The Practice - Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB

Meditation is experiential. That is it is a way of experience, rather than a theory or of thought at all.

Meditation is an incarnate way of prayer.  The body is not a barrier between us and God. It is the sacrament of the gift of being which God has given us by creating us.

 

When you first sit to meditate take a while to find a posture you can be comfortable and steady in. Relax the obvious tensions of your body, in your shoulders, neck, eyes and forehead.

The yoga positions and breathing exercise are an excellent spiritual practice for the body. They will teach you reverence for your body as God’s gift and temple.

Choose a quiet time and place where you are not likely to be distracted. Treat your meditation times as priority times.

You will come to see why meditators regard these times as the most important part of their day.   If possible keep to the same place and time each day as this helps deepen the rhythm of prayer in your life.

But above all, be gentle with yourself.  Take your time to insert this new discipline into your life.

Remember that the word discipline, like the word disciple, comes from the root word meaning “to learn. “Early morning is best for the first period of meditation…early evening is best for the second period, after the day’s work before dinner and the activities of the evening.

The two daily periods give your day infinitely more than the hour they take from it.  But only your own experience will convince you of this.

Don’t shorten or extend your time of meditation in a self-indulgent way, but be gentle about the self-discipline.

Meditating with a group each week is a powerful means of deepening your practice.  You receive encouragement and inspiration from others, from hearing the essential teaching each week, and by entering  into that dimension of the presence of Christ which is revealed  “where to or three are gathered in my name.” (Matthew 18:20)

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We invite you to reflect on the us and the power to reading and how it may resonate in your journey of a spiritual awakening in the 12 steps of recovery, and in particular to the 11th Step - “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for carry that out.” 

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”   BB Into Action, p.83  

“Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we meditate? 12&12 Step Eleven, p.98  

“It is to be hoped that every A.A. who has a religious connection which emphasizes meditation will return to the practice of that devotion as never before.” 12&12 Step Eleven, p.98  

“And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.” 12&12 Step Eleven, p.97  
“As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul.” 12&12 Step Eleven, p.97  
“We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.”   BB Into Action, p.88   Step 11
“We have gained some understanding of the ancient words "Freely ye have received, freely give."         12&12 Tradition Eight, p.166  

Passages from the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.  The A.A. Preamble, copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., is reprinted with permission.  Permission to reprint does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by Alcoholics Anonymous or The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.