I’m so worried about my daughter. I talked to her the other day and found out she’s meditating. I pray she’s not getting caught up in some other religion or cult or something.
You DO?? But we are Christians. Isn’t that what other religions do?
This was the gist of a conversation I had recently with the Mom of a college student. To answer her questions: Yes I do. And yes, I suppose other religions practice meditation but it is not solely an “other religion” thing.
So let’s talk about that and a couple other reasons why meditation is thought to be a dirty word for so many.
1.) Because it’s an eastern religion or hippy/vegan thing to do.
Isaac did it: He went out to the field one evening to meditate. (Genesis 24:63)
David did it. A lot. All throughout the Psalms he meditates on God’s unfailing love, God’s works and wonders, his law, precepts and promises.
If the above two Bible giants didn’t convince you, check this out…
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:17-19 bold is mine)
Mary, the very mother of Jesus did it. She pondered, meditated, thought about, reflected on all she had seen and heard.
So why have we allowed this very biblical practice to become something that only “others” do?
2.) People don’t know how to meditate or what meditation really is.
Maybe you think you have to sit cross legged on the floor, wrists on your knees, middle finger touching the thumb, eyes closed in preparation to “ohm it out.”
Meditation is a continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation. It’s a stilling of the mind, body and soul, thinking upon or pondering of something.
Not a dirty word.
There are several apps you can download that will walk you through a session. I happen to use one called Headspace. He talks you through breathing, being aware of surrounding sounds, being aware of how your body feels, what thoughts you’re thinking, visualization. No ohms required. (Plus his accent is very soothing. Smile.)
I will often meditate after I’ve had my quiet time, which gives me ample things to ponder.
Give it a try. Ten minutes a day for ten days. That’s it.
3.) People don’t have time or won’t take the time.
In the movie Eat, Pray, Love, Julia Roberts’ character travels abroad because life went wonky for her. One of her challenges along the way was to meditate. It shows her sitting in the typical meditative position, but fidgeting like crazy, wondering how much time has gone by. She finally opens her eyes to find that one whole minute had passed.
Can you relate?
We live in a culture where busy is given a badge of honor and being still is a foreign concept. When I said give it ten minutes for ten days, I could here some of you prickle and wonder where in the world you would find that much time in your day to sit and do nothing. And for TEN whole days! Seriously? Yep.
Busy isn’t bad…until busy keeps you from being able to still your mind enough to concentrate or be engaged in the moment or sleep. There are so many benefits to meditation, which leads me to the next reason why people don’t/won’t do it.
4.) People don’t value it.
If there’s really nothing in it for you, why do it? After all, we ARE busy people. Time IS precious. So what are the benefits exactly? Here are some that have been scientifically proven…
Where there is peace and meditation there is neither anxiety or doubt.
(St. Francis de Sales)
5.) We live in a TLDR society.
A what? That was my question as well when one of my daughters said this is why she thinks people don’t meditate. It stands for Too Long, Didn’t Read. We are quickly becoming a scan-and-go society that gets bored very easily. There is an article in the Washington post that talks about people not being able to read longer, more involved books because our minds are becoming accustomed to quick hits of information.
We are becoming less and less able to concentrate for longer periods of time. So for me to ask you to sit and be still for ten minutes…I may as well be asking you to sit for eternity.
Meditation helps. It helps to rewire our overstressed brain to concentrate more, to slow down and absorb our surroundings, to think clearer.
I love the verse, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) There will be no meditations of my heart, no pondering what’s in there, if I don’t meditate.
Why is that so important? Because out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)
So, I’m taking back the practice of meditation. I’m taking back the art of being still, quieting my mind, listening to my surroundings and my body. I’m taking back the call to Be still and know (Psalm 46:10) by being still and knowing!
No. Meditation is not a dirty word!
Fiercely for YOU!