…Everything I think I know as a fact,
every solid thought, belief, even matter:
what if they are fluid and can shape-shift with attention and intention?
and so what remains, steady and present?…

There are times when we are searching for answers and suddenly we come across a piece of writing which starts “talking” to us, and we are surprised how precise it is  in unravelling our quest. We feel that it contains what we are looking for, but we need perhaps to read it several times before hidden answer become crystal clear. And then we overwhelmed with joy and start seeing directions and guidance and we know that somebody wrote it especially for us, how perfect, how amazing! I had that ‘Eureka!’ sensation when by looking into the definition of the word “love” in Wikipedia,  I found  a 14th century manuscript of mysterious origin called “The Cloud of Unknowing”(‘Die Wolke des Nichtwissens’). It is a practical spiritual guidebook written by anonymous English monk who counsels young students to seek God not through knowledge but through what he speaks of as a “naked intent” and a “blind love’. I  was fascinated by the similarities between its message and the foundations of Deep Field Relaxation. It felt as if two powerful ocean waves met in resonance. And here is why.     

“…Our intense need to understand will always be a powerful stumbling block to our attempts to reach God in simple love […] and must always be overcome. For if you do not overcome this need to understand, it will undermine your quest. It will replace the darkness which you have pierced to reach God with clear images of something which, however good, how
ever beautiful, however Godlike, is not God” says “The Cloud of Unknowing”

In Clif’s words DFR approach echoes: “…As alternative practices proliferate, we are beginning to see that there is deeper truth to be found in discovering our inabilities and drawing from the great power of stepping aside and allowing Universal mind to come in and take over. The honest practitioner admits we don’t know and, instead of pretending channelling energy, or indulging in rituals or repeating the professor’s teachings, just let it all go. The greatest benefit arises from detachment from the desire for results..

All we need to do is provide the venue or place and then facilitate only the deepest relaxation for both patient and practitioner together. The biggest difficulty is the mind’s gossipy interference. Trying to ‘empty’ the mind, as many meditation teachers try to instruct us, in fact just causes conflict since the mind is not meant to be ‘quiet’. It is determined to be alert in case it is called on urgently. In contrast once we allow the wandering mind to casually drift onto anything except the problem at hand, the mind feels secure and the Cosmos comes into play. In that easy, undemanding state the dominant tendency is towards harmony and then any appropriate changes are free to arise”.

In order to reach that state of deep relaxation, where we can experience God ( Field in the words of DFR),  “The Cloud” advises monks to focus on one sacred, special word (in our modern context it could be mantra or chant). ‘…Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.) simply return to your sacred word, your anchor. In that way we first step into a  Cloud of Forgetting, which means forget all the thoughts that have to do with our own personal life, leave self behind. Because all our personal thoughts are ego thoughts, are in a way a veil, a cloud between us and God.”

DFR also talks about un-learning, un- knowing, putting aside all learnt concepts and other methods, however scary it could sound  for the modern educated mind. So it is the way of letting go and allowing., relying on the intuitive knowledge of the heart rather than academic knowledge. You simply  give command to your mind to switch  from thoughts to intention and relax completely. When you are relaxed, you go even deeper and switch the ego off  and self-identification, self-boundaries. And at that precise moment we feel connected to the Divine and the Universal Field.       

The “Cloud of Unknowing” goes further and offers a method by which the student may practice an advanced and even austere form of contemplation –an encounter with a “nothing and a nowhere” that leads to the mysterious.

If you remember introduction on our Mind Music CD,  the same notion follows as:

Not expecting and not rejecting,

Not wishing and  not hoping.

Neither grasping for nor pushing away,

Just resting in a calm, quite, centred space

That has been always the ultimate reality which the mystic sought to experience and which lies beyond the grasp of the intellect.

Thought cannot comprehend God, and so I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love him whom I cannot know, though we cannot know him, we can love him. By love, he may be touched and embraced, never by thought.

Of course we do well at times to ponder God’s majesty and kindness, for the insight these meditations may bring. But in the real contemplative work, you must set all this aside and cover it over with a cloud of forgetting. Then, let your loving desire gracious and devout [intention], step bravely and joyfully beyond it and reach out to pierce the darkness above. Yes, beat upon that thick cloud of unknowing with the dart of your loving desire and do not cease, come what may. [allow any possible outcome, don’t be attached to the result].

You too can read “Cloud of Unknowing” in detail  by going to:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing ( Deutsch)