Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30- Meditation And Prayer

              As the dew from heav'n distilling,

                 Gently on the grass descends
                  And revives it, thus fulfilling
                 What thy providence intends,

Over the last few months meditation has become a daily practice. My Christian worship needed revitalization. Prayers were becoming too rote, church service too tiring, and at the heart of my lack was a reactive mind. How could my Heavenly Father send his dew from heaven when I was not listening with attention? So I turned to meditation experts who knew how the mind works and who can give tools to quiet the reactive mind. Here is a inner script of my reactive mind:

I'm going to meditate for 15 minutes. In and out, my breath seems jagged. Wish I had more stomach muscles so that I could feel them engage when I hold my breath. Hold my breath? Why am I holding my breath? Oh yeah, extend your breath by slightly holding at the inhale and the exhale. My foot feels jammed into the floor. I should put a blanket on my mat to make it softer. Knees are tight but not bad. Ahh, my knees, when will I get a doctor's opinion about whether they are shot? I hate doctors. No time to start that process. I'm holding my breath again. Long exhale.........I should scan my shoulders. Are they tight? Tiny twinge in my neck. That is where I hold all my tension. I'll put my shoulders back and sit up straighter. That feels good. Has it been 15 minutes yet? Peeking at the clock......What, only three minutes have passed. I think I may found the secret to stopping time. Meditation!

This is funny but entirely true. How does meditation assist my spiritual life? Here is a example. I saw a picture of my oldest grandson being embraced by his family at the airport as he arrived home after a two year church mission. My daughter lives far away and right now, we are dis-connected, estranged, really. I tight pain seized my heart as I looked at their faces of joy. I felt excluded. Then my mind started down a story path of how I was unlovable to them. I took a deep breath. Then a curiosity opened about how this pain inhabits my body. I asked how it feels and where exactly I feel it. The notion that I was unloveable came into focus. Was that true? It was at this moment that I was able to feel the spirit. He held me gently, but firmly. Love flooded my being. Loving-kindness towards my daughter and her family replaced the old mental story. May they be happy, may they have peace, may they be healthy; these words replaced the thoughts of my ego mind. Yes, the ego mind makes it hard for Heavenly Father to communicate. Truly, he is an enemy to God. 
The twenty minutes of practice in the morning is strengthening my mind, making it more able to listen and perceive things as they really are. 

God's providence is intended to fall upon us as dew, but we must be able to absorb the blessings.

Let thy doctrine, Lord, so gracious,
Thus descending from above,
Blest by thee, prove efficacious
To fulfill thy work of love.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.


  1. I love the picture of the dew on the leaves, and I agree that we can hear God so much better and receive that refreshment from him when we take time to switch off from distractions and listen.

  2. I am truly sorry for your pain, but thank you for sharing this part of your journey. When I am feeling particularly brave, I pray for courage to see things as they really are. Perhaps what I need to is mediate in humility. My God continue to bless you and yours.

    1. Blessings to you, as well. We all need them, constantly.


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