Monday, 1 September 2014

A Year of Prayer: Reflections on meditation

So one month has come and gone.

During the month of August my primary spiritual practice was engaging in meditation and breath prayers. A rich time in which I feel I only began to scratch the surface of this ancient tradition. My reflections on this practice are really quite simple, and I notice that I'd like them to be more profound. However, they simply are what they are and there is no point in engaging in spiritual practices with judgement, since that defeats the purpose of it being practice!

So what did I notice:

1. It's amazing how simple awareness of the body causes the body to relax. Simply focusing attention along my leg, often brought with it both a heaviness and a lightness. A heaviness as I felt my body relax into the floor, and a lightness as I felt myself let go of tension and stress. 

2. I found it striking how quickly prayer words, or breath prayers entered my consciousness once I had relaxed into a space of meditative prayer. Sometimes it was several words, and I had the opportunity to sort through them to find what most resonated, but most often it was one word or phrase that simply emerged. 

3. Even when my times of meditation didn't seem to 'work' - as in, my mind wandered a good deal and occasionally I simply gave up - I still found it to be beneficial. Setting aside the space felt good, and no matter how short the time was, I had a sense that even through noticing my breath I was gaining some measure of connection with God, self, others, and creation.

During the month of September I'll be engaging in another ancient practice called the Examen. My introduction to that practice will have to wait until tomorrow though, as my materials are at my office.  :)

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