Saturday, February 13, 2021

My Smiling Heart

I Corinthians 4:3-6

Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


This week I read the part in italics over and over again.  It was a strange moment. I didn’t at first understand why I was doing it. But sometimes in moments like that I just go with it, perhaps its some spirit led moment, perhaps its my brain trying to make sense, or perhaps it is God calling me to a deeper understanding.  Maybe all three. 

The more I read it the more I found it to be a parallel to the ninth stage of iRest meditation – Joy. This comes right on the heels of the intense work exploring opposites in feelings, emotions, and beliefs. “Letting light shine out of darkness” could be another way of expressing these opposites. Often when calling clients to Joy, after the deep mindful exploration of opposites, we use the metaphor of the “heart smiling” letting that simply be another way of saying joy or finding that inner joy. Certainly, this heart smiling could be for the followers of Christ a shining “in [their] hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

But as I explore this statement further it draws me to the first part of this Epistle. Knowledge, and it’s opposite: veiled blinded minds, these are what separate the believers from the unbelievers, another opposite. They further proclaim believers to be Slaves to God, not Gods, again opposites.

These opposites are hard to comprehend.  In iRest this work is taken further though.  Clients are invited to feel into the somatic (bodily) sensations that come up when thinking about one opposite and then the other one. Then move back and forth between them, then hold both at the same time. In this case when you think of “knowledge” where do you feel that in your body?  Same with “Veiled blinded minds.” Other sets of opposites within this biblical writing include are “Believers” and “Unbeliever.” “Slaves” and “God.” “Light” and “Darkness.” Where and how do you feel these in your body? Move back and forth between these sensations. Can you hold them both at the same time?

I’ve had many discussions about this process with other meditation leaders.  Some feel that moving between the opposites takes away their power over us, some feel that we come to understand that both can exist at the same time, some feel that we come to understand that we can only experience one at a time.  Personally, I think it depends on the situation.  But what works for me is not important for anyone except for me, when I’m leading another person the practice is theirs alone.

I’m always thankful for the positive ending of these meditations when we move to Joy. My heart smiling is normally like a sun and the rays of light filling my body with warm golden light.

“The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen” BCP


Picture from:



No comments:

Post a Comment