God-like zone

As I begin to meditate, it’s not hard to imagine my thoughts as cars because the sanctuary room is near an actual busy street, providing the appropriate sound effect. It’s much harder not to hitch a ride, especially when what I think is a flashy one passes—something that promises to sweep me away into a scenery of self-loathing.

Like this time when I was an undergrad and a handful of people showed up at my apartment—invited, though not by me. They filed in and sat in the living room, happy and friendly. I was annoyed at them, and at my roommate, which I made obvious with my cold, standoffish demeanor. I had just made a large tart with a sack of figs from a tree out front. It was hot from the oven and big enough to share, but I refused to offer one bite. I set it on top of the fridge and harrumphed around the kitchen within earshot of the guests. In a flash, I am back at that afternoon, only now it is accompanied with an unpleasant physical sensation, heaviness on my shoulders and constriction in my chest. I breathe and realize I have been carried so far from my place at the side of the road. I am in the next county. I make that stupid jalopy bring me back to the present moment and drop me off. Go! I shout as it sputters away.

As I watch the taillights on that particular thought recede, it occurs to me to question what is going on here. If the road is my mind, and the cars are my thoughts—and I am standing off to the side, apart from both of those things, then where am I? How is it that my mind can observe my mind? Do I have two minds? Or two parts of one mind? I seem to have a narrower one—represented by the road—and then something much bigger—the version that encompasses everything outside of the road, the one that can watch over the other one. It’s this vaster version I come back to when I refuse to let my thoughts take me away and opt instead to stay firmly planted in the present moment.

In Buddhism, no deity exists in the way that many Westerners conceive of God, as a separate entity or creator. But I’ve noticed some Buddhists speak of an infinite source from which everything derives, of oneness and unity, descriptions that sound similar to how many Christians and Jews speak of the divine. I’m seeing how this spot on the side of the road, the present moment, is a God-like zone.

13 thoughts on “God-like zone

  1. Such wonderful descriptions, of the distraction and the sense of self observation and of the “place” we return to. Thank you for sharing the car and road images. It will help me describe it in future.

  2. Often the road is your path. Who was driving the jalopy and car? Often the car is you and if your driving it you’re in control. As to the two minds, how would you like to simply be a thought in the Mind of God. Great meditation. Doesn’t need interpretation even though I’ve offered a little of mine. It will all unfold in due time. Keep meditating.

    • Thought I would share this interfaith verson of “O Holy Night” done at Center for Spiritual Living:

      Happy Holidays my friends.


  3. “In Buddhism, no deity exists in the way that many Westerners conceive of God, as a separate entity or creator. But I’ve noticed some Buddhists speak of an infinite source from which everything derives . . .” You captured this when you experienced the difficulty in delineating whether you were being enlightened by yourself or something else; and upon reflection, you sensed a “God-like zone.” Even when people don’t believe, God is there because this is God’s world and God has common grace for every person and corner of the world.

    Since it is the eve of Christmas Eve, I’d like to offer the Christian view of God’s presence in the world:
    “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it . . .

    The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn– not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

    So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son . . .

    No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” (John 1:1-5, 9-14, 18)

    Merry Christmas, Ginger

    • Ginger, thank you for writing this out from John. It’s amazing to me that many Christians don’t understand the connection between Jesus and the Father. I’ve talked with many who somehow see God as separate from Jesus (though professing to believe in the Trinity): “Jesus is my savior and friend; God is my judge.” A large part of Jesus’ ministry was to SHOW us by his life who God is. Immanuel!
      As you said, “Merry Christmas, Ginger”…

  4. I love the analogy of cars as thoughts and road as mind… it’s a fantastic way for me to conceptualize passing thoughts during meditation. And how beautifully you depict the heaviness of an ever present and oppressive past experience.

  5. Hello all. I’ve been around but exceptionally busy….besides getting ready for Christmas! Thanks to Corinna and you all, for you have been a blessing to me and helped to make this a fabulous year!
    Merry Christmas!
    God bless us, every one!
    (now I’ve got to read everything!) 🙂

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