Entering a deep state of relaxation and awareness, happens under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Inside this inner chamber we open up and become vulnerable to the healing of the Great Comforter. Within this exposition to the Holy Spirit, the self expands and grows and through this growth, wounds heal. In his inner chamber a person masters responding to God-Love and Christ-Love and learns to answer the call to Love. And in doing so, he becomes able to forgive any wrongdoing ever done against him and he is able to pray: “Father forgive me my trespasses as I forgive them who trespassed against me.”
Guided by Love, the individual becomes stable and strong. In knowing that he is loved, he maintains his stability and strength. In experiencing this Love, his imperfections and deficiencies are healed.
Meditation and contemplation can also be called “heart religion”. This happens when we engage with God and His truths in a way that affects us at the level of our heart and not only in an academic and intelligent way.
The contemplative is a marginal person for Merton, and of him, the contemplative, Merton writes: “He does not belong to an establishment. He is a marginal person who withdraws deliberately to the margin of society with a view to deepening fundamental human experience........ The marginal man accepts the basic irrelevance of the human condition, an irrelevance which is manifested above all by the fact of death. The marginal person............lives in the presence of death, which calls into question the meaning of life”. It produces hope, not despair, and he goes on with “.....we contemplatives, are called by the voice of God, by the voice of that ultimate Being, to pierce through the irrelevance of our life, while accepting and admitting that our life is totally irrelevant, in order to find relevance in Him”. And relevance comes as a gift from God.
The basic theme of Merton's writings was incessantly about the question of what contemplation truly is. Whether he was writing about the monastic life, or prayer, or the arts and music or about ancient cultures, he was constantly articulating the enormity and greatness of contemplation. Contemplation was a complete way of life for him, not only a passing aspect.
In one of his last works, “The New Man”, Merton defines contemplation as: “the perfection of love and knowledge” and says: “contemplation goes beyond concepts and apprehends God not as a separate object, but as the Reality within our reality, the Being within our being, the life of our life”.
He likewise believed that contemplation was the “mystery in which God reveals Himself as the very center of our own inmost self”.
In an earlier work, “What is Contemplation?”, Merton asked: “Why do we think of the gift of contemplation....... as something essentially strange and esoteric, reserved for a small class of almost unnatural beings and prohibited to everyone else?” He regarded contemplation as the work of the Holy Spirit Who acts on our souls through His gifts of Wisdom and Understanding. A way of increasing and perfecting our love for Him. “These gifts are part of the normal equipment of Christian sanctity, given to us at Baptism,......... presumably because God wants them to be developed.....”
A person truly lives in the light of God when he enters the inner chamber of his mind, where he concentrates and meditates on his breath-of-life. The light of the God of Genesis who said 'let there be light' and the Big Bang happened. The light of the Son of God Who came to illuminate the world in desperate need of vindication. The light which is life (John 1:4), the true light, which lights every man that comes into this world (John 1:9). For St. Augustine there lies an indication of illumination by God even in the truths of logic and mathematics.
Nymph completed her L.T.C.L. in music and drama, and obtained a B.A. Psychology and Philosophy a few years later. She trained as formal singer under various renowned vocal advisers and performed in numerous concerts, recitals, and oratorios. After a car accident that lead to a few neuro surgeries, she began investigating the benefits of deep relaxation and wrote a few books and numerous articles on the subject.