Recently Time Magazine (February 3, 2014) wrote, “…We’re in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness—and a growing body of evidence suggests it has clear benefits.”
Mindfulness is about becoming aware of the present moment, and being less interested in the past or what is to come. Mindfulness is a means of coping with stress and anxiety, especially in a world caught up in blaming the past and projecting doom for the future.
During the past few days our Lenten Journey has taken us on a trip exploring the value of meditation. Certainly, meditation offers an important technique for clearing the mind and arriving at a state of mindfulness. Today, I wish to introduce the idea of God, as understood in Armodoxy. This understanding will be necessary as we continue the road to healing. Like the unexpected twists and turns of the journey, this will be a refreshing shift. First, put away preconceived notions and make the connection with the here and now.
The Armenian alphabet was created for purposes of spirituality, primarily to interpret and understand the new message of love and hope as expressed by Jesus Christ. The alphabet was invented in the 5th century and consisted of 36 letters, defining a 6×6 matrix. The 7th letter of the alphabet is the letter “է” (pronounced ‘eh’ as in “eloquent”). The letter is also a word; specifically it is the present tense of the verb “to be” (is).
The verb to be, in the present tense, is the name of God. When God is asked “What is your name?” God answers, “I AM.”
“I AM” is to say “God IS.” It is a descriptive name as well as a direction to mindfulness, that is, “IS” focuses on what is the now. God is not what was, nor is God what will be, rather God is!
It is further significant that “է” is the 7th letter of the alphabet. Seven is the number of the universe. It is the sum of 3, the number of Heaven as in the Trinity, and 4, the number of the Earth as in the four directions.
3+4=7 is Heaven + Earth = Totality, Universe, Completeness
The common worship of the Armenian Church begins with the hymn, խորհուրդ խորին… the first words of which are “Deep mystery, inscrutable and without beginning…” In these words are expressed the understanding that God is not understandable, greater than the words that describe the Almighty power of the eternal.
When Jesus refers to himself as “I am the Light,” “I am the Good Shepherd,” “I am the Way,” “I am Truth,” “I am the Life,” he is speaking in the eternal present, connecting to the universal beginning of time and space by virtue of the light, way, truth, life and love. This is why the message he speaks is timeless and therefore can open the opportunity to “I am the Resurrection.”
On the Road to Healing, these last few days we’ve been speaking about meditation as a means of targeting the hurt and illness within and opening ourselves to the light from without. Today we are challenged by the call to mindfulness and connect to the Eternal Present, the IS.
During your daily meditation today, I offer you a simple and profound psalm to guide and direct your path. Turn off your distractions, find a state of physical quietness and contemplate, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
What does that mean to you? What does it mean to your illness? Your situation? Your healing? Join me, tomorrow as we continue on the Road to Healing.