Life of Prayer II - Lesson 4: Meditation and the Silence
1. WHAT IS MEDITATION?
- Meditation is prayer, but not all prayer is meditation.
- Meditation is thinking about God or His nature, and one's relationship to Him.
- Meditation brings the thoughts of the thinking (conscious) mind under control.
- Meditation closes the door of the mind on unwanted thoughts (denials) and opens it to the free flow of Godlike thoughts (affirmation).
- Meditation draws the mind within in singleness of thought and purpose.
- Meditation helps us to mentally digest the Truth.
- In meditation the conscious and the subconscious become open and receptive to the Superconscious Mind.
- In true meditation we become conscious that our I AM has made union with the great "I AM THAT I AM" and our whole being is lifted to a higher plane.
2. HOW TO MEDITATE
- In Unity we use two types of meditation:
- Group meditation with a leader. (There is great power in group meditation as evidenced by Silent Unity).
- Private meditation in which you are alone in your time of turning to God.
- Whether in a group or alone begin with relaxation. Center your thoughts on God.
- Take an affirmation into your meditation.
- Repeat this affirmation over and over until the words become alive in your consciousness and take on their real power.
3. WHAT NOT TO DO
- Daydreaming versus true meditation.
- Care should be taken about what we think about in meditation. When we take a thought and meditate on it to the exclusion of all else, this thought becomes a power within us, a power for good or evil, according to the kind of thought it is.
- Watch for fear and worry meditations! Many times we are really praying for a thing we do not desire by holding it in our mind in fear and worry. All the time we are begging and beseeching God to take the condition away, we are holding on to it with all our might.
4. OVERCOMING FEAR THROUGH MEDITATION
- Remember, nothing can enter our world except it find access through a thought.
- Watch your thoughts in meditation.
- Take for meditation a thought that will leave the appearance far behind. Use a thought that will make us feel and see and know only God.
5. FROM DEEP MEDITATION TO THE SILENCE
- We ask in meditation.
- We receive in the Silence.
- Through concentration and meditation the mind is cleansed and we are ready to say, "Speak, Father, for I hear." Samuel and Eli.
- When we enter the Silence we are in the thought world. Your answer to prayer will come to you as a thought.
- Do not be confused by what others may say about seeing visions, or hearing voices.
- Visions and colors, or voices have never healed or prospered anyone. They only point toward the true message.
- The true message is, "Be still and know."
- Control your thoughts and go directly to God as the Source of all good. God is the answer.
- Read the story of Elijah in I Kings 19:4-17. Elijah sought the Lord in a strong wind (clearing the way for higher state of consciousness); in the earthquake (a shaking up); and in the fire (a cleansing). But he found God in the "still small voice" (the voice of Spirit speaking from the depths of his own being). The still small voice comes from within as spiritual knowing. When Elijah realized God was speaking through him he opened his consciousness more positively toward God. Elijah is a perfect example of what happens when we seek God.
Use for the closing meditation:
THERE IS BUT ONE PRESENCE AND ONE POWER IN MY LIFE, GOD THE GOOD, OMNIPOTENT.
Here is an eight minute meditation given by Mary Kupferle in a Sunday service. Note that she begins with a declaration of an affirmation:
We are in the flow of a happy, creative life.
This affirmation opens her soul and allows the Christ Spirit to take over her thinking process. Then a series of Divine ideas seem to flow without thought or structure: We enjoy the sunrise and sunset, the songs of the birds, the smell of flowers, the gentle ocean breezes, the good that each day holds for us. Her words indicate that she is simply describing these rich gifts from Spirit as they come to her. By this we know that she is in a meditative state.
Mary concludes the meditation by returning to the original affirmation: "I am in the flow of a happy, creative life" and she then declares her intention to follow through on the guidance that has come to her. She acknowledges that what has come to her in heaven will be on earth and she declares and to allow the Father to do the work. This she claims in the name and through the power of Jesus Christ.