In all healthy, vibrant relationships there is a balance between talking and listening. Listening for God helps us know God’s plan and prayer for us.
Why do we need silence every day?
Silence helps us to slow down, take a deep breath and refocus on what is really important. It gives our body, soul and mind a well-needed and well-deserved rest. In this rest, we begin to see and experience Christ more clearly in our lives and in the lives of others.
What is Christian meditation?
Christian meditation is a type of prayer where you learn to still your mind and focus all of your thoughts on Christ. One way to achieve this is by focusing on a sacred word or scripture that is meaningful to you during your quiet time. Christian meditation teaches you to let go of anything that distracts from focusing on God’s love and compassion.
What are the benefits of practicing this type of listening prayer?
There are many physical benefits from practicing meditation (lower blood pressure, less stress, decreased anxiety, improved memory, etc.) but Christian meditation has specific benefits including but not limited to the following(from Fr. Richard Rohr):
- Freedom from fear and anxiety, Interior peace and joy
- Teaches the mind to wait, listen and learn
- Teaches the mind not to “brood over injuries”
- Teaches the mind to let go of obsessive or negative thoughts
- Teaches the mind to forgive and actually forget
- Teaches the mind to stop judging and critiquing itself and others
- One begins to know God in oneself and know oneself in God. (John 10:30)
- Helps us treat ourselves justly and gently, therefore, to treat others justly and gently
- Helps us keep our focus on God when we lose our focus
- Helps us participate in the workings of God’s grace by noticing and becoming aware of when we fail to see God because we fall back into ourselves
- Helps us seek rest in God and not seek rest in the world
- Helps us see how God is working in us as opposed to what we are doing for God
- Teaches us to just focus on God and not the outcome or end results of prayer
- Helps us find a home in God
How can I find the time for meditation when I am already swamped?
This is a number one concern for most everyone. We believe the only way to answer this question is with another question. How important is it for you to have a deeper relationship with God? Only you can prioritize your daily schedule to make time for God. Our suggestion is to start in the morning with a modest period of silence. Your goal is 12 minutes, you may wish to start with 2 or 3 and work your way up to 12. Know that when you begin practicing silence, you begin to appreciate this time and it will get easier as you continue. Be consistent each morning or whenever you choose to set aside time for God. Also, know that when you make the intention to start the practice, your brain will start to wire neural connections to help you with your goal.
What is the difference between Christian meditation and Eastern meditation?
The main difference between Christian meditation and Eastern meditation is that in Christian meditation the goal is not to necessarily “empty the mind,” but to fill the mind with God. It is true to accomplish this filling of the mind with Christ, one must let go of one’s thoughts, feelings and sensations. So there is a self-emptying to make room to receive this divine filling. Again the purpose of Christian meditation is to connect with God at a deeper level.
What is the difference between meditation and contemplation?
Meditation is a technique that is used to help still our mind and body so that we can receive all that God has for us. It is what we do for God. Contemplation is what we receive from God-it happens when our mind and body are still and resting in God. Contemplation is pure awareness of God without our interfering thoughts or even feelings and sensations. It is what God gives to you. You may experience a sense of peace and rest because of this stillness.
Where is the MP3 download in my smart phone or tablet?
Smart Phones, iPads or tablets don’t have an accessible file structure like a computer or laptop and require an app to handle the downloads. For audio files you visit the app store for your phone and select an MP3 downloader. When downloading audio files you will have to visit the Take Twelve Today site within the download manager and press the link. For iTunes: An alternative approach would be to save the files to your PC or MAC and then import them into iTunes and Sync with your device. Right-click the file's link and "Save target as/Save link as..." and save it to your computer. Then, in iTunes, choose File > Add to Library, locate a file or folder, and click Open, this will import them. Then sync your device with your iTunes Library. For further assistance refer to the Help files in iTunes.
Why engage Take Twelve Today?
Getting started, just doing it, is often the most difficult step. We know we face this time challenge everyday. If you want to lose weight, you engage a trainer, if you want to eat better, you find a nutritionist. They are helpful guides that set you on a path. Allow us to be your guide on this journey of understanding the value of silent, listening prayer and teach you a learning style of sitting in silence that will work best for you.
Where can I find a description of the Christian meditation prayer practices on Take Twelve Today's guided Christian Meditation CD "Connecting with God"?
Go to our Programs and Retreats page and under the heading of Prayer Practices, click on any practice to see a description of most of the meditations on our CD, "Connecting withGod." In addition to the listed prayer practices, the CD also guides you in practicing the following Christian meditations: The Jesus prayer, an Interior Visualization prayer, a Letting Go meditation and a Forgiveness meditation.
Why does TTT encourage social support? spiritual guidance?
WAIVER: Sitting in silence takes patience and courage; do not try this without a guide! The primary purpose of support and/or spiritual guidance is to help sustain the commitment to a regular meditation practice. In addition, support allows one to share personal experiences and the effect of the daily meditation practice in one’s life. Frequently as we deepen our relationship with God, it is important to have a spiritual director to help us as we embark on this journey. A spiritual director is someone who remains present through deep listening, evocative questions, support and who creates a safe environment where one can openly and prayerfully explore where God’s spirit is leading. To find a spiritual director near you visit www.sdiworld.org or ask your local priest, minister or pastor.