O God You Search Me and You Know Me

Seeing this frog being rained upon made me think of the Psalm 139. I could certainly relate to the experience of stormy weather. Sometimes I get frightened that God knows me too well, but when the storms come, I get comfort knowing God is with me and knows what is going on.

These are the lyrics to a song by Bernadette Farrell based on Psalm 139:

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my ways lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you go before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
and with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

Youtube video of this hymn sung by Fran McKendree:

I looked for the words and music on the web and found it on GodWordIsTruth blog.

As I watch the video of the frog again, I can see it is modeling mindful breathing. It does not jump around here and there trying to escape the rain, but is sitting with stillness breathing calmly through the storm.

This is a coping strategy suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh. When a storm comes, breathe with awareness. He suggests watching your breath from a point two finger-widths below your navel. During a storm, it is more still within the trunk of a tree than in the small branches and leaves. He likened the point just below the navel to the trunk of a tree, and the mind to the leaves and small branches. During a storm you might feel more stability by being in your trunk.  If it is difficult to concentrate there, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests placing your hands on your belly as well. In time, this mindfulness of breath and concentration may give you insight as to the causes of the storm and strategies for preventing such storms.

One time (before I knew about Thich Nhat Hanh’s calming practice), I found my mind whirling about at lightning speed. I did not know how to stop my racing thoughts. I was in despair. My mind was causing me much grief. In my darkest moment,  I heard a small voice whispering of a gift about to be received. Then I saw myself inside a transparent golden bubble.  Above me, the rain, below me, a zillion jumping frogs. These frogs must have been my thoughts. Inside this bubble it was so peaceful. Here, I could be unattached from my thoughts. I could be observer and not the one experiencing the thoughts. My mind found relief.

“Sakshi bhava is a state in which you remain constantly detached and untouched, simply watching everything that happens, without the interference of the mind and its thoughts. You cannot be a witness to everything if there is a constant interference of the mind. The mind consists of thoughts. It can only think and doubt. In that supreme state of witnessing you constantly abide in your true nature.”

Amma, Awaken Children, Vol. 7, p. 17