Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why do I meditate?

Beloved in our Lord, after being away on meditation retreat for the month of September, and returning to the fall schedule already underway, I am now finding a moment to share with you a few thoughts.

When I was on retreat the question came up as to why we meditate. As I looked as honestly as I could at this question, this is what I wrote in my journal of that retreat:

“Meditation provides me with refreshment. I can come into a meditation sitting bone tired and leave feeling renewed for engagement with others and with life (most of the time). Meditation is the place where I can process emotions, be present in an undisturbed environment with what is really going on in my life, where I can sit with difficult and demanding feelings and watch them be taken care of without any help from me. Meditation provides me with grounding, especially in times of high stress and activity when I am over-busy. At those times I can come to meditation and be reunited; without the time in meditation I feel scattered and energy gets diffused.”

One might notice from this that meditation is far more than a stress reduction technique or a brief escape from the hard realities of the present moment. Meditation is for engagement with life, a way of facing it head on, a way to break through the avoidance and denial served by keeping one’s self overly busy.

But during meditation we do not sit there working through problems or strategizing conversations or making action plans. We leave our imaginations and focusing on the future at the door, and instead we sit with the truth of what we are feeling right now. I have learned to sit and observe the body, and have discovered that it has amazing wisdom of its own. It will show me by the sensations that I feel, for instance, where I am connected with others (in both positive or negative ways) and where I am isolating myself. By paying attention and observing long enough I can come to see how much of what I feel is not something I can credit or blame others with, but comes from my own imagining and self-affliction.

Much of the time this observation will bring me again and again to the realization of my need for Yeshua’s mercy, which, of course, is abundant, free flowing, unconditional and always available. Then as I continue to sit I watch the physical sensations, and with them the dilemma, the concern, the suffering and self-affliction gradually diminish and dissipate. The faith process of meditation again brings healing and restores wholeness.

I meditate because I have found this to be, and can dependably trust, that the process of meditation is the most effective and efficient means I have experienced for healing my inward blindness. Without mediating navigating life and all that it throws at me would be full of frustration and despair, grief and anger, given what I know about myself, and I say not thanks to that. Why do you meditate?

Blessings in the Lamb

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