Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Excerpt from Christian Insight Meditation

Following In the Footsteps of John of the Cross by Mary Jo Meadow, Kevin Culligan, Daniel Chowning, who integrate Buddhist insight meditation into Christian contemplative prayer. Here is an excerpt on being present.

"In Christian insight meditation, regular attention to the breath develops a growing consciousness of the presence of the Spirit whom Jesus breathes upon us. It readies us to follow where the Spirit leads, even into unfamiliar territory. 'The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.'

"The meditation discipline of staying in the present moment, refusing to give mental energy to thoughts of the past or the future, trains us for moment-to-moment attention to the here and now. This enables us to live fully in God's presence as we involve ourselves in the endless tasks that make up our day. 'Do not worry about tomorrow,' Jesus reminds us, 'for tomorrow will have its own worries. Let each day's problems be sufficient for the day.'

"Close attention to present experiences also puts us deeply in touch with our beings. This brings understanding that helps us manage problem thoughts, emotion, and impulses. It results in better conduct, calmer minds, and greater purity of heart.

"Although not all of us pray in the same way, the goal of all Christian prayer remains the same: continual communion with God and transformation of our lives in Christ."

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