Interlude: Arise performed by Kathyrn Kaye on th There Was a Time album
Why do you meditate? Is it part of your mental and physical health toolkits, to relieve and prevent stress? Is it a spiritual practice, contemplative prayer, an expression of your faith? Those are two, and there are probably as many more as there are people here this morning. One of the other reasons I meditate lies between those two — to get better at letting go of the past, and living in the present.
When we meditate, part of the practice is to let our thoughts pass. We will think — the mind has a habit of generating thoughts. In meditation, over and over, we observe the thought, and learn to let it go, without judging, without exploring, without hanging onto it. Finger by finger, we pry apart the mental fist clutched around obsessive thoughts, and let them drift. Gently we take the important thoughts, and hand them to God to take care of, while we relax into the meditative state.
Just think about how important it is to be able to let go. Imagine how easily you can succumb to road rage, if you don’t let go when that other driver cuts you off, or leaves their high beams on behind you, or follows you too closely. Meditation is a big help during your commute or trip to the airport..
And what about the interactions we have with colleagues, and family? I found this author from “Courage to Change” helpful:
“The harsh tone, the unkind word, the apparent indifference of another is usually over in a few minutes. What price am I paying by holding on to those few minutes?”
The central prayer of our faith recognizes our penchant for holding onto things, too:
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
The meditative practice of letting our thoughts go, builds skill in releasing negative feelings and thoughts, and being present to the now. And just imagine what you might do with the now. Rather than spending time and energy “escaping” from the negative, you can spend time and energy on … Being with God and feeding his sheep. Appreciating the blessings of life and this beautiful place we call home. Doing whatever helpful, creative, productive things that inspire you. Or as the Book of Common Prayer puts it so well, doing “all such good works as God has prepared for us to walk in.”
Delivered at Resurrection Catholic Church, Aptos, California, on June 8, 2019.