Meditating is a sin?
I was raised in a stream of Christianity that said it was a sin to meditate.
Some of you are saying, “Yup; because it is”.
Most of you are saying “What?” and “Why?” and “That’s frigging nuts”.
Others are taking the middle ground thinking, “It’s ok to meditate, as long as it involves reading the bible and or praying.”
I was raised in a stream of Christianity that said it was a sin to meditate and I did too, because I didn’t know what meditation was and my view of God involved shame, worry and a cultural / behavioral track that I thought I had to stay on in order for God to keep on loving me.
This morning the early autumn air was crisply and beautifully fresh.
When I got out of bed, I went to the bathroom and drank a giant tumbler of cool water.
Next, I sat on a cushion on the floor and lit a candle.
For a bit, I focused on nothing but my breath, feeling the sensation, as air came in through my nose, filled my lungs and gently exited my mouth.
My eyes began to close.
There were sounds…
Cars outside, people walking by, birds waking up…
Those sounds, as I became aware of them, became part of the moment. Not in a way that was dismissed or attached to. They were simply noticed.
Thinking about my body and starting at the top of my head, I worked my way down to the bottom of my feet, all the while noticing sensations and feelings.
My nose was a little blocked…
My lower back was tight…
My toe hurt a little…
Back to being aware of my breath…
The word “Pneuma” was brought up and with no particular rhythm, I gently started to repeat it silently.
My breath, body, feelings, sounds and a sacred word were peacefully and sweetly grounded and at the same time, flowing.
In this quiet posture thoughts began to arise.
As they came, they were noticed and allowed to float away as I lightly and sweetly returned to my breath and my sacred word.
My timer softly chimed after eleven minutes and I slowly opened my eyes.
I know the arguments of the right leaning fundamentalists inside and out, because I was one.
Sure, guru worship exists, but this is not that.
Meditation is not an attempt to clear one’s mind nor is it held as a path to some kind of enlightenment.
Sure, some people have screwy motives and can take something beautiful and twist it, but this is not that.
I’m no longer limited by the fear mongering and lazy thinking of a misguided subculture and I wish the same for you.
This practice helps me to be less distracted by the negative self talk in my head.
It enables me to focus better throughout the day.
Meditation does not serve as a substitution for anything, but rather as a supportive enhancement to my other spiritual practices.
My longing for you, is that you walk in freedom, thoughtfully enjoying every practice that supports you becoming who you are called to be.
My longing for you is peace.