Reflecting on Meditation
Transformation Magazine|October 2016

Meditation is an area of spiritual study that often confuses people.

Marcia Bender

​I am continually asked to explain meditation and how to do it. Yet there is no trick to the practice of meditation; most people have been doing it since they were small children— they are just not aware that they are meditating!

One of the reasons for misunderstanding is confusion regarding the definition of meditation. The dictionary defines meditation as “the act of meditating; deep, continued thought; reflection; solemn reflection on sacred matters as a devotional act.” It defines meditate as “to think about, contemplate, to plan; intend; purpose; to think deeply and continuously; reflect; ponder; muse.”

Well, that tells us what meditation is, BUT it gives no clue how to do IT!

So now what? We still want to “do it” but we are unsure of what IT is. I often say that there are many paths to enlightenment. My personal belief is that there are many paths (ways) to meditate as well. I mentioned that most of us have been “meditating” since childhood. How can we be meditating without knowing that we are meditating? Do you remember when your parents or grandparents taught you to say, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” The majority of children learned that little bedtime prayer regardless of religious denomination.

Well, in my opinion prayer IS meditation. What do we do when we pray? We ask Higher Forces to surround us, to protect us, and to guide us as we continue on the journey through this physical incarnation known as life. We are told that strong Spiritual Forces surround us, and we are expected to have the faith and trust to believe that this is true. When we meditate, we are still asking the Strong Spiritual Forces to surround us, but in meditation we expect and receive answers. Meditation and prayer are just different ways to communicate with God. So it stands to reason that when you pray, you are working with a form of meditation.

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