I once heard said that meditation is simply, “the rehearsal of the word of God.” Over the years, I have come to find this easy, but powerful statement to be all so true. Mediation, that rehearsal of the word of God can take many forms. For some, meditation is the act of exercise, where a person’s thoughts are clear, and communion with their body is present. For others, it takes more spiritual forms of movement, such as yoga, where a mantra, or meditative tone is practiced that coincide with actions.
Does Meditation Help You Get Closer To God?
For me, meditation is done reading text that I find to be holders of truth. In my book, The Invitation to Love, I talk about some of those powerful text that I use to help keep me on course. Good reads for me circumvent the noise that has populated my mind for years. -The voice of doubt, low-self worth, and insecurity. I am confident we are all plagued with these feelings, and we each are asked to take responsibility for how we are going to silence those voices and move in the space of being the full expression of ourselves.
Each morning, before I do anything else, I open up my favorite books, I take at least ten minutes to read, sit with, and journal on what are those things that stand out for me. It is amazing, some of these books, I have read seven or eight times, and without fail, with each read, I pick up something new. You see that is the great thing about powerful text; they continue to meet you wherever you are on life’s journey.
How to find good reads? First, I think it is necessary to get honest with yourself, ask yourself what is it that I need to respond to. For some who read this, fear pervades your life, and sabotages your relationships. For others, long years ago, you abandoned your relationship with your body, and find yourself now out of shape, out of balance, and feeling less and less like yourself. With fear, find opportunities to engage with reads that speak to the spirit and faith, these will be great companions along the way – remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but simply the act to move despite of.
For those who have found themselves met with a body that has been worn from years of neglect, I would recommend considering reading text on love, you see, whether single, or married, we are all in relationship with a great, and wonderful lover: ourselves. Finding text that can help you understand why the relationship with your body has been neglected will be a helpful aide.
While reading this, I can see how some could question, “is he just promoting a liturgy of self-help books?” My answer to that question is no, if this was about self-help, I would say read a book about overcoming fear, if this was about self-help, I would tell you to read a book on exercising more and eating less – what I am asking you to consider is not about self-help, it is about self love, the deep soul churning practice of becoming in-tune with yourself, using meditation not as a guide to simply help, but used as an instrument to heal.
Once I got a hold of what meditations true purpose was in my life, I then had to get a hold of my commitment to the practice. It does not matter if it is yoga, a morning mantra, or a good read, like me – any new practice will ask for our resolve and commitment. It took me years to really master the art of reading, reflecting, and journaling as a three-part solution for peace. I had to first get that I was going to fall off the bandwagon, that a solid week of meditation did not mean that it was now a life-long habit. To the contrary, I had to embrace the days when I was running late and did not get my morning read in, I had to accept that failure would be part of the journey and take comfort in knowing that I had the ability to recalibrate and start again the next day.
Beyond commitment is our friend faith. When I first started the practice of meditation, I would get distracted and at times irritated thinking about all of the things I could be doing that would be more productive usages of my time than sitting reading a book. After months of continuing the practice of meditation, I started to notice a shift, I started to see my life working in ways it hadn’t work before. I started to notice how I was beginning to respond more effectively to those around me. And finally, I was starting to see that the path of living in my own truth was becoming easier and easier.
You see meditation started become less and less of a practice and more and more of a friend. Over the years, meditation has become my confidant, my space of counsel, and the force that raises the volume of my own inner voice. In a world that is riddled with fear, plagued by the comfort of the mundane, and many of us doing the dance to play small in our lives, we need that meditative space to continue to move forward, bravely despite the temptation to do otherwise.
So there is discerning the practice, making the commitment, acting from faith, and then seeing the results. In my life, the results of meditation have been what has helped me determine a career path. Meditation offered clarity when I had to make big decisions, like moving to my current home in Chicago. Meditation has helped me respond with love, when others pain, fear, and envy clouded my own heart with bitterness and sadness. Meditation has offered me benefits that go beyond the scope of any blog I could write; but simply put, like with any relationship, the benefits took time, the spiritual seeds planted within meditation had to be watered consistently before bearing fruit.
Thank you for reading my thoughts on meditation. As I said earlier, my personal belief is that meditation is the rehearsal of the word of God. For me, that rehearsal is sitting with good text, those books, articles, and passages that speak to truth. When I meditate, and I am sitting in a place of peace (for however short or long it last) I know I have hit truth – because truth is where perfect peace resides. This blog is an invitation, a lofty one at that. My intention was not to get you to go clear out your local Barnes and Noble, finding every spiritual meditation book you can find. Rather, my hope is whether it is with a good book, or with a mat in a yoga studio, take time and find a meditation practice that works for you. Allow meditation to become a part of your routine, transforming from being simply a daily practice, to the space where you commune with your best friend. Our time on earth is finite, we only pass this way but once, and we are tasked with moving intentionally on the planet as long as we are here. Let today be the day you call on meditation to be your guide along that great journey.