meditation





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.





Preparation


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. 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.


Summarize these truths into the simplest forms you can put them into one sentence.
Repeat these truths to yourself. Repeating the truth will help you develop patterns of true thinking.


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.



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.


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 along transverse fiber bundles of fascia, 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.


Each chakra is associated with a certain color, element, and emotional forces.


• Root Chakra- color red, earth, feelings of safety, survival and sense of identity. This chakra is blocked by fear.


• Sacral Chakra- color orange, water, feelings of pleasure, excitement, and creativity. It is blocked by guilt (the emotional reaction you feel when you have done something wrong).


• Solar Plexus- color yellow, fire, feelings of empowerment, will, and sense of purpose. It is blocked by shame (the feeling that you are a bad person & unworthy of love).


• Heart Chakra- color green, air, feelings of love, hope, and connection. It is blocked by grief.


• Throat Chakra- color blue, air, feelings of worth, truth and self expression. It is blocked by lies.


• Inner Eye- color dark blue purple, light & ether, feelings of understanding and intuition. It is blocked by illusion.


• Crown Chakra- color violet or white, cosmos or ether, feelings of aliveness, transcendence, and connection to God. It is blocked by control and attachments to things and people of this world.


a. Opening the Root Chakra
Focus on your root chakra located at the base of your spine and extending down into the earth. Imagine the energy there. Is it alive or stagnant? What are you most afraid of? Let these become clear to you. Identify them but do not dwell on them. Know that these visions are not real. You are concerned for your own survival. Let them go. Surrender. Know that you are not in control of your own survival. Death and life are outside of your control. Surrender. Let your fears flow down the creek. Surrender your fears and say the mantra “I am safe”.


b. Opening the Sacral Chakra
Focus on your sacral chakra. The sacrum is the triangular bone at the back of your pelvis. Imagine the energy there. What do you feel guilty about? What evil things have you done that you have not forgiven yourself for? Identify them but do not dwell on them. Accept the reality that these things happened. Ask God for forgiveness. Ask yourself for forgiveness. If you have done wrong to another person, make a commitment to ask that person for forgiveness as well. Let your guilt flow down the creek. Surrender. Surrender your guilt and say the mantra “I am free”.


c. Opening the Solar Plexus
Focus on your solar plexus located at the bottom of your ribs to your belly button. Imagine the energy there. What are your biggest disappointments in yourself? What character flaws in yourself make you believe you are a bad person unworthy of love. When has someone else made you feel this way that you have not let go of? Accept that you are not perfect. Know that God accepts you and makes you new. Surrender your shame and say the mantra “I am accepted” know that you are able to make good choices, say “I will”.


d. Opening the Heart Chakra
Focus on your heart chakra located in your chest. Imagine the energy there. What losses have you experienced? You have indeed suffered great loss. Life is full of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. Know that love is a form of energy swirling all around us. God’s love for you has not left this world. Your lost love has not disappeared. It is still living inside your heart and is reborn every moment in the form of new love. Love is meant to be given away. Surrender your grief and say the mantra “I am loved”.


e. Opening the Throat Chakra
Focus on the throat chakra located in your throat. Imagine the energy there. What lies have you accepted about yourself? Who told you these lies? What lies have you been telling about yourself? You cannot lie about your own nature. You must accept who you are- both the good and the bad. Surrender your lies and say the mantra “I am true”.


f. Opening the Inner Eye
Focus on your inner eye located on your forehead in between your brows. Imagine the energy there. What illusions have you believed about God? Ask God to reveal truth to you. God has not left this world alone. He is powerful and loving. God restores balance. God heals our brokenness and brings us back into connection. What illusions have you believed about this world? We are all connected to God, to our earth and to each other. Isolation is an illusion.Surrender your illusions and say the mantra “I see clearly”.


g. Opening the Crown Chakra
Focus on your crown chakra located at the top of your head. Imagine the energy there. What attaches you to this world? What things, people, or purposes do you hold on to and cannot let go of. What do you try to control? Surrender. Know that you are not in control of this world, nor this life, nor the life and death of anyone else. God is. Let go. Give these attachments back to God. Let your fear of chaos flow down the creek. Surrender your attachments and say the mantra “I surrender”.



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 being 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. When we slow down we let go of our attachments - attachments to outcome, agendas, judgments, pain, fear, & ego. It arises out of a state of non-doing or wu-wei. It is surrender. It is abiding. It is stillness and grace. It allows us to touch into something greater than ourselves. In our ability to simply “be” we create the space for whatever wants to surface organically. It is integrity. It is authenticity. It is a way of experiencing without censorship, dissociation, or numbing.


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.