Thursday, July 28

The Mystical Me?

Throughout my childhood I was taught to abhor anything to do with the word 'meditation'. I was instructed that to "empty your mind" meant that demons and other nasty beings would start talking to you. Inward silence accordingly became an evil concept for me, an open mind was essentially a mind open to demonic attack. This idea is consistent with a lot of legalistic religion, the only spiritual experience me and my friends (the friends who were raised simiarly) received was when a preacher would pry on the congregations psychological weaknesses to invoke guilt and anxiety, which we called "conviction" (Ironic name for it)

It was when I started doing martial arts eight months ago (which has a five minute excerise at the end for relaxation, which is done in a meditative position and involves heavy breathing and no thinking) that I realized that inward silence used in a meditative way was a very relaxing and peaceful thing. I came to understand why Buddhist and Christian mystics meditated (although obviously the Christian mystics don't call it that).

So, sparked by a growing enthusiasm, today I tried my hand at 'Centering prayer'. And although the 30 minutes was devoid of any amazing mystical experience (I did feel lightheaded at one stage though!), I enjoyed it immensely. My biggest obstacle is being able to turn off all thoughts and sensory perceptions in the mind, for whenever I attempt to empty the thoughts my mind always makes commentary on how I'm going in this endeavour for silence. Perhaps it will come to me easier through pratice, and I am eager to try it again.

I feel naive to ever have feared the mystical side of Christianity, does anybody else do 'centering prayer' or something similar?


Blogger BruceA said...

I practice contemplative prayer, although not as regularly as I would like. Somehow, life seems to get busy and I don't take the time to get away and just listen to God. But honestly, those are probably the times I could benefit the most from contemplative prayer.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Monk-in-Training said...

I also practice Contemplative Prayer, with a group at a Monastery once a week. I really like it, and as I incorporate it into my life I can see the Charismatic change going on in me and how I live.

You might check this website:

11:47 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

How do you guys sit while doing it? I can't seem to find a perfect position.

7:58 PM  
Blogger BruceA said...

I used to have a reading chair, which I also used for contemplative prayer. When I got married my wife brought a recliner into the relationship, and I've found that a slightly reclined position works good for me. (Again this is also the chair I use for reading -- there is probably be a connection there.)

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes....centered on
"God is light, and in Him there is no darkness."

8:44 AM  
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1:40 PM  

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