A weekly meditation hour runs from 5:30-6:30 pm every Thursday in the St Martin’s Chapel. Meditation is often associated with Eastern religious and spiritual practice. Yet, it is a traditional Christian practice, which in the past was referred to as contemplation and more commonly today, as centering prayer.
Our Thursday evening practice is open to everyone – Christian, members of other faiths or none – because it is a spiritual practice that does not focus on particular religious content. The beauty of it is that no previous experience is required, only a will and a curiosity to explore. Meditation is a practice of stilling ourselves in order to open a space for listening. Initially, the listening involves learning how to observe in a more detached way the flow of our thoughts and the sensation of being in our bodies. As we practice doing this there opens within us a deeper listening to the intimate promptings of God’s Holy Spirit, however, we might perceive this.
Questions often arise in meditation practice that have been buried in our subconscious just beyond our recall awareness. In meditation, such questions are not to be thought about and worked at with our minds, but simply noted as we return to listening to the deepening of the silence that opens for us in meditation. We leave the questions to simply reverberate in the silence and insight eventually emerges.
Physically anchored to the rising and falling of the breath, we learn to observe the contents of our minds and the sensations of our bodies without following them along a path of distraction. We discover that while we have thoughts and feelings we are not our thoughts and feelings or, put another way, we are more than our thoughts and feelings. One nice analogy is that life is like being carried along through the turbulent rapids of our fast flowing river of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Meditation is climbing onto the bank and for a short time watching the flow of our river go by. Eventually, we rejoin the flow but now armed with greater awareness about what is happening to us.
Meditation is not only a holy practice it is also a holistic activity. Meditation supports better body and emotional health through the development of awareness or mindfulness, leading to a reduction of stress. It works at the mind-body-spirit interface, cultivating and strengthening in us a capacity for love-motivated whole person integration. We look forward to welcoming all curious seekers to our weekly practice.