Meditation is the practice of taking time and space out of normal life and inviting God to be present as you dwell on a spiritual truth.
It is not about achieving anything or being productive; so it’s counter-cultural.
It’s about being still and letting God be present; so it’s passive and isn’t about us trying or striving.
Meditation is not easy. Our brains want to be active. We feel pressure to do things with our time. But meditation allows God into our lives in a way that simply can’t happen when we’re dancing to the world’s tune.
Because it can be a challenge, here are some tips, advice and insights from others in the church. Maybe there’s something here that will help and encourage you in your meditation. These aren’t presented in any particular order.
I light a candle during my meditation. It allows me to have a start and finish time and it’s something to focus on, rather than letting my thoughts wander
I sit on a bench nearby, overlooking a field. It works because I’m out of the house and there are less distractions. I try and do lunchtime but I also do evenings.
Something I’ve been doing as often as possible: taking communion in the morning with a simple glass of juice and cracker. This helps me have something tangible to focus on Jesus and helps me not to get distracted.
I do meditation immediately after doing exercise. I’ve been thinking about my breathing, so I lay down and use a breath prayer – where I breath/pray out my stuff (usually anxiety, fear, frustration) and breath/pray in God, using a simple line like “You love me” or “You are with me”.
Another added benefit is because it’s at the end of exercise, it always feels like a relief to be still. It makes me feel like God is a refuge (from all the horrid hard work of exercise!)
I’ve been meditating at the end of the day in bed. I lie on my back and listen to some instrumental music. I imaging God’s love is warming my whole body, like when you lie in the sun.
We have found that meditating together is good. We do it straight after dinner, which has helped establish a pattern and remembering to do it! One of us sets a timer on our phone for 5 minutes and we each choose the words or verse that we are going to focus on.
I have been struggling with meditation due to tiredness and distractions, but I have found that if I combine it with some exercise, either a walk or run outside or going on our exercise bike at home, it keeps as a really strong routine and I have been able to focus clearly on talking with God.
As soon as I stopped rushing around to try to meditate I would find suddenly I’d remember all these tasks I needed to do and I would be worried I might not remember them at the end of my meditation. Now I keep a little scrap of paper near me and I quickly jot down any of these tasks and return to meditation without having to try to not forget!
I sit down and make a space near for Jesus. I might have a second empty chair next to me or I might just do it somewhere with room next to me. I find it easier to imagine God is there if I have a physical space for him to inhabit.
I choose a verse, word or phrase to meditate on and then I write it out on a piece of paper. Then, during meditation I might write it again, over the top, or doodle around it.
More to follow…