A strong believer in Christian meditation, Saint Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him.”
We often hear we should pay no attention to what anyone else thinks about us, and simply be ourselves, no matter what.
Sounds good but it all depends…
What if you are happily strewing trash all around your house or throwing litter out of your car? (Pet peeve of mine!) Does it matter that I am offended to see such abuse of the earth, not to mention there are laws to prevent such uncivilized behavior? It’s like wiping your hands on your mother’s face after she’s fed and clothed you and taken you to the beach. It implies lack of respect. Of course, it might just be you are ignorant and need people to teach you better ways of behavior.
Are laws enough? Enforce them and all will be well, right?
How come Jesus got in such trouble for going against the Pharisaical law when he healed people on the Sabbath and did other no no’s?
It is important to be authentic, but how do we not impose our prejudices and biases onto others? We might not have it right–our truth might not be the full story or even truth at all.
We have to become deeper more aware people. We must learn the way of compassion, of tolerance, of a love that rises from the deep well within everyone, that acknowledges we are all the beloved of God, and even when we don’t believe in God, we are all equally worthy and all part of the process of life, all in growth, all in need, all struggling with problems, issues, and negative behaviors. What you do or don’t do affects me, and what I do or don’t do affects you. As well as hoping for the best for ourselves, what a wonderful world this might become if we begin to hope for the best for all sentient creatures on the planet, and also begin to pay attention to how we might help.
Real love brings wholeness and healing to all it encounters. That is the way of Christ. His (amongst other things) is the way of prayer and meditation.
“Lest we condescendingly do tonglen (a Buddhist) meditative practice for the other one who’s so confused, remember: this is a practice where compassion begins to arise because we’ve been in the other one’s shoes. We’ve been angry, jealous, and lonely. We do strange things when we’re in pain. Because we’re lonely, we say cruel words; because we want someone to love us, we insult them.” p. 98: Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron.
There are wonderful Christian prayer and meditation practices too such as Christian centering prayer or contemplative reading of Scripture (lectio divina). Here are two books I find helpful:
Centering Prayer. M. Basil Pennington. New York. Doubleday, Image Books. 2001.
Too Deep for Words, rediscovering lectio divina with 500 Scripture Texts for Prayer. Thelma Hall, r.c. New York. Paulist Press.1988.
I’ve also made available on Amazon Kindle Ziggy, A Little Book of Healing, an account about my dog Ziggy and my struggles to bring him healing. It is a mixture of memoir, Reiki healing, and miracle. It contains an Appendix with seven touch healing prayers based upon Reiki and Lectio Divina for individuals or groups. This is a practice that brings personal balance and is, in fact, a variant of contemplative prayer.