Meditation, Thursday 27th January 2022
Meditation author Paul Harris has written in his book ‘Christian Meditation – Contemplative Prayer for a New Generation’ (Darton, Longman and Todd 1996) ……
“Letting go is a description of a process we go through on the path of meditation. Not only do we try to let go of words, thoughts and images but we also try to let go of our concerns, fears and anxieties during our times of meditation. We even let go of trying to make silence happen. It is also about letting go of getting anywhere. We must let go of instant results and not evaluate our progress in meditation.”
I will be using this text and others for the Zoom presentation 10.30 – 12 noon on Wednesday 16th February. Book via www.thecarmelitecentremelbourne.org
Paul Harris’ description of meditation is counter-cultural yet it conforms to the teaching of numerous traditions traceable to writings that stem back 1500 BCE to the Yoga disciplines in India. ‘Letting go’ is easy to say but requires practice and discipline. To let go of images, words, thoughts and if you are meditating out of a religious motivation even religious images and words, i.e. prayers. Perhaps even more difficult is to let go of our worries, doubts and fears. Many times when I have had anxieties that have dogged my life it has been a herculean task to ignore them during meditation. In fact it still is!
Paul Harris’ point about silence is important to urban dwellers as we are often confronted with meditating in a noisy, less than perfect environment. Again with practice and experience background noise can be overcome.
The final point that Paul makes is letting go of getting anywhere. So many of us reach a point where we feel that our meditation is too hard and too demanding. When that happens we begin to judge the ‘quality’ of our practice. And when that happens we dwell on problems instead of letting them go.
And now let’s meditate in the fashion we are most comfortable with always mindful that we meditate not just for ourselves but also for the benefit of others……
Check out the programs on offer at the Carmelite Centre. Go to www.thecarmelitecentremelbourne.org