By Rodney Marsh —
Here follows a poem I wrote about my experience of learning the practice of Christian Meditation in the John Main tradition. This ‘mantra’ style of prayer was called by the Mothers and Fathers of the church ‘the prayer of the heart’. I practise two thirty-minute morning and evening periods of meditation each day. The books and writings of John Main provide a wonderfully practical guide to this practice (or explore https://www.wccm.org)
How to pray the prayer of the heart
Simply begin simply
Simply begin again
Until you arrive at where you are
You have always been where you are
and dwelt in this place
That has no past or future
Your home is here and now
where you are.
Now you have arrived at where you are
you realise you have never been anywhere else
And now you know who you are
You realise you have always been you
You are home now, and you are happy.
If you keep on with the practice
you can live at home all the time
You will easily find your way back to where you are.
You will also get better at being real
when you visit the future (that doesn’t yet exist)
or the past (that has ceased to be)
You can be real in the past and future
if you take your home with you.
But if you fail to practice
returning to where you are
You will lose your way again and
wander alone, searching for home,
looking for who you are and where you are.
You will start looking for your self again
in the past or future where you aren’t.
If this happens
simply begin simply (again)
and you will return home to where you are.
This is your home and
God is waiting to welcome you (always) where you are
And it is always a joy to come home and meet yourself for the first time (again).
So, like a rock or a tree or a human
Or anything that shares your being
Take your home with you, wherever you go
For here and now is the only place you can live –
*Acknowledgement “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T S Eliot