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, by its nature, begins with accessing what might be called “attentive intelligence.” To do this we have to disengage from active direction of our thoughts. We then shift to our conscious self to the role of a listener rather than an actor. If you are not following, you may want to go to Directed and Attentive Thought.
Having refocused our center of awareness to attentive thought, it is generally helpful to relax. Carrying tension in large muscle groups tends to interfere with our ability to hear our own thoughts. If you don’t know this already, just try to listen to your stream of consciousness, then clench you fists and growl. You might want to be by yourself so the people around you don’t think your nuts. Do it, though, and I think you will find that your attention kind of flies all over the place. Relaxing is not magic, but it helps us be less distracted as we become aware of our interior life. You can find other ideas many find helpful under the Getting Ready to Meditate tab.
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.
There are real differences between Christian practice and others, but those differences are not about the mental process but the focus of that process. I believe that there is a God who in involved in our lives, has a purpose for creation and can be heard. Therefore, the focus of the exercises and cycles I offer is on hearing 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.