Excerpt from – CHAPTER 9 AN INVITATION TO OPENNESS page 214

Published November 18, 2017

The meditation-observation exercise was a nonhabit-forming
practice. That was the bad news. One must commit to practice it
each time like new. Unfortunately, there was never any compulsion
or external motivation to meditate. The desire must emerge from
within; the yearning for the right way to be must gently prompt one
to be still. We must surrender to his light. This was true prayer—an
embodied prayer, as one becomes quietly aware and perceives one’s
swirling, hypnotic thought patterns.

Then, you disappear, but you don’t know you’re gone. You’re no
longer observing your distracting thoughts, but dancing along with
them in a toxic mix of past pain and future joys. You’re lost! Lost in
the space between your ears—the fantasy zone where the mind is a
slave to puppet masters within one’s haunted imagination. Next, the
silent mystical prompt to awaken and detach from the wandering
imagination appears; we return to the “neutral zone,” the quiet center
of self-observation. That gentle prompt to become aware and
awake was from God.

We need salvation from our sleeping, hypnotized mind that is
dreaming it is awake! The still, small voice—like the sting of conscience—
guides us back to the present. The present is the only place
we can ever be saved. The present is where real self-awareness causes
real change. The God of patience waits for us to surrender our wills,
as we submit to his Spirit within us during each aware moment.

While I was the confessor to many at the mission, I couldn’t share
my story with anyone. The closest I got to revealing my truth was
upon telling my kitchen helpers that I was born out of wedlock. I
added that I wondered what it would be like to meet my real father.
That was the most private information I dared reveal of my past. I
was still living a lie!