Seeing the Light


A former Presbyterian minister (40 years at the pulpit) gets hip to meditation, among other things:

The Need to Meditate
“Be still and know that I am God!”

These are the instructions given to the Psalmist in 46:10. The Bible is filled with references to meditation, to contemplating the deeper things of life, to getting away from the racket of the world so that we can center down and hear the voice of God.

Quite apart from the ancient biblical commands, modern medicine tells us that meditation can have a beneficial effect on our minds and bodies. It has been proven to slow pulse and respiration, lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Following surgery it can lessen pain, minimize blood loss and accelerate healing.

So why don’t we all meditate regularly? Because it takes time and discipline, and we tell ourselves we are too busy to spare the few moments it requires. But that very argument is the best reason to do it: the moments we spend in the presence of God make us more efficient for everything else that we do.

Meditation is the other side of prayer. In prayer we talk to God; in meditation we listen for God’s answers. It’s that simple.

If we had an earthly friendship in which we did all the talking and the other person was forced to do nothing but listen, it is doubtful that the relationship would involve any real intimacy. God wants to talk to us even more than we want to talk to God. Our decision about whether or not to meditate regularly depends on the depth of our desire to have an intimate relationship with God.

While he does not go into the subject of meditative absorption (which, according to the Buddha, is necessary for “skillful” meditation), the points he does raise are valid for anyone who remains on the fence regarding a meditation practice.

It’s one of those things where you have to actually do it — and not just once or twice, but within a committed and sustained time period — before the full benefits are rendered unto you.

And I do maintain that it beats anything you may run across on television….


3 thoughts on “Seeing the Light

  1. Hawk Sr. says:

    Occasionally, something good comes out of the Presbyterian camp.

  2. seekingfor says:

    Great points Mike!!

    I really do agree. Anybody who is looking for more out of their spiritual process would serve them selves well to spend some time on the cushion.

  3. adreampuppet says:

    As I mentioned in comments to the “More Kashmir Saivism” post, I notice where you’re making this very point over at your place, seekingfor. The path of a skillful contemplative is not always the easiest (in my case, it took a solid year for a rigorous daily meditation practice to establish itself, such that I don’t have to fight it any more), but I’m more and more convinced that the great spiritual literature cannot be truly understood at the surface level. The reader must have “glimpsed” (to borrow your word) the intuitive, insightful truth that can only arise in silence.

    Hawk: It took the guy 40 years, but somewhere along the way the call for firsthand experience of the Divine proved more than he could resist. I’m very happy for him.

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