Weekly Devotional

Meditation: It's Not What You Think

Reflection by John Hargrave

Be still and know that I am God

Years ago, my wife and I decided to take a six-week course on Transcendental Meditation. We lasted one class.

It was an introductory class, taught by a fellow who had one grey eyebrow. I remember that detail, because it struck me as odd, like the rest of the experience. The class was in a house that was under construction, so we sat in a large room with plywood and sawdust and exposed studs. (Wooden studs, not the teacher.)

In the TM tradition, he told us, we should bring a gift for the teacher on our next class, like flowers or fruit. (How about hair dye for that eyebrow? I wondered.) Then he hit us with the cost: $850.00 for the six-week session. We were in college at the time, and this seemed like an exorbitant price for basically learning how to sit and do nothing.

Today I have great respect for Transcendental Meditation, which has helped thousands of people worldwide -- but at the time, we were weirded out. Your idea of meditation may be that it's something weird and esoteric. But I have since come to see it as an immensely practical, helpful spiritual habit.

I have been practicing meditation for over 20 years now. (I never took the class, but I did read a lot of books.) I have found it to be a simple, daily way of quieting my noisy mind and opening myself to God's presence.

We are starting a new Christian Meditation Practice, to be held each Sunday at 5:00 pm in Burtt Chapel, beginning April 19. It's an easy way to get started with your own meditation practice. All ages are welcome, and no experience is required. You don't need to bring a flower for the teacher, everybody will have matching eyebrows, and best of all, it's free.

We hope you'll join us.

Prayer: Dear God, please show me how to open up to your presence, on a daily basis. Amen

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