Weekly Teachings 10/04/2011

Christian meditation can be done anywhere by anyone

 The hallmark of Christian Meditation is its simplicity. The discipline is simple; there are no complicated techniques to learn; it does not require extensive background information or any expensive equipment or special outfits; it can be done anywhere by anyone.
Let me remind you of the discipline:

Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer phrase, Maranatha. Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts and images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning to simply saying the word. Meditate twenty to thirty minutes each morning and evening.

The simplicity of the discipline allows it to be integrated in any environment. There are groups all over the world meeting in homes, in offices, in the workplace, in churches, in community halls, in schools, in Sunday schools, in fitness centres, in prisons and in hospitals.
Anywhere reasonably quiet is appropriate. If it is possible you could create a sacred space and atmosphere with some gentle music to settle everyone, perhaps a candle, flowers or an icon as a focus, but it is not essential. The essence is to keep it simple.
It is good to dedicate a regular time in the week for a group to meet in the same place. Laurence Freeman’s booklet ‘A Pearl of Great Price’ has invaluable information on how to go about arranging this.

But sometimes local conditions make this difficult. Often people already meet for other purposes, such as Yoga or Tai Chi classes, or prayer and encounter meetings of all sorts. Having heard about meditation they would like to integrate this into their time of being together, as coming out twice a week may be difficult or not possible at all. There is absolutely no reason why meditation can’t be made an integral part of these meetings. All that is necessary is to agree to dedicate from 20 – 30 minutes to silent prayer at the beginning or the end of the session and for someone to agree to start and finish the meditation period appropriately.

The essence of Christian Meditation is to focus lovingly and faithfully on your mantra for the whole period of the meditation. Just say your word! That can be done anywhere in a quiet environment and in an appropriate context. Always keep in mind Christian Meditation is a way of prayer not just a way of relaxing. As a Christian I am guided by my faith that by repeating this ancient Christian prayer I will be led into the silence in the centre of my being, where Christ dwells. There I will join the prayer of Christ and enter with Him into the stream of love that flows between the Creator and his creation.