Sunset in the Country

     Early Christians defined prayer as “the raising of the mind and heart to God”. Our mind is what thinks – it questions, worries, plans, and is busy with constant mental noise. This mental chatter prevents us from experiencing inner stillness. In order to assist us to come to stillness we use a sacred word or phrase (a mantra). And so we can calm our mind and bring our attention to the heart. The heart knows; it loves. What matters most in our life is beyond the mind and dwells in the heart. The “prayer of the heart” or meditation is simply being with God. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).  

     Our part in meditation is to enter the stillness and to wait for God there. To meditate: Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Breathe calmly and regularly. Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word or phrase (for example, the prayer phrase “Maranatha”, meaning “Come, O Lord” or “Come, Lord Jesus”). Listen to it as you say it, gently, with love and continuously. Do not think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts or images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning to simply saying the word or phrase. Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes. 

Reference: Adapted from The Australian Christian Meditation Community 

Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd.


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