9/3/12

yoga, oprah and meditation




Meditate.

It's a word that your yoga instructor and the hippie down the street who walks around barefoot and eats an unhealthy amount of granola says in casual conversation. We read about it in health magazines and books. It's also a word our pastor might mention from time to time. We can find the word tucked away in the Bible; God pleading with us to be still and meditate on what he has said.

Now, maybe you have it all figured out and meditating is what you do on the regular*, but maybe you're like me and you haven't a clue.

I was recently reading a magazine and the mantra of meditation showed its face. This particular writer said to take some tips from Oprah and give a few minutes each day to meditate.

I was reading it thinking What the heck is meditating, what kind of meditating is Oprah doing and is the point of life to imitate Oprah?

Well, I began to find some answers to these questions... and none of them had to do with Oprah.

First I went to the wonderful world of the Internet and googled the defintion of "mediate." Here is what I found:

    to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.

Then, I went to the Bible and found some verses that mentioned mediation:

    And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it    day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. 

    Remember what you said to me, your servant— I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me. The insolent ridicule me without mercy, but I don't budge from your revelation. I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I'm on the right track. But when I see the wicked ignore your directions, I'm beside myself with anger. I set your instructions to music and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way. I meditate on your name all night, God, treasuring your revelation, O God. Still, I walk through a rain of derision because I live by your Word and counsel. 

    I meditate on your name all night, God, treasuring your revelation, O God. 

This is just a few of the times the word meditate pops up in the Word. And I highly doubt God's idea of mediating was sitting cross legged on a floor, "om-ing" with a bald head. So what did he mean?

Well, in case you haven't caught on from the verses and definition, we need to not only read what the Bible says but reflect on it---think about it, let it swirl around in our head. 

How can we do this? Well, if you have a way besides the one I'm about to explain please comment below and tell me but here is what I have started doing: I read a chapter in the Bible. Right now I am going through Proverbs day by day. I have a study Bible that will take each verse and give background to things I probably won't know since I didn't live during the time period. I will read a verse and then look at the footnotes. I go through the whole chapter doing this and then I go back. I read a verse or two and I put it in my own words. I then, write that down on paper. I go through and do this for the entire chapter. I then pray through it, asking for help to make this applicable in my life. As I walk out the door I toss it in my purse and carry on about my day. Then, when I take a coffee break, eat lunch or get bored in class (er, wait. what?) I pull it out and read back over it. Sometimes I write it again. 

What I have found to be really beneficial is I will write it as if God is speaking to me. For instance, today I read Proverbs 3. Here is the orignial version I read it in:

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands.

So, I re-wrote it like this:

Savannah, I told you what to do---laid it all out for you. I said to love me and love others. Let these commandments become a part of you.  

This has helped me understand and apply God's word to my life immensely.

And now when I hear the word mediate I don't think of yoga, granola or Oprah. I think of God and what he has told us to do.




What do you think mediating means? Is mediating hard for you? How do you meditate? 
 
*I have never said "on the regular" in my life, but it does make me feel just a bit more like a thug for some reason. 
image: source