If you grew up in the Christian faith, like I did, you probably weren’t introduced to meditation as a spiritual practice to quiet your mind and to deepen your relationship with God. I know I never was.
Meditation had been seen as a practice done primarily by Eastern traditions. But it’s now become mainstream especially due to the proven health benefits for stress reduction and over-all contribution to well-being.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I became aware of meditation. Quite frankly, it never interested me because, to me, meditation meant doing nothing. I was a busy advertising executive, I didn’t have time to do nothing.
Being Broad-Minded about Meditation as a Christian
I’m fortunate that my mother had a strong Christian faith. She was also very broad-minded.
With her various health maladies, she had several stints in the hospital for procedures. One of the questions the hospitals asked on their intake forms was – What religion are you? My mother would respond with, “I’m a broad-minded Baptist.”
I inherited her broadmindedness and never looked at meditation as something to be afraid of. After all, meditation is referenced in the Bible as early as in Genesis 24:63: And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening.
What question matters, if you are living out your Christian faith, is what are you bringing into your mind to meditate on? What are you plugged into?
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us: Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
After hearing testimonies from great spiritual teachers about the importance of meditation, and reading about all the health benefits of meditation, I decided to try it one day. This trying it wasn’t out of my broadmindedness, but out of shear desperation!
How Meditation Quieted My Mind
You can keep reading or listen to how the practice of meditation quieted my mind and changed my relationship with God. (This recording is the Introduction from the meditation CD/Downloads: Be Still and Know that I am God.)
I had always been in high stress, fast paced, demanding sales and management positions which seemed to control me. One particular position I held had reached a point of total insanity. I was fortunate to be working out of my home at the time. As my pain threshold reached the point of exasperation, I announced out loud, “Enough of this madness!”
After declaring this, I decided to find the meditation CD that a friend had given me years before. I found it and popped it into my CD player. There were two versions, a ten minute and a twenty minute one.
Since my concept of meditation was merely getting quiet and doing nothing, I felt that I could only devote ten minutes of my time – but no more.
While my mind wandered at first, I focused on the instructions given. You see, there’s a reason they call it practicing meditation because it takes practice!
The Immediate Results from Practicing Meditation
I experienced immediate results in practicing meditation for just ten minutes each morning for the first week.
Number 1 – I was more calm
Number 2 – The insane conference calls I had to attend each day almost magically stopped
Number 3 – I began to listen more and hear more what people were really saying, and I became less reactive to situations.
The next week I moved to the twenty minute version. My outlook had changed from, “I can only afford ten minutes,” to “I can’t afford not to do this and make time for twenty minutes!” It seemed like a miracle how meditation quieted my mind.
More changes took place. I became even more calm. My thinking became very clear. Decisions became easier. I listened even more and heard even more what people were saying. This led to understanding people and why they said the things they said. I became less judgmental. I became very clear of what I wanted in my life. I found that I seemed to have more time and accomplished more.
How Meditation Changed My Relationship with God
All of these benefits came about because my relationship deepened with God.
Several years ago my pastor gave a sermon on prayer. He dispelled all myths of prayer being complicated or having to go through rituals or asking for forgiveness. He simply explained that prayer was talking to God just like these words or the recording is talking to you now.
From that moment on, I began to pray, or talk to God more often.
The Bible says in the book of James, chapter four, verse eight: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Our relationship with God is no different from any intimate relationship that we have in our lives. When we care about someone or love someone, we want to spend time with them. God created us to have a relationship. While I felt closer to God through prayer, I was doing all of the talking! Imagine in a relationship if all you did was talk and ask for things. It would be a pretty one-sided relationship!
The Power in Being Still in God’s Presence
Meditation allows us the opportunity to listen to God. In Psalms 46:10 it says: “Be still and know that I am God.” This verse was the foundation of the meditation practice.
So many times when someone is going through a tough time, whether it’s an illness, a death of a loved one, or a really challenging problem, as a friend, we may not be able to offer words, but we can offer our presence. More often than not, our mere presence is the greatest gift that we can give someone. It is also our greatest gift that we can give to God; our presence.
It is in the quiet and stillness that God does His work through us. It is in the silence that all creation takes place.
There is no right way or wrong in practicing meditation. The ultimate goal is making conscious contact with God.
Clearing the Cluttered Thoughts
The object in the beginning is to clear the clutter from our minds. It has been stated that we have upwards of 50,000 thoughts per day. On top of that we are exposed to as many as 5,000 advertising messages a day that marketers throw our way. By clearing these thoughts and messages we are creating space to receive peace, guidance, joy, love and fulfillment.
The Bible verse, Psalm 46:10, provides a means to focus. But, ultimately, the focus is on the space between the words. There’s an expression of, “Reading between the lines.” This is resting in the space between the words.
Meditation is a Simple Way to Connect More Deeply with God
If you have never practiced meditation, the Be Still guided meditation is a very simple technique that will act upon the simplicity of these eight words:
- To practice being still
- To be in God’s presence
- To know God in a deeper way by spending this time with Him
- To know that with God we can handle anything because He is in charge
The Challenge in Quieting the Mind
As you continue to practice, you can adapt this meditation. What do I mean by that? For me, in the beginning, it was hard for me to just be still and focus on the space. I was allowing all kinds of thoughts to permeate from to do lists, emails I had forgotten to send to even what I was going to make for dinner! I really had to focus on nothing and clearing my thoughts.
What helped me relax was imagining myself with my arms outstretched on top of water in a pristine swimming pool and savoring the feeling of being weightless. The water was a perfect temperature and there were no sounds or distractions.
As I began to enjoy this process and stopped the permeating thoughts, I found that I was able to start to feel thoughts that I wanted to express. They were mostly thoughts of gratitude. Instead of trying to think of nothing, I began to thank God for all of the wonderful feelings, people, or events that were coming into my life since I began to be quiet.
As I continued my practice, ideas started flying at me while I meditated. I just allowed the thoughts to come because they clearly weren’t coming from me!
The Be Still Meditation Was Created to Quiet Your Mind and Deepen Your Relationship with God
Be Still and Know that I am God is a guided meditation that walks you through this process of meditating on the words and the space between the words.
It is also a deep breathing meditation that can instantly calm any anxiety that you may experience. When you continue to practice this technique, you can make this your own process with the ultimate goal of making conscious contact with God.
My sincere desire for you is that you will begin to experience God’s presence in your life by sharing your presence with Him. You will experience joy like you have never known and if you’ve felt lost, you will remember and will feel lost no more.
Read testimonials and listen to a sample from the Be Still Meditation.
Do you practice meditation? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.