In 1654 Blaise Pascal wrote, ‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’
I thought of this when recently someone wrote to me to say their life was so crowded it was difficult even ‘to find five minutes for God’. It is as well, I thought, that God has no ego! The idea that out of twenty four hours one can only find five minutes in which to meditate is strange. And yet, if one is a beginner, better a regular five minutes than none.
What I find myself suggesting more and more to people, especially those who are busy, or have many preoccupations, is to find a phrase that can act as a mantra which they can mentally repeat at intervals throughout the day, perhaps when waiting in a queue at the supermarket, or travelling on a train or bus; which can be repeated during wakeful moments in the night. It may be a phrase such as ‘That I may be filled with loving kindness’, or like the one I use which is, ‘God is present. God is here. God is now.’
Such a form of meditation acts as a life-line, a reminder of another order of reality.