Meditation is simply put “thinking”- thinking on a particular scenario, idea, or truth. It is intentionally focusing your attention on one thing. It is letting your mind explore the expanse of the idea without judgment. It is not a debate in your head, nor is it a memory that you are turning over, nor a worry, nor fret about the future. It is thinking on something good. It is a free form exploration. It is meant to bring you stillness and peace. It is a way to discover truths about how you feel, think, behave, believe, or to let truth permeate into your soul. The benefits of meditation increase with practice.
Included below are three very different kinds of meditations: Biblical Meditation (explore and dwell on truth), Chakra Meditation (release emotional baggage and open yourself to freedom), and Mantra Meditation (empty yourself to find stillness). Imaginative meditations are under the heading Visualization.
To prepare for meditation, find a comfortable sitting position. Most meditations are best done sitting on the floor or ground in lotus, Japanese, or tailor positions, but you may sit in a chair or lay down for some meditations. Don’t cross your arms but have them down by your sides, or resting gently on your lap. You may want to calm your body down by doing some diaphragmatic breathing. See breathing exercises.
Biblical Meditation. Many times in the Bible we are commanded “selah” meaning meditate on these things. Dwell on them and let the truth permeate into your soul. We are commanded to meditate on biblical truths and to meditate on the character of God. The following is a very basic scripture meditation.
Choose a passage from scripture to read. Open your heart and ask God to reveal truth to you. Thank God for giving his word to you. Try to clear your mind from any preconceived notions about what this passage means. Because scripture is living word, what truth speaks to you may change each time you read it. Read the passage quietly to yourself. Read the passage again out loud. Hear with your ears and your heart. Whatever thoughts, feelings and meanings come up, let them arise organically and unforced. Consider them without self judgment.
What truths about God’s character are being revealed in this passage? What truths about human nature are being revealed? What truths about you are being revealed? Let your mind explore these truths. Summarize these truths into the simplest forms you can. Repeat these truths to yourself. Repeating the truth will help you develop patterns of true thinking. How do you feel about these truths? Explore why you feel this way. Do you agree or disagree with these truths? Why or why not? Know that God’s truths are always good and always for your good. You may not always agree with God, and it may not be easy to accept some truth, but don’t deny the truth. Repeat the truths to yourself again. Write these truths down. Ask God for understanding. Ask God to help you accept the truths that are hard. Thank God for what he has revealed to you.
Chakra Meditation. Download the written instructions as a pdf file. In it is a brief explanation of what chakras are and a written meditation you can follow. Listen to the audio version (mp3).
Every living organism has energy. We have electrical, magnetic, chemical, atomic, mechanical, thermal, kinetic, elastic, radiant, hydraulic energies (just to name a few). Our bodies produce, absorb, use, convert, and exchange energy in order to move, sense and function. It is the ability of a system to perform work. This energy is scientifically measurable. It can also be felt with the hands. It is sensed with all of our senses and may even be a sixth sense. Most people can see energy and heat waves emanating from the body on a hot day or when we are in water, but we also feel energy exchange between us as ”first impressions” and when we discern emotions and character in others.
Chakras are pools, store houses, portals where you can most easily feel and measure this energy outflow / inflow with your hands. Chakras are located along the spine where most of our energy is produced and converted. Our energy flow can be restricted by physical restrictions and thoughts and emotions. If nothing else were around our energy might flow nice and clear, but life is messy. Through Chakra meditation you clear emotional and mental blockages to restore a more balanced healthy energy flow.
Mantra Meditation or Emptying. Some meditation practices are essentially the opposite of the definition of “meditation”, ones in which you empty your mind of all thoughts & feelings. Its main purpose is peace from yourself. It doesn't bring you truth or enlightenment unless God chooses to speak to you in the silence, but it gets you outside of yourself, and allows you to regain an open and clear perspective. Emptying is generally excruciating work to begin learning. Most people find it nearly impossible. With time and diligence it becomes easier. To begin, I recommend that you focus on a simple mantra. If you need to play music or hear the mantra out loud to help you clear and focus, do it. Eventually, even this defeats the purpose of complete emptiness, but it is a good way to start. Focus on this and nothing else until your mind goes completely blank. Be still. Sit in the stillness. Every time your mind wanders, notice the thought without judgment and then let it float away. Choose not to engage it. It may be helpful to label each as they enter your head. Label "thought", "feeling", "sensation", or "worry", "planning", "memory", "longing", etc. Keep it simple. Labeling them helps you be objective and not get caught up in them. Return to your mantra.
Mantra meditations may also be done to breathing, or something you see like a candle flame, other noises like birds chirping, bells and bowls ringing, etc. Whatever you find relaxing. They may also be done to movement like walking or jogging. The point is to focus on this one thing until your mind goes blank to everything else and you are filled with a sense of stillness.
Imaginative Meditation is also called Visualization. In these meditations you focus on positive ideas, goals, or imaginative places of peace. See Visualization.
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