: Another word for stillness could be focus. Stillness requires repose but it's more than stopping; its focusing. If you don't feel some struggle in life you are probably dead! I'm grateful for the struggle. It's what we are here to do. How do people get through life without that sense of meaning and value in the struggle for existence? I'm grateful to know the meaning and value of the experiences we go through.
Elyon. Indeed. In years past I have made comment that I like to see you struggle. In light of today's discussion I can comment that the human desire for peace and tranquillity, for divine communion, for stillness, for spiritual repose is due to the presence of the Father within who is that very set of qualities: perfect, complete, centered, pure, all those descriptives that a tumultuous life, or even a moderately normal active life, do not appear to contain. That is the magnetism that draws one to the Father. However, the Father is within you seeking all that dynamism, all that display of activity. He desires to encounter the coordination of purpose with chance. As we ascenders seek the Father, the Father is seeking our experiences.
When you are . . . able to spend time in stillness, hold forefront in your mind that you are giving dynamism to the Father. It is good for the human being to seek stillness, and it is equally good for the human being to give activity to the Father.
Mary: I once commented about prayer that the traditional definition of prayer is not something I engage in much, but my feeling is that living life is the prayer one offers. It's a dance we are engaged in, as the analogy was made by I think Tomas a couple weeks ago. We wouldn't get along too well in just a state of repose.
We were discussing how some people think it's weird that we can talk with Michael. They are more comfortable with the separation; bridging that isn't comfortable. In reflecting on it this week I'll figure out the connection with that situation and the lesson, bringing God into your life, being friends with Him instead of being something you long for and don't have and struggle to achieve.
Elyon: If your world were better situated in the normal educational procedure established by Michael for all his worlds, this would not be a problem. You would have been raised with the opportunity of seeing representatives on this earth who are reflections of Michael. The Material Sons and Daughters would reveal to you these qualities. The Planetary Prince would likewise. They would bridge the gap that is felt between the God and the creature. Human beings on Urantia long for that connection, but, with the absence of personalities who can best represent being in that connection, there have arisen throughout history self-assumed human beings who claim such connection who may in reality not have any established conduction with Michael through themselves to you and have destroyed trust into the general population.
Hence there is a hesitancy to give validity to one who claims to have spoken or heard from the Master, when in reality, had events unfolded naturally and normally as intended on this world, you would have the example of and the training toward the realization of the continual ministry in the form of revelatory contact with Michael. It is a hurdle to overcome and is the very reason why Michael told you that he is with you always, that if you but open the door when he knocks he will come in, that where two or three of you are gathered he is there among you. But for those who choose perhaps the desire to be cautious, to practice safety, not to seek communication with Michael, your task is to be a representative, that your presence standing before them is a form of communication. I do not say this to elevate you as special; I say this because this world does lack those leaders who can represent Michael on Urantia. Without them we need all of you striving to gain this ability and to demonstrate it humbly, sincerely, and honestly. It isn't an outward show; it is a manifestation of your faith, your true and living connection with Michael's presence. Perhaps another will never hear the words of Michael, but perchance that individual may indirectly see Michael in your life.
Mary: It's a task to redefine the abilities of human beings. We often use the adjective "mere" referring to ourselves, mere mortals, as though there is only so much we can do. We need to release those constraints and realize we are gifted and blessed with opportunities to achieve more than we give ourselves credit for. Stepping beyond traditional mere mortal limitations causes feathers to be ruffled in our culture. But pushing the boundaries is needed. Living examples are needed, despite critical reactions.
Elyon: On a normal world a mere mortal is one who does have contact with Michael. We can also play around and consider ourselves mirror mortals to reflect the presence of Michael, to exchange your mind for his mind, to let him bounce off you to touch others. It is true and it is acceptable for the human being to downplay one's status. It is better to err in that direction than to assume divine dignity. But one must avoid the extreme that creates debility.
Mary: I've enjoyed our conversation. I don't always pay attention during our TR sessions, so when you ask for comments and everyone falls silent, I enjoy when I do comment after the lesson is delivered.
Elyon: I do warmly welcome your comments, but I have worked with this group for many years and I know the degree of your advancement. I realize many of your questions are answered. I accept the silence; I preach seeking silence. You are not required to respond, though I am always thrilled at the opportunity to dialogue. I would close by saying that this desire of mine is the desire likewise of Michael and Nebadonia and the Father within you. But the Father will welcome the silent response with His grace and embrace and acceptance as a more expressive, perhaps audible response such as that of prayer. Be well this week, all of you, and we will meet again, naturally. Farewell.