Meditation centers our mind. If Christian meditation is new or elusive to you, here are three suggestions to get you started. This can be done in 15 minutes a day.
Breathing: Close your eyes and breathe through your nose and deep into your side ribs for a count of four. You should feel your side ribs expand — pause for a count or two – then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Do this several times allowing your breathing to become balanced and rhythmic. You can then go back to normal breathing but continue to pay attention to your breathing keeping it balanced between the in and out breaths. This exercise helps in meditation because it focuses our attention on one point – our breathing.
Recite the “Our Father”1: Some Christian faith traditions are apprehensive about reciting or repeating the Our Father because Jesus cautioned about “meaningless repetition” or “empty phrases”. His caution, however, was about spiritual “earning” or putting on a religious show through our prayers. Jesus actually taught a formula prayer: In the book of Luke when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He said, “When you pray, say: Father . . . .” Repeating the Our Father for five minutes can be helpful in centering our minds on God and his kingdom.
Silence: Finally sit in silence for five minutes. Silence is helpful in centering ourselves and hearing God. If your thoughts are flying all over the place don’t worry about it. This is normal and expected. As time goes on your focus will increase.
I encourage you to schedule 15 minutes a day to concentrate on your breathing, reciting the Our Father, and being silent. This will help you begin (or return to) your practice of meditation.2
1 Luke 11.1-4
2 If you’d like daily scripture readings to expand your meditation, visit https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=A. This is a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. This can be added to your calendar with a daily notification.
*For the original (and expanded) version of this post and it’s connection to Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle: https://teresaofavilaturns500.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/prayer-and-meditation/
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