How do I stop…
Help, I can’t stop…
- picturing them together?
- thinking about him all the time?
- being afraid?
Release from conscious thinking and development of mindfulness and focus, training attention and awareness to self-regulate both physical and mental processes in order to facilitate peace, calm, clarity and enabling the realization of divine unity.
Meditation is a journey inward to a deeper level of consciousness where a person can realize unity with the divine. It often involves focus and control of the breath and is frequently aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra or focusing on an object. It can be a refuge that calms the storm of turmoil within and helps to face the storms of turmoil from without. Through mediation you will redirect and refocus your thoughts, enabling a state of Acceptance.
Meditation will not erase external hardships or suffering, but it enables a person to deal with and face life’s difficulties in a healthier manner. It may change their interpretation of suffering and decrease their personal difficulty within the experience.
Christianity: Graced Evolution of Consciousness1
- Spiritual Reading
Prayerful study of Scriptures and other spiritual and inspirational texts.
- Discursive Meditation
Prayerful reflection of Spiritual Reading. This is what traditional Christian literature refers to as meditation.
An act of expression of feelings and desires as well as our hungering for unity with God.
- Contemplation, Contemplative Prayer
The condition of realizing unity with God, usually called meditation in other traditions as well as in contemporary Christian literature.
These steps make up Guigo II’s Ladder to Heaven which begins with a solid earthly grounding and extends to heaven. The ladder is firmly grounded like a tripod stabilized on a trinity of three fundamental qualities.2
- Dedication to spiritual practice.
Dedication to meditation creates a channel that remains open, enabling leaps of insight even within the ordinariness that permeates life outside of your meditative practice.
- All life is Holy.
Mundane tasks and transcendent communion are equally in union with God.
- Active compassion to Self and others.
The call to action is different for each person, but each call is equal in importance and service to all.
Meditation is both active and receptive. It is a deliberate opening of an energetic channel to realization of divine unity which opens a person to their intuition. This is not to say that a person who is more in tune with their intuition is closer to God, unity or some state of enlightened realization, but that the experience can enable intuition because it facilitates a conducive environment.
Deliberately open yourself, being as receptive as possible to the ultimate Grace of divine unity.
- Be still.
- Be straight when sitting.
- Close your eyes
- Fix your eyes on a focal point or object.
- Breathe slowly and naturally.
- Rest your hands in a comfortable or meaningful position: in your lap, at your side, folded in prayer, open palms upward…
- Be present to your thoughts and feelings.
- Be open to your thoughts and feelings.
- Be awake to your thoughts and feelings.
- Accept your thoughts and feelings without clinging or rejecting.
Place no effort into attempts to have no thoughts or blanking your mind. Invite a state of least resistance by remaining aware and attentive as your thoughts drift in and then away.
- Remain compassionate and without judgment as you cling and reject.
- Remain compassionate and without judgment to others, as their powerlessness is unified with your powerlessness.
You can learn about meditation by reading or being given information, but that is not how you will learn to meditate—for that you must learn through the experience. Meditation is learned in practice. These are guidelines, not rules. Methods of meditation vary but are merely suggestions based on what has worked for others. Each person will find communion in ways both similar to others and unique to themselves. Though there is a guideline that you sit still, your path may be through a runner’s high, gardening, dancing, walking, yoga poses and postures… If someone tells you that their way is right and you are doing it wrong, recognize that they have been blessed to have discovered a path to God of their own and in their enthusiasm they want to share it with you to ensure that you may also experience the blessing. It is not necessary to argue; instead offer gratitude for their advice.
Breath & Breathing
The consideration of the breath and breathing is important in meditation. The Latin word for breath is spiro from which we derive our English word spirit. The Holy Spirit is the portion of the Trinity that is wind and breath. Breath-wind yields movement—causes things to enter into motion; it is a force that acts upon. It is not the matter but what moves the matter. God is the Energy, providing energy to breath which thus causes matter—particles of atoms—to shift. By focusing on our breath, we are consciously—deliberately—bringing the Holy Spirit into our body. It is always there, but our focus brings deliberate awareness. Breath expands our consciousness—metaphysically and physiologically—energy as well as our corporeal body—oxygenating our cells and tissue. It is a medium through which we may align ourselves to recognize contact with Divinity.
Finley, James. Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004, pp16-17.
Finley, James. Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, pp 76-79.
Finley, James. Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, pp 24, 46.
Do you think meditation can help you?
If not, why not?
Review The Meditation Challenge and see how you can apply these techniques to your practice.
Have you tried it?
What was your experience?
How did it feel?
It’s okay if you felt bored, scared or annoyed.
Meditation is not a magic cure. WIth practice it helps you to become more centered, and thus more receptive. It won’t happen overnight.
Please share your experiences, methods and ideas.