Meditation Is Good for Us:
Meditation brings relief, renewal, wisdom and healing to our lives. After a century of hostility towards such practices, today’s neuroscientists have discovered what we have known right along, it’s good for us.
Hebrew has two words translated as meditation: thinking that is like water flowing over the stone of a brook or thinking that is like a cow chewing its cud. The Greek word most often translated as meditation literally means “to carefully consider from many different points of view, or ponder.” The English word is actually a Latin word meaning “to think about or reflect, to ponder.” Just a tidbit. In Tibet the Buddhist monks use a word meaning “to discover the self.” All over the world people meditate. That is how our brains are built.
Meditation and “Attentive Intelligence”
Meditation differs from our usual style of thinking by being “attentive” rather that “directed.” Some people call attentive intelligence “mindfulness.” As we fall asleep and as we wake up we pass though a “place” in our thinking in which we are entirely aware of our thoughts, but are not actively directed them or judging them. It is just a part of how our minds work. We a listener rather than an actor. If you are not following, you may want to go to Directed and Attentive Thought.
Relaxing his a huge help when we want to access our ability to think as a listener rather than an actor. Our bodies store the memory of strong emotions as tension in large muscle groups. It is hard to hear our own thoughts when we are physically tense.
If this is new information for you, just relax and listen to your stream of consciousness. Then clench your fists and growl. You might want to be by yourself so the people around you don’t think you’re nuts. Do it, though. I think you will find that your attention kind of flies all over the place. Stop clenching your fists, stop growling. Take a deep breath. Before long you can listen to your thoughts again. Relaxing is not magic, but it helps us be less distracted. As we become less distracted and more attentive we learn about our own interior life. You can find other ideas many find helpful under the Getting Ready to Meditate tab.
Spiritual Exercises and Cycles:
I will offer you two types of meditations: Spiritual Exercises to introduce new content to the level of thinking where you make decisions about life and Cycles. Cycles are designed to get at the fact that most people have more than one faith system. This is frustrating to us and to others and does not have to be.
Though Meditation Is Making Use of a Type of Human Intelligence, The Content of Christian Practice Is Specific to the Christian Faith:
There are real differences between Christian practice and others, but those differences are not about the mental process. Between sleep and being fully awake we meditate. All people do. Neuroscientists have mapped the specific areas of the brain that are active during meditation verses sleep or active, directed thought. Meditation is a distinctive type of mental functioning.
As a Christian believer, I base my prayer life on the assumption that there is a God who is involved in our lives. This God has a purpose for Creation and for us as a part of Creation. We can hear God, sense God’s presence and learn to follow God’s leading. Meditation or “Attentive Though” is central to discovering God in our lives. Therefore, the focus of the exercises and cycles I offer is on how you can learn to hear Jesus Christ in the midst of all that stuff that calls for your attention. I call it “Learning to Have a God Listening Heart.”
If you have thoughts to share on this subject or want to know more, go to Meditation, Christian and Other Forms. Take what God draws you to and Blessing on you and your household.
If you already know how to access your ability to Meditate, go right to Simple Thoughts or Dwelling Places. You will find either Spiritual Exercises you can start using immediately or prayer cycles you can use to start rebuilding your soul.