The practice of meditation allows us relaxation and peace. It puts a stop to any negative voices that may be a part of our consciousness - even for a brief period of time - but that peace allows our general consciousness to raise and become more positive. Quiet, peacefulness allows God into our life more fully by opening doors to Him that can be blocked by a negative, or sad, inner soundtrack.
I believe that negative inner soundtrack is a primary reason that many Believers seem to live their life full of many negative and painful experiences.
I believe that negative soundtrack also permeates our prayer. God is all good. God is all love. Negative, fearful prayer sets up a resistance in our life preventing us from perceiving God’s goodness that surrounds us.
A meditative practice can create many positive changes. Quieting our mind can allow us to live in conversation with God as we make room for Him to speak into our life. It is as if we have turned on our receiver to listen for God in our life.
How does one begin, though?
I know that many of us have preconceptions about meditation that keep us from it. Meditating does not mean that one must completely silence their mind. It is an opportunity for quiet and peace, but it does not require absolute silence.
I would like to offer a variety of options for you to choose from if you would like to begin a meditative practice. I offer no rules. Take what works for you, or not. I always encourage the knowing that your perspective is perfect for you.
Allow for imperfection. Just as we joyfully encourage a baby as it tries to stand, or tries to walk, applauding even though it may tumble back to it’s bottom. Lovingly encourage your own unsteady steps into meditation and your new skill will strengthen.
Meditation does not have to be marathon length. A couple, or a few minutes daily, is a great start. You wil notice a positive difference in your life more quickly if you commit to a few minutes daily than if you sit down to meditate once a week for an extended period of time.
Find a comfortable seated position. Lying down encourages sleep. You just want to find an upright position where your body is at ease.
I invite you to sample different techniques to quiet your mind until you find your best fit. It’s helpful to have a variety of options from which to choose what is right for each meditation.
Breathing - Focus on your breathing; slow and regular.
Counting - Try counting backward from 100 with your inhalations and exhalations.
Background Noise - Focus on the sound of the air conditioner, furnace, birds outside, water dripping, or a fountain.
Mantra or Prayer - Repetitively thinking a word, phrase or memorized prayer allows your mind a focus points.
Choose a word that feels good to you, such as: Love, Peace, or Joy.
Maranatha - This is an Aramaic phrase which can be translated as “Come, O Lord.”
I like to sometimes use my favorite prayer - The Prayer of St. Francis of Assissi - as it is a very positive, open prayer.
Music - Choose peaceful instrumental music.
Guided Meditations or specific recordings for Meditation - There are many of these available. I found several meditation CDs at my local library, and countless ones when searching online.
I invite you to try meditating for seven consecutive days and be open to making it a part of your daily life. You will be amazed at the positive changes that will flow into your life! - Or not!