Meditation has become an important part of my life over the last two years. I enjoy different styles of meditation - from contemplative, to guided, to using music - but the more I meditate the less clutter I am wanting attached. I am becoming more comfortable in the silence and more able to still my busy mind. At our meditation groups I often read something of Thomas Merton or some other great Christian writer on the topic of contemplative prayer or meditation. This week I decided to use something different.
I read a piece from the classic, 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying'. The author, Sogyal Rinpoche, says, "In the stillness and silence of meditation, we glimpse and return to that deep inner nature that we have long ago lost sight of amid the busyness and distraction of our minds. Isn't it extraordinary that our minds cannot stay still longer than a few moments without grasping after distraction". He goes on to say that, "We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don't know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home. Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home."
Now that certainly rings true for me! When I have taken the time to be still, silent and meditate I find I am more peaceful, more in touch with myself and with God and less likely to react impulsively. We take the time to sort through our emails, file our papers and even defragment our computer. How much more important, then, should it be to take time to allow our inner lives to regroup and 'find' ourselves again? For me, meditation is a time to spend solely in the presence of God and no one else. It's just me and God - being, not doing.