Christian Meditation

Posted by Censor Librorum on Oct 17, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

In the mid-1980s my spiritual director introduced me to Dom John Main, O.S.B., and “Christian Meditation: The Essential Teaching.” I tried very hard to get into the spirit of his talks. But, instead of reaching a state of awareness, I felt so relaxed I would fall asleep. This happened so many times I finally gave up, although I kept his tapes.

All these years, though, I have continued to say my mantra whenever I need to still my mind and quiet down. Probably because I’m lying down in bed when I’m saying it, it still has the same effect: I fall asleep!

Marantha (Ma-ra-na-tha) is Aramaic, the language Jesus himself spoke. It means, “Come Lord.” It is probably the most ancient Christian prayer. St. Paul ends Corinthians with it, and St. John ends Revelation with it. This is the mantra I was taught to say.

The way to meditation is simple – it just requires the discipline to keep at it daily, and the humility to not worry about one’s “progress.” This makes it even more of a challenge for an ADD, Type A personality like me.

The routine is simple:

1. Sit down, with spine upright, and sit completely still.

2. Begin to recite your mantra and recite it with as perfect and moving an attention as you can for the whole time of meditation.

3. Do not follow any thoughts or imagination. If you find you have stopped saying the mantra, simply return to it. And keep returning to it.

4. Meditate twice a day.

“Heavenly Father:
Open my heart to the silent presence of the
Spirit of your Son. LEAD ME into that
mysterious silence where your love is
revealed to all who call.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.”

Dom John Main

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