In order to pray aright, or meditate aright, you must be absent from this body. In other words, you must be absent from this world. You must not take into your prayer or meditation anything of a human nature—not anything in the nature of a problem, not anything in the nature of a concern.
In other words, the formula is: Take no thought for what you shall eat or what you shall drink or wherewithal you shall be clothed; who by taking thought can add to his stature one cubit; who by taking thought can make a white hair black; and if you cannot do these little things by taking thought, how can you accomplish the greater things of healing the sick, and raising the dead, and feeding the hungry? Therefore, seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.
And here you have the formula for prayer and meditation: When you go to pray or when you go to meditate, do not take into your prayer or your meditation anything that has to do with this world. You go into prayer and meditation only for the purpose of seeking the realization of God, the kingdom of God, the realm of God, the consciousness of God, the awareness of God, the presence of God.
Whatever language you wish to use, the secret is: Go into your prayer or meditation devoid of human concern, and say:
Father, I’m here for this next fifteen minutes for only one purpose: I must know what you are or who you are or where you are or why you are. I must even find out if you are. I must in this period of meditation find in me an actual spiritual experience; I must attain some awareness, some consciousness, that you really exist, and that you really exist within me. I must find some way of linking up the Spirit of God with my individual life.
Here I am spending threescore years and ten or twenty or thirty or forty, separate and apart from the kingdom of God, and I can’t have it any more; I hunger and thirst to know Thee. I must tabernacle with Thee. I must commune with something within myself that is greater than my human self; something greater than my human capacity or my human goodness or my human evil. I must learn to tabernacle with something in me that is divine.
I couldn’t possibly be alive if there weren’t something divine in me or about me, and I must find it. I must know it. What is there within me that is spiritual? What is there within me that is greater than he that is in the world? What is it the Master referred to as the Father within me? Not only the Father within him, but he said, “Your Father and my Father. What is it that Paul talked about, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me; I live yet not I, Christ liveth within me? The indwelling Christ makes me the Son of God.
Why is it that until I find this indwelling Spirit, I am the creature who is not under the law of God, and indeed cannot be? Think of it; think of it. As a human being, I am not under the law of God. That is why I can have accidents; that’s why I can sin; that is why I can be evil; that is why I can do wrong; that is why my life isn’t wholly harmonious, because I’m not under the law of God.
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, how long can I stand this? How long can I go on living without being under the law of God, without having the feeling that there is a He that is within me, without knowing Thy presence within me—how long can this go on?
Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth. I would do Thy will if I knew Thy will. I would live the spiritual life, if I knew how to live the spiritual life, and all the books I read tell me that the kingdom of God is within me, that I must seek it within me. Books can’t give it to me; they can only lead me back to the kingdom within myself.
Now here I am within myself, here I am cut off from the world; I’m in the inner sanctuary of my own being. Father reveal Thyself, reveal Thy will, Thy way, Thy kingdom; reveal Thy purpose for me. Why am I on earth? Am I to live here threescore years and ten or twenty or thirty, and at the end, feel I have contributed nothing to this world—nothing to Thy throne, nothing to Thy kingdom, nothing to Thy people? Am I to live my life wasted, and at the end just say, “I’ve made a living”?
Well do you see that in this entire period of this meditation that I have not once thought of my problems or my patients’ problems or my students’ problems or The Infinite Way’s problems? Never once have I thought about a human thing. During that entire period, I was completely absent from this world, and at least struggling to be present with the Lord.
Eventually, as I keep that up, if only for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, once or twice or three times a day—eventually an answer will come from within. There will be a period of letdown, of release, and I’ll feel myself in quietness and in confidence. Eventually, there will be brief intervals, it might only last a second or two seconds or three—but there will be a period of complete release from this world, complete freedom. Then I can get up and go back to my job again, back to my life again, because I have had a period of Sabbath. I have had a period of release from the labors of this world, and I have had an interval of spiritual renewal and of peace.
Now, as we continue these periods of meditation, we come to, eventually, what is the grand experience. I suppose it is the grandest experience that can take place in a human life. It is a given moment in which you lose desire—no more desires exist. You don’t have any more desire to be famous, you don’t have any more desire just to accumulate money, you don’t have any more desires to build an empire; you don’t have any more desires to reform the world; you don’t have any desires to build a new religion; you don’t have any desires at all. You just are released into a feeling of inner completeness, inner harmony with the Spirit of God.
And the miracle of that experience is that thereafter you do not know desire. You live your life performing that which is given you to do, but only because it is given you to do it, not because you have a desire for it, and not because you have a non-desire or a desire for something else, but whatever is given to you to do, that you perform.