What is Meditation?
Meditation is a form of prayer which involves focussing the mind on a simple prayer word, or phrase, in order to still the thoughts of the restless mind. As our mind becomes still we begin to realise that we are not just the sum of our thoughts, images and emotions. There is a deeper level of consciousness where we simply exist. In this still place of just being we discover that we live in the presence of God and that each of us is infinitely loved by God.
People who meditate regularly often report that they become calmer, more peaceful, more compassionate and their physical health and well-being improves. They also report getting more out of their church and faith.
Meditation in the Parish of Swan
Thursday: 10.30 am, All Saints, Henley Brook.
For further information feel free to call or email the Parish Office
How to Meditate
Sit down. Sit still with your back straight.
Close your eyes lightly.
Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra.
We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word "Maranatha".
Say it as four equal syllables.
Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and above all - simply.
The essence of meditation is simplicity.
Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and from day to day.
Don't visualise but listen to the word as you say it.
Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words.
Don’t fight your distractions but let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it immediately that you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention is wandering.
Silence means letting go of thoughts.
Stillness means letting go of desire.
Simplicity means letting go of self-analysis.
Meditate twice a day every day.
This daily practice may take you sometime to develop. Be patient.
When you give up start again.
You will find that a weekly meditation group and a connection with a community may help you develop this discipline and allow the benefits and fruits of meditation to pervade your mind and every aspect of your life in ways that will teach and delight you.
What does meditation mean for a Christian?
Fr. John Main OSB is one of the people responsible for a great revival of the ancient Christian tradition of Meditation in recent decades. He said that ‘meditation verifies the truths of your faith in your own experience.’
Meditation has the capacity to open up the common ground between all cultures and faiths today. What makes meditation Christian? Firstly the faith with which you meditate – some sense of personal connection with Jesus. Then the historical scriptural and theological tradition in which we meditate.
Also, the sense of community it leads to: ‘when two or three pray together in my name, I am there among them.’ And the other means by which our spiritual life is nourished – the other forms of prayer like scripture, sacraments and worship. Meditation does not replace other forms of prayer. Quite the reverse it revives their meaning.
Where Can I find Out More About Meditation?
There is a wealth of resources on the website of the World Community for Christian Meditation: http://wccm.org
Dolphins in the river at All Saints Church (Oct 2007)