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Now is Where God Lives

It’s been a long time since I sent one of these out! I made a decision a while back to focus all of my writing time on a new collection of nested meditations called Now is Where God Lives: A Year of Nested Meditations to Delight the Mind and Awaken the Soul. In order to get to the 366 meditations (one for leap day) I chose for the book, I wrote nearly a thousand of them. The project seized hold of both my creative energy and nearly all my work time that wasn’t spent seeing patients. During the period I wasn’t sending “Living the Winged Life” out, I received exactly zero emails from people on this list telling me they were dying of spiritual malnourishment, so I wasn’t too worried!

Here’s the title meditation which appears on January 1 in the book:

Now is where God lives.

Now is where God lives—

just use this address.

Now is where God lives—

just use this address:

“Your Immanence, it is an honor to meet you!”

Now is where God lives—

just use this address:

“Your Immanence, it is an honor to meet you

everywhere in everyone and everything.”

I’ll tell you why the nested meditation writing form grabbed ahold of me so strongly and wouldn’t let go until every day of the year through December 31 had its own meditation. There’s something about how writing a nested meditation allows delight to turn to insight that fascinates me. What do I mean? These meditations are fueled more by the playful mind than the rational mind. The second stanza in the meditation above has a bit of playfulness. Imagine having an address for God we could type in as a contact in our cell phones: First Name: God Address: Now.

In the third stanza a different kind of playfulness led me in a surprising new direction. Now I’m talking directly to the Immanent One, the Infinite that saturates all of existence. I didn’t get to the surprise by thinking my way to it. Instead, a simple wordplay—changing the meaning of address—led me to perhaps the simplest statement of my spirituality.

I grew up with a father who was always making puns, which turned out to be an excellent training ground for writing nested meditations! The wordplay I use in these meditations, though, is not intended to provoke guffaws (or moans!). Wordplay in nested meditations usually provokes a smile, a sense of surprise, and a sense of revelation. The repetition in this writing form conveys something like, “Let’s try that again and see if we can end up somewhere new and interesting.”

Doubt visits me often—both the self-doubt kind and the variety that makes me wonder if life is ultimately absurd. The “Now is where God lives” meditation above does not give me any clear answers about the Infinite; rather, it allows me in any moment of joy or stress to take a deep breath and imagine that I am drawing in the very Source of my being. I can’t prove that, but it allows me to live energized by the idea that I am a filament flowing with a much bigger Energy than myself.

I think I may send one of the nested meditations from Now is Where God Lives out every month or so and stay with this theme of how delight can lead to insight, how lightness can lead to enlightenment. If you’re intrigued by this form, I hope you try it yourself. The key to making it work is to let go of your rational mind and let your playful mind lead you somewhere you didn’t know you were going. Perhaps wisdom is often just one playful shift away from our current state of mind.

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Crecopia moth photo in header used by permission of Scott Rosenfeld,