This is a completely impromptu post. In fact, I am supposed to be working on some other projects right now, but I felt divinely inspired (from a facebook comment thread about me embarking on a 21 day spiritual focus…thanks David) to get this out to you tonight. I will likely come back around and elaborate on this over the next several weeks, but tonight I am going to introduce you to the practice of meditation and explain how Christians can meditate and not feel “spooked out” by it.
Meditation is growing in popularity across cultural and religious circles. Some of this may be the result of individuals trying to decrease stress levels due to the condition of the world right now. Meditation is a great tool for stress reduction, no doubt about that. But for me, it is much more – it is really a requirement and a necessary practice of my faith – Christianity.
Should Christians Meditate?
I know I may get some push back here from Christians who read this, because most Christians are misinformed about the origins of meditation and get visuals of people sitting in some trance like state with incense burning around them humming some mantra or something. And…all of that is cool if that’s how you choose to meditate – but for me, it is a point of personal deep spiritual connection to God.
I’ve had those awkward moments of silence with Christians when I bring up meditation – and honestly sometimes I do it just for the sheer entertainment of seeing or hearing their reaction to it. It’s enjoyable to say the least!!!
Most of you who have been following me for any amount of time, know that I am of the Christian faith, and whole heartedly love and serve God. I make no apologies for that – it is who I am – period. That doesn’t mean I don’t have many friends, family, and even business partners who are of other faiths. I love everyone – because Jesus loves everyone! Now – before you tune me out – hang tight for a minute because there is something in this for you regardless of your personal faith – trust me.
Every year for the past several years, I have started the year off with a 21 day spiritual focus to gain direction for my personal life, my business, and my spiritual life. This year is no exception, only this year I am doing it with a large group of people, as a “corporate effort”. A key part of this practice for me personally is meditation.
Now realize, there is no way for me to lay out every aspect of meditation, why it is important, what the health benefits are, what the spiritual benefits are and why everyone, including Christians, should do it in one blog post. But I can show you in Scripture where meditation is encouraged and at the end I will provide you with some simple steps to get started with a solid silent meditation practice.
Meditation in the Bible?
While there are TONS of references to meditation in the Bible, I am only going to focus on two of them today.
Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God…”. But hold on – that’s not all!!! The Book of Psalms is filled with references to a Hebrew word “Selah”. This word is positioned throughout many Psalms and is an implied pause. The meaning of “Selah” is to “stop and listen” or “pause and think of that”.
See meditation is simply a combination of those two things – being still and knowing that He is God and pausing to listen – to listen not only to God, but to your own thoughts, your own emotions.
See as you meditate, you are simply “being” – you are listening to your heart, listening to your thoughts, letting them go where ever they want to go, feeling the emotions, being one with yourself and one with God. There is no right or wrong response, no right or wrong way to think or behave in a meditative state – you just simply are “you” for that amount of time – and are simply “with God”, acknowledging His infinite influence in your life.
How to Meditate
There are lots of ways to meditate. I have some meditation tracks that I use regularly, they are scientifically formulated to connect both hemispheres of the brain for enhanced creativity, and the combination of sounds move the brain through all the different levels of brain wave activity – alpha, beta, theta, and delta. The benefits of this are HUGE…but way to much to talk about today. So we’ll save that…
I also practice silent meditation, which is really the prayer focus state of “being” that I referenced earlier. That’s the best place to start and what I will be sharing with you here today.
So, a few simple steps to get you started are:
- Find a nice comfortable place to sit, either in a chair or on the floor. I prefer sitting in the sunlight so I can feel the warmth of God while I meditate. You find what is comfortable for you.
- Make sure you are sitting upright, back straight and feet flat (if in a chair) or legs crossed (if on the floor).
- Relax your arms in your lap, hands upright. I sit with my hands palm up as if I am ready to receive from God, you can choose your own position of comfort. If you are looking to release some negative energy then you may want to sit with hands dangling down and imagine all the negative energy flowing out of your body through your fingertips…just find what feels right for you at the time of meditation.
- Close your eyes and take three deep breaths – long and deep in and slow on release.
- Every 1-2 minutes make sure you take at least one deep breath.
- Spend 15-30 minutes just sitting there in that position “being”. (remember to set a timer before you start)
As you are meditating Let your thoughts go where they want to go, let your emotions go where they want to go, and listen to what is happening inside of you. Listen to what God is speaking to you. Just “be still and know”…Selah (pause and listen). There is no right or wrong thing to think, no right or wrong thing to feel. You are simply being and feeling.
Now, what happens here is this – as you meditate, your self awareness increases and things you did not even realize were clogging up your spirit man will begin to surface. This is not anything to be afraid of, but something to be happy about – because you can now free yourself and clear your spirit of the “junk” life sometimes throws your way.
Selah with Me
So with that said, my friends I invite you to “Selah” with me this month – the first month of a new year and “be one with yourself and one with God”. I firmly believe that as you take the time to “listen” in your moments of meditation, that he will speak and give you insight into your path for the coming year.