Monday, July 6, 2009

some thoughts on meditation

an e-mail came today which left me baffled. What could I say about going to meditate with co-workers that may inspire others to come also?
I didn't even respond when they sent out the initial e-mail asking if anyone was interested. I had once struggled through a weekend of meditation and had come to the conclusion, it was not for me...
Soon the e-mail came out announcing the times they would meet and a few nights later I picked up Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking and opened it up...
In our minds we are continually chatting with ourselves, and the purpose of meditation is to stop it...

... The end of mediation is to become empty enough to be filled with the kind of stillness the Psalmist has in mind when he says, "Be still, and know that I am God."
OK, so maybe it was a random moment, but I used it as a motivation to show up one afternoon. Some days I attempted some mindful nodding off. Well, to put it more correctly, I did some unmindful nodding off. When my focus left my breathing or the short prayer I try to center myself upon and instead found itself catching onto an intrusive thought, I floated right into a good chattering mind. I must have become bored with my often heard self-thoughts and started nodding off.
There was a day when I felt awake throughout the meditation and thought, "so maybe I can do this without coffee..."
The last time I went, I left feeling awake and clear in thought. It may never happen again, but it is worth going to clear the chattering from my mind every once in a while. I have gotten to know two wonderful folk and who knows who else I may meet along the way.


  1. Practice.... Like attempting to better oneself at something...anything, it takes practice.... Finding the time ... and practicing.... How quickly did you become the skilled stained glass artist you've become??

    I have heard that most of the Dalai Lama's days are spent in meditation... (Quite the life, no?) But he has said, and sorry if I've said this quote here before, but it is a favorite of mine...and great justification for one of my favorite things to do.... "Sleep is the best meditation."

    Hotel Bethlehem is quite nice!! I'll look for Mark!

  2. Any step we take toward Him, to me, cannot be in error. We learn as we go and the exact method, theory, mechanics may change as we go, but "connecting" is what it is all about. When I speak of "getting into a prayer closet", it may not be precisely what others term as "meditation", but I want to believe that it is close. For me, the "challenge" is not so much silence as it is "finding the flow", realizing that He abides in me and I no longer have to reach across the heavens to find Him....

  3. I don't know if there is a technical difference between centering and meditation but I am becoming more skilled at centering. Silence isn't easy for me and my mind sometimes races but I am getting better at it. I think Giggles is right - practice is key.

    Interesting that you meditate with coworkers. Will the overall work climate change?

  4. Giggles--- OK practice it is, but I still don't plan to go on another weekend of intense meditation. Hope you see the nephew.

    Jim--- I don't think my shoulder is up for a reach across the heavens ;')

    Giggles--- yes, Giggles is far from always wrong ;') as for you final question... it can't hurt.

  5. I often find that if I have an "unmindful nodding off" during meditation what I am inspired to use my daily tasks to silence the mind. Just focusing all five senses on what I'm doing has an amazing silencing effect on all that wondrous chatter in which I too often indulge.

  6. Beryl-- there are certain tasks that do quiet my chattering mind, but it would be good to keep in mind what the senses have to tell me at all times, well at least most times.


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