Sunday, February 27, 2005

How would you know if God is talking to you?

Today's thought is:


The first time I heard about meditation, it sounded like a
foreign concept to me. I could understand prayer -- that
was talking to God. It made sense. But people said
meditation was important too. Someone told me, "That's when
you're being quiet, so God can talk to you."

Over the years, I've been exposed to different kinds of
meditation. There's walking meditation, reading out of a
meditation book, and meditation where we sit on the floor
with our legs crossed and eyes closed while chanting om.

I still feel intimidated when other people ask me about
meditation. It's one of those things I don't feel I do
enough, and when I do, I have a lingering sense that I'm
not doing it right. But if you ask me whether I try to
spend time quieting myself, getting centered, becoming
relieved of my own tiresome, worrisome, obsessive thoughts
each day, the answer is absolutely yes.

I started my meditation practice by reading daily out of a
little black book called Twenty-Four Hours a Day. After
spending several years with that, I switched to God

As time went on, I began to study different, more
formalized practices. The martial art I study, aikido, is
considered a walking and moving meditation. It's also
considered a spiritual martial art. Meditation practice is
part of training. As a result of that art, I learned to sit
on the floor, with legs crossed and eyes shut, and be quiet
for a while. In the beginning, five minutes was about my
limit fro sitting still. After that, I'd start opening my
eyes and peeking around the room to see what other people
were doing.

Later on, I added yoga to my repertoire of meditative
practices. It's a workout, but it's also
spiritually-centering and includes meditation. I was
intimidated for years about trying yoga. It was another one
of those things I was certain I couldn't do well enough. I
thought it was one of those things for other people, but
not for me. Eventually I found myself in a class. I found
people of all age groups stretching, trying to hold poses,
doing the best they could.

I've sat in the pyramids of Egypt and meditated. I've sat
next to the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee with eyes
closed, trying to be quiet. I've sat next to the sacred
Mount Kailesh in Tibet, cross-legged, eyes closed, holding
the pose for almost an hour. Sometimes when I close my
eyes. I pray. Sometimes I try to focus on a meditative
thought. Usually I try to focus on breathing and being as
still as I can.

I'm not sure that it matters where or how we meditate, or
whether we cross our legs, chant om, or read an idea out of
a book. The important idea with meditation is this: Be
still so we can hear God

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact: Meditations for Connecting with God, Self and Others
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact: Meditations for Connecting with God, Self and Others