meditation – made easy

It’s a snappy title, but in fact you don’t need to make meditation easy. It already is easy.

I sometimes run classes and workshops on different forms of meditation and one of the things I always try to get across, is that the most important thing about meditating is just doing it.

Just sitting down, being still, in an attitude of being there to meditate, that is the key thing.

It’s not the ‘results’ such as they are – not the lowering of blood pressure, ecstatic spiritual experiences, or stress busting, but the attitude that is important.

Meditation, when you boil it down, is a very simple process.

I teach three different types or ‘forms’ of meditation, a visual form, a form of ‘sacred reading’ and a repeated phrase form.  The reason I teach this range is that I find different people respond differently to each one.

Some very visual people react very strongly to a visualisation exercise, and for them it is a very natural process. They can readily engage the ‘visual muscles’ in their brain, and enter into an exercise which uses the imagination very easily.

Others really respond to a meditative reading – some traditions call this ‘Lectio Divina’ – and it is primarily practised using a Bible text, although it doesn’t need to be.

Still others, me included, find the most natural process to be a repeated phrase form of meditation. To me, this is the process which comes most naturally, and most easily allows me to sit in meditative stillness for some time.

But besides these three, all of which are found in different forms in the Christian traditions, there are many other ways of meditating. I often say that ‘there is no ‘one size fits all, but one size fits you’.

The key, in my opinion, is (initially at least) to find a way of meditating which suits your personality. I would expect as someone progresses in meditation, that they may gravitate to ever more still and silent kinds of meditation. But in the first place, I think there is a lot to be gained from just sitting still and learning to meditate in a way which suits you.

Meditation needn’t be difficult – begin at a place which works with, rather than against your brain, and learn to adopt the habits of a meditator, taking the time to sit and be still really is the most important part of the whole process.

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