If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been thinking and studying meditation.. We live 50 miles from the TM capital of the West and that approach has made me leery and nervous, therefore, I had settled on the secular approach. No philosophical or theological connections. The Hindus or Buddhists did not invent meditation nor does meditation automatically pollute your spirit.
My interest in meditation is motivated by my desire to 1. shut down the inner critic and the constant narrative. 2. My mind is always “at the office.” 3. I want to hear God speak. We cannot hear the voice of God clearly while all the other “voices” are screaming for attention. I have rediscovered the Quakers’ approach to silence and worship.
“This quiet, contemplative worship has another component that sets it apart from other spiritual silences. That is, ‘that brazen expectation of hearing the voice of God.’ Quaker (approach to) silence is filled with expectation—expectation that God will speak. When we hear God, our lives are changed.” (“Holy Silence,” J. Brent Bill, Paraclete Press, 2005)
“…that brazen expectation of hearing the voice of God.” (Scott Russell Sanders)
The suggested routine is:
1. Relax your body and mind. (Sit with your spine straight, feet flat on the floor.)
2. Breathe deeply.
3. Focus—abandon multi-tasking for a few moments—put down your book, turn off the TV. Stop your mind from making work lists.
4. Ask your question.
5. Listen—expect to hear God speak. What are the first spontaneous words you hear in your mind-soul or what is the image that comes first in response to your question?
6. Write it down in your journal.
7. Question? Usually, the first six steps are adequate. You may respond with, “Heard it. Now, what does this mean?” When you “hear” God say something that is questionable—move, buy a new car, join the United States Air Force or go work on the Trump Campaign team—ask a spiritual director you trust to listen to what you have “heard.”
This grows out of my research for personal seeking of God as in Matthew 6:33 and Hebrew 11:6 and Section Six of my manuscript “Seizin’ Your Season.”
©2016 D. Dean Benton—writer & wonderer