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Why Meditate?

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by Roland Trujillo

   Our thoughts make us guilty. When we react to them and become upset, we feel defeated or diminished. We struggle with thoughts, and they only grow stronger.

   What are we to do? We can try being so busy that we don’t have time to ponder. We can surround ourselves with nice pictures and we can read and study and listen to positive or inspirational talk incessantly—in the hope that no improper thought will get through.

   But sooner or later they do. Particularly bothersome are the mental replays of scenes where we argued with a family member. We keep thinking over and over again about what happened and become preoccupied with it.

   Also troubling is worry—over finances or health issues, for example.  Once we fall into worry, it’s hard to pull ourselves out. The struggle to pull out is itself tiring.

   And after we’re struggled, tried, and fretted, we become tense, and soon thoughts of relief, such as drinking or marijuana come to mind. We struggle with these thoughts until we give in. Again we feel even more diminished.

   If you’ve ever struggled with re-occuring thoughts or fallen into despondency, you know how useless it is to struggle.

   But trying to block out the bad thoughts or spending every waking minute trying to think nice thoughts can’t be done forever. Besides, it’s no way to live. Someone constantly trying to think nice thoughts or repressing bad ones is only one step above someone standing on their head or staring at their navel. I’m sorry, but there is something selfish about the preoccupation with being “good” or finding peace.

   Life was never meant to be a preoccupation with upset and guilt, or perpetually struggling to find innocence and peace. It was meant to be an adventure of discovery, to boldly go where no one has gone before to fulfill a purpose that the Creator had in mind for you.

   Therefore, dear Christian and dear spiritually minded brother or sister, may I recommend that you spend a little time learning how to stand back from thought. If you could literally be a little closer to God’s Light of Truth, you would be given the power to stand back and observe thoughts without reacting to them.

   You would be so close to the Light and ideas that flow as an extension of wordlessly realizing in the Light that you would no longer feel compelled to deal with improper or unwanted thoughts.

   Any image tends to break down in the Light (just try to hold a thought of a pink elephant!), and so will the bad thoughts begin to lose their power to distract you when you learn to calmly observe them from a mental distance.

   Now attentive to seeking to know the Truth, you become free to live life, giving your attention to others with compassion and true concern, instead of struggling selfishly with preoccupations or using others to distract and excite.

   In a nutshell, by not being so lost in thoughts and emotions, you will find it easier to be an aware and thoughtful person. You will learn how to hold sway over thoughts and emotions, not by repression, but by calm observation.  You will also discover that you will have a natural good effect on conditions instead of the conditions controlling you.

   We simply cannot be a good parent, for example, if we are reacting and emotional. The proper meditation teaches you how to lead with reason. It teaches you how to stay concerned but not involved in issues. A detached but compassionate attentiveness permits you to bring reason to bear. 

   What we have here is an ancient technique brought up to date, of which the purpose is to teach you how to be more centered and less reactive to outside pressures WHILE AT THE SAME TIME delicately and gently being closer to God.

   If you have time, go to our Meditation Secrets blogspot (radiomeditation.blogspot.com), click on the link to A Guide to True Peace and read what the Christian mystics had to say on the subject. Though their style and vocabulary are dated, their ideas are cutting edge and ring true through the centuries.