This article was inspired by the success of the first article I placed on this blog: A life changing idea, June 25, 2011. That original article has received more attention than any other and continues to be quite popular. This article has a somewhat similar theme, but it also involves the practice of meditation.
I have never been very religious, but I have been meditating fairly consistently for about forty years. At first, I would meditate for just a few minutes, maybe once a month or so. I have continued the practice on a more frequent basis until the last ten years or so when I have meditated almost daily for at least ten or fifteen minutes. Obviously, I have found the benefits to be significant, and they only increase with time. I cannot give any convincing, objective evidence of this; all I can do is attest to what it has meant to me. Just taking a few minutes to quiet my mind and block out all my day to day anxieties and concerns for a period of time, alone, is worth it, giving me a sense of peace and profound relaxation. Over the years, I have learned to completely still the thinking, logical aspects of my mind and allow its activity to be replaced by what I can only describe as pure awareness: observing but not thinking. Even a short period of time in this state feels very rejuvenating.
I want to describe a simple meditation technique that I recently came up with (actually a modification of some ideas of others), but before I do so, I feel I need to share a little about my view of the world since I think the meditation idea I am about to present presupposes a similar way of looking at the world to mine. It may not be useful to others whose point of view is significantly different than the one I hold. I believe in God, and I believe He has created everything that exists. Since He created it all, I see Him as immanent in it all. Everything He created is actually still a part of Him. If you find these ideas unacceptable for some reason, I recommend you go on to other articles more comfortable and useful for you.
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I have tried many forms of meditation, but have always found simple approaches to be most helpful. I have even developed a few of my own methods that work well for me.
Recently, I made some minor modifications to a common meditation practice for my own use and I really like it. I thought I might share the idea with others, particularly those who have never found any form of meditation that they have felt comfortable with, yet who still want to learn this valuable practice.
You have probably heard or read about a simple meditation strategy that has been recommended many times and probably used for many centuries. It consists of finding a quiet, comfortable spot that will allow you to be undisturbed and silently repeating to yourself:
I really like this because of its elegance and clarity, but I am not completely comfortable with it, and I find that anything that causes any discomfort during meditation detracts from its benefits. As I say the words of this short affirmation, I feel like I am claiming to be the Creator of the universe and the Supplier of all life. My individual life experience, of course, does not mesh at all with this. It feels grandiose as I repeat it.
I have found a solution that works nicely for me, based on my belief in God’s immanence in everything and in everybody. Here it is:
a ray of
This also encouraged me to add another version which I also find to be tremendously helpful, especially in its expansive nature:
I know of
are all rays
Finally, here is one more variation that is about as simple and elegant as the one it mimics, yet it also bypasses the grandiosity problem.
I find these meditative affirmations to be completely comfortable to me. They express well right where I currently am in my individual awareness. Both of these meditations create a feeling in me of being in the right place at the right time and of having God’s infinite power working in support of me and through me. If you are not practiced at meditation, and you want to try this, you may want to print the affirmations on an index card. As you meditate, if your mind drifts into other thoughts (as it surely will), you can stop yourself and refocus on the idea on the card.
May we all feel an ever greater closeness to the Source of Love Itself, love and hugs to all,