I was out with some friends after a movie and they started to talk about meditation: books they were reading about it, workshops about it, shows and speakers on the topic of meditation.
What is meditation exactly? It's defined as continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation, devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection. Then there's transcendental meditation, which is a meditation technique derived from Hindu traditions which promotes deep relaxation and the use of a mantra. I asked my friends what they fill their mind with when they meditate.
I fill mine with the living and true word of God. When I meditate I follow a simple practice of meditation which is outlined in the Bible. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7 When my emotions are anxious, I meditate on God's peace and strength. When I feel down, I meditate on God's steadfast love and the joy of my salvation. When I feel overwhelmed, I meditate on God's overwhelming power at work in me.
I also meditate by reflecting on the good things around me. I call it an act of "enjoyment" or gratitude, or perhaps it's a kind of rejoicing.
There are so many great things to see in each moment. Why focus on things and thoughts that bring us down? Sometimes I have negative feelings that confuse me. But after checking my thoughts, I realize that my feelings are not often based on anything that's true. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
I lift all my worries and distresses up to God. I am so thankful to worship a God who is real, who loves me and cares about each of my feelings, trials and who gives me abundant blessings. When I meditate on all these things, it really does bring me to a place of deeper contentment.
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
I love Philippians 4. I have favourite sections of scripture that I meditate on and I prefer to meditate before I go to bed. Some things I have read about Christian meditation, include Lecto Divina, and The Practise of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (in my sidebar).
These photos were taken along the trail of the river by my house. I am so thankful for this beautiful place, so close to my home. I am also thankful for cool, sunny late autumn days.
I hope you have a great week and I hope to catch up on my reading and emails now that my report cards are done. Yay!!!