What is Christian Meditation? It is meditation practiced in the Christian tradition. Its roots go back to the beginnings of the Church. Christian meditation teaches a practice derived from the Gospel teaching of Jesus and the advice of early Christian monks. The Desert Fathers and Mothers teach a Christian spirituality of powerful relevance for those today who want to jive their discipleship to Jesus in a deeply radical and simple way. The Christian part recognizes the faith with which you meditate – some sense of personal connection with Jesus. It recognizes the historical scriptural and theological tradition in which we meditate. It recognizes the sense of community it leads to: ‘when two or three pray together in my name, I am there among them.’ It recognizes the other means by which our spiritual life is nourished such as the other enriching forms of prayer like scripture, sacraments, and worship. Meditation does not replace other forms of prayer. It revives their meaning. Finally, we meditate in order to take the attention off ourselves (Jesus said, leave self behind). In the Christian tradition, contemplation is seen as a grace and as a reciprocal work of love. Not surprisingly, then, if we find we become more loving people as a result of meditating this will express itself in all our relationships, our work, and our sense of service especially to those in any kind of need —World Community for Christian Meditation.
How is it done?
John Main, a Benedictine monk who rediscovered many of the practices of Christian mediation, founded the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) to further the teaching of meditation to Christians and others interested in the tradition. Start by sitting down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. The ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha” is recommended. Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and simply. Main taught that silence means letting go of thoughts. Stillness means letting go of desire. Simplicity means letting go of self-analysis. (Simple isn’t easy) He recommended meditating twice a day every day. The daily practice may take some time to develop. Be patient. A weekly meditation group and a connection with a community can help you develop this discipline. Experience is the teacher and this allows the benefits and fruits of meditation to pervade your mind and all aspects of your life.
How do I get started?
Grace Presbyterian Church in Arlington TX is offering a meditation group on Sunday afternoons from 3 PM to 4:15 PM. We will start on Sunday February 14 and the first 6 weeks will involve introductory sessions, with meditation practice, to familiarize people with this approach to meditation. Come and join us!! Just bring yourself; we supply the support, the chairs, and the teaching!! And we offer an enriching spiritual experience!!
Where are you meeting?
We will meet in Room 103 of Grace Presbyterian Church in Arlington TX from 3 PM to 4:15 PM on Sundays. Don’t worry if you miss the first few sessions, we will bring you up to speed. If you have questions, feel free to email Greg Southworth, the meditation leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org.