WHY MEDITATION IS SUCH A POWERFUL RESOURCE
What is meditation? In a nutshell, meditation is contemplation and reflection. Meditation is one of the most powerful resources that you can tap into to relieve sadness, anxiety, fears and anger. There are many situations in life that are far beyond our control. Being stuck in traffic, the moods of a teenager, and the long lines at the checkout counter are just a few examples of daily frustrations that can disrupt inner peace. You can however choose the way in which you respond to a circumstance that causes stress. Clearing any temporary dysfunctional emotions with relaxing and calming emotions and thoughts, will help you greatly in perceiving the situation and responding appropriately.
Growing up in the Midwest, I misunderstood that practice of meditation. I perceived it to be praying to God is some sort of scripted prayer. It was after taking courses in meditation that I discovered how to clear disruptive thoughts preventing inner peace. For a very long time I suffered from anxiety and depression. I had been on many different forms of medications, that didn’t ever seem to work for me. With a consistent daily practice of meditation, I have eliminated the dependence on pharmaceutical drugs completely and I experience inner peace.
I welcome you to try this meditation that I use from James Finley. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, California.
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU: FROM JAMES FINLEY
When you sit in meditation, your breathing naturally slows. Quietly focusing your attention on your breathing is a way of slowing down and settling into a deep meditative awareness of oneness with God.
Breathing out, be quietly aware of breathing out. Breathing in, be quietly aware of breathing in. Each time you realize you have drifted off into thoughts, memories, sensations, and other ego-based modes of being, simply return to your breathing as your anchoring place in present-moment attentiveness.
Your efforts in following the path of breath awareness might be enhanced by repeating a word or phrase with each breath. A practice I have found particularly helpful is to pair breath awareness with the phrase “I love you.”
As you inhale, listen to God’s silent I love you in which God’s sustaining love is pouring itself out and giving itself to you as the gift and miracle of your very life. As you exhale, exhale yourself, that is, give yourself in a whispered I love you that incarnates the gift of yourself to God, who with your next inhalation is being poured out and given to you as the gift and miracle of your very life.
If feelings of sadness come welling up within you as you sit in meditation, let your next inhalation be your way of receiving into yourself the presence of God, loving you through and through in the midst of your sadness. As you exhale, let your exhalation be your way of giving yourself in love, sadness and all, to the infinite love that with your next inhalation is giving itself to you whole and complete in the midst of your sadness.
So too with bodily pain, with feelings of fear and confusion, of loneliness or quiet joy and amazement that may rise and fall within you as you sit in meditation. Whatever it is that may be occurring within you, let each inhalation be your way of receiving into yourself infinite love.
It will sustain you and love you through and through in the midst of all that arises and falls away within you in this meditative stance of devotional sincerity.
Let each exhalation be your way of giving yourself in love to the love that loves you through and through in all that is rising and falling away within you whatever that might be. Sit this way with all your heart, knowing and trusting that in this reciprocity of love your destiny in love is being fulfilled.
You can practice this “I love you” prayer in little passing moments as you go through your day. You can practice it as you awaken in the middle of the night, letting love be your way of falling back to sleep. It is by way of this prayer that you can learn from God that love alone has the authority to name who you really are and are called to be in the midst of all that life might send your way, right up to the moment of your death and beyond.
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