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Do You Meditate? What does that mean?

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The term “meditation” comes up often in the Bible, for example in repeated references in Psalm 119. But it’s a richer concept and term than you might know or have experienced. I’d like to share four short paragraphs that might add to your experience this way. 

First, the Hebrew forms of meditation are most often not “thinking of nothing”, but rather are focused on a single thought. A scripture, a theme, a prayer, even a word. But it’s not thinking in those moments as much as experiencing in a quiet space in our minds. 

Second, the Hebrew and Christian traditions aren’t always sitting still. In Orthodox meditation, usually there are motions that move from standing to kneeling to laying prostrate several times. In early Christianity, there was often a position of raising the hands for a part of a meditation. In modern Jewish groups you can often find swaying or rocking even. I usually choose to walk when I seek to meditate. 

Third, in both Hebrew and Greek, the word for “Spirit” is the same as the word for “breath” and “wind”. So often these traditions focus on breath, slow, steady. As my Orthodox monk friend said that you’ve all heard me repeat, “Breathe in grace, Breathe out all else”. That can take an hour of sacred space or a moment of mindfulness. I hope right this minute you take a grace full breath. And let go of all else. 

You are loved.

Rod Brayfindley

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