Last Friday I sent my newsletter out just as I have every last Friday of the current month since I started the publication. However, the thirty-first of this month is today, which means its link is not in the sidebar of the last newsletter. It is out of sync, somewhat. I will include it in next month’s newsletter.
Way back during the corporate years, the 1980s, I decided to take advantage of a service my church provided, free spiritual counseling. It was not so much that I was having problems with my spiritual life per se but I could not, and still do not, find the need for what is termed as traditional prayer.
I know this type of prayer works well for some folks. My opinion is not aimed to change those who use the conventional method. More power to those who are satisfied with it. I just have not gotten anything from it.
I made my appointment with the man [Sorry, but I do not remember the man’s name.] who had a Master’s Degree in Psychology. My evening meeting with him was in the lower level of the rectory, in a large room that had only two chairs in it. The upper level was dark. Obviously, Father Andy was out doing something.
I told the man what I thought was the problem. He chuckled and gestured to one of the chairs, asking me to sit. He told me that many people think praying is just talking to the Almighty when it could be a time for the person to listen to Him/Her.
The traditional goal of meditation is to empty the mind of thought in order to cleanse it of the clutter. [At least, that is what I have read.] This is something I have a feeling is needed more now than it has ever been needed before. Everyone is in a hurry, has so much to do during a day, and so much to remember. I have tried to meditate to the point where my mind is empty without any luck. Thoughts and ideas barge in so easily and are almost impossible to get rid of after that.
The spiritual counselor instructed me on how to do meditative prayer. According to him, the person needs to keep on repeating, “I am listening,” until he or she feels the calmness of the meditation. Then, let the mind go on its own.
When I tried this method, it took what seemed like forever to get to that place where there is total calmness. Once there though, I was able to let my mind soar. When I came out of the self-induced trance, I felt serene, refreshed, and mentally strengthened. Did I listen? I do not know but I do feel that I opened my mind up to receive.
Back when I learned this practice, I would do it soon after I got home from work. Being a single parent is hard, so this type of relaxation is great when there is a child who needs your attention in the evening. I prepared better evening meals and was more attentive to my son’s needs because of this half hour regiment.
Nowadays I do my meditation just before climbing into bed to sleep at night. I find I fall asleep quicker and sleep a little sounder. I am more apt to wake in the morning with more alertness too.
Do you have a practice like this?
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.”