Meditation: Tips to Get Started
Pray for the desire to meditate: Try something like “God, I’m not completely sure that you really want to talk directly to me. And if you could, I’m not sure I’d like what you have to say. Help me want to listen, anyways. Help me try”
Set aside time and space: Especially for beginners, planning even 5 or 10 minutes each day at a consistent time helps a lot. It could be early in the morning, on the train, or on your lunch break.
Find a good place: Look for a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Leave your phone behind. Many people find going outside helpful.
Position your body: There is no right position – you want whatever is most comfortable and least distracting. Many find it helpful to use a straight chair with your feet flat on the floor, and hands on your knees with palms up. You can close your eyes, look at a picture, or look at nature.
Different Ways to Meditate
Meditation on Scripture
Meditating on scripture isn’t analyzing or studying. Take a single event, parable, verses, word, and try to live the experience.
Use all of your senses: smell the sea, hear water on the shore, see the crowd, feel the sun on your head and the hunger in your stomach, touch the hem of his garment. Allow your imagination to take you there.
Some good passages: Exodus 24:15-18, Exodus 33:11, Exodus 20:18-19, Psalm 1:1-3, 1 Kings 19:9-18, Acts 10:9-20, 2 Corinthians 12:1-4
Place your palms down to symbolize turning concerns over to God. Think of things weighing you down and give them to God (Example: “God, I give you my anger toward John. I release my fear of my dentist appointment this morning. I surrender my anxiety over not having enough Money to pay the bills this month.”). Say “palms down” and release it.
After a few moments, place your hands up to receive from God. Imagine receiving from God (Example: “God, I want to receive your love for John, your peace about the appointment, your patience, your joy.”) Whatever it is, say “palms up.” Then spend the last few moments in silence.
Meditation on Creation
Pay careful attention to the created world. We’ll focus on this in a few weeks.
Meditate on Current Events
Hold the events of our time before God. Tell God what scares us or saddens us. Ask for understanding and insight. Then ask for guidance: is there anything you should be doing to bring light to the world?
A final note: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere at first. It takes practice and consistency! Keep trying.
To Explore More
Much of this material is adapted from the chapter on meditation in Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.
The 40th Anniversary Edition is the most updated and is available as an e-book through Amazon. You can also contact Pastor Sean for help ordering a copy.