This way of praying is simple but very enriching. It starts small, but soon your soul will ask for more, and its wealth will surprise you.
The concept of deep meditation or mindfulness is in fashion today. There are many psychologists and experts who recommend its performance as an exercise that detoxifies our saturated lives.
The theologian and prolific Canadian writer Jacques Gauthier, refers to it when he affirms: «Our contemporaries, more open to spirituality than to religion, speak above all about meditation. It’s a buzzword that works for everything .
You and I, more than following fashions, we want a more serene and happier life. We understand that for this we have prayer, but sometimes we do not know how to do it to enter into a true dialogue that renews our life.
If you buy a blender, you receive an instructions. Using it helps you to give it a long and effective use, making your investment pay off. Will there be something like that to pray? Could we choose from a “menu” the kind of prayer that truly unites us with God? Will there be only one way to address our God? Will there be effective or ineffective prayers?
What is to pray? how to do it?
Jesus, during his earthly life, gave very valuable guidance to help us pray: he taught us the Lord’s Prayer, and he told us: ” when you pray , enter your room, and shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret ” (Mt 6: 6-13). The Doctor of Theology Gauthier tells us: “Jesus never gave us a specific method to meditate, or any physical discipline to control imagination, memory and emotions,” but he did give us creativity, intelligence and will.
American Thomas Keating, tells us to respect ” E s necessary to choose a longer natural spiritual exercise our disposal suited to our temperament “, but without forgetting the meaning and purpose of prayer.
Is all spiritual seeking prayer?
Christian prayer has a great difference with the inner search of other religions. As followers of Jesus, we understand it as a personal dialogue with the Author of life, where – as the Cistercian monk Keating affirms – ” the Holy Spirit is above any method or practice . “
However, knowing different ways of praying offers us possibilities to access this great treasure and that its riches are spread throughout our lives, bringing us closer to union with our Creator.
Among the different types of prayer, we have vocal prayer, with which when reciting psalms or other prayers, we incline our spirit towards God. Also, there is the prayer of petition, in which we establish a dialogue opening our needs and concerns to Jesus, asking for his support. Another wonderful option is lectio divina , which is known as the prayerful reading of the Holy Scriptures, but the one that we want to develop as an option for you today is meditation. Shall we start?
Meditation and science
A scientific study held in 2016 by Carnegie Mellon University, invited unemployed people who were experiencing a high level of stress to participate, in order to verify the effectiveness of meditation as a healing tool.
He showed half of the participants how to perform deep meditation or mindfulness , leading them by the hand to be aware of their present moment, connecting with themselves and learning to acquire serenity day by day.
The other half were only “entertaining” of their stress, as they were invited to dialogue, told jokes, and performed stretching exercises.
They found that meditation changes the body and mind
Upon evaluation, it was discovered that in the first group ” there was more activity – or communication – between the parts of their brain that process stress-related reactions, as well as in other areas associated with concentration and tranquility, ” as indicated heNew York Times.
The CT scans were clear, and although all the study participants reported feeling better after the sessions (the mindful meditation and the “placebo” sessions), we only found clear results in the first group.
This was the first study to be carried out with “normal” people, as there were several applied to Buddhist monks for example, who were in constant prayer for days.
It is very good, but it can be wonderful
Study participants who learned to do mindfulness meditation saw great personal gains, even four months after learning this technique. This happened despite the fact that some did not continue their daily mindfulness time .
You and I, who run all day attending to slopes and family, could learn to meditate. This would greatly alleviate the pressure we are subjected to hour after hour, which we intend to alleviate with breaks, rest, series and movies and our smartphone.
But we don’t want to just meditate. Christ is part of our life, and we want to do everything with Him. We want him to change our mind, our heart and our whole being. We seek prayer not as a space to “feel good”, but as a need for contact with the One who loves us so much. In meditation we will find a treasure.
Christian meditation is very old and effective
The clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and priest Francés, Patrice Gourrier, pclothes «meditation as practiced by the desert fathers since the fourth century. In this context, it builds bridges between human development and inner search, choosing to rely on the Christian mysticism of the first centuries, true wisdom of life for the 21st century .
This expert reveals the path we can follow if we want to advance in our inner life, free ourselves from stress and achieve inner peace. He gives us seven steps we can take to know this type of prayer. We share them as one reviewsBlog known:
1 Find a moment of stillness (which will start for a couple of minutes and you will want to increase as the days go by)
2 Sit down (don’t just try to stop your body, stop your heart as well, you won’t be able to calm down if you always run)
3 Breathe (become aware of your present, and also of God in your life. Speak to God with each breath, or pronounce the name of Jesus when inhaling, so that he fills your soul with His love)
4 Focus (stop your thoughts, dedicate them to make you aware of the presence of God. Call him and speak to him in short sentences)
5 Love more and better (make sure that these moments of closeness with God are noticed by loving your loved ones more and better)
6 Avoid getting stuck (invite Jesus to change your heart of stone for one of flesh, ask him to help you never judge and to know your misery and ask for forgiveness)
7 Accept your reactions (tears are a treasure, because they empty the soul of so many sorrows, if they come, receive them and let them flow)
We sincerely hope that this technique brings peace to your soul, and fosters a deep embrace with God your Father who loves you so much. Let us know how it goes!