Reading about meditation is not the same as doing it, but I have always found words helpful.

Wise writings from the Church touched something in me that was formless yet real and was waiting to be acknowledged.

I think that many of us start meditation after realising this world doesn’t meet our deepest desires. Human ambition has its place but it doesn’t satisfy spiritual hunger.

Once we begin meditation, it becomes an internal compass to steer our days.

When I’ve been busy and have missed morning meditation, my day can seem fragmented and lacking in energy.

It is important for me, that my morning begins with Jesus, the Word made flesh.

You may meditate in the evening, and will probably choose an aspect of the Trinity, or the Mother of our Lord, whatever is important for you.

I usually begin with something from the daily reading. Some people meditate on a single word. Others choose an image.

Whatever we use, is a path, or signpost, a way to a space beyond words.

Of course, words do invade our quiet because our minds are likely to chatter.

We are like a tree deeply rooted, with birds chirping in the branches. We let the chatter continue and go gently beyond it to our deep roots.

What do we bring to meditation?

I believe the most important thing is openness.

By this, I mean we are not divided.

We try to avoid thinking about what we don’t like, and we don’t hold fast to what we do like.

A divided mind tends to make God too small.

When I can accept the oneness of God in everything, I find peace.

In day to day living, we rely on our senses to describe reality. We know what we can feel, hear, taste, touch, smell.

In meditation, we come into contact with the formless reality we describe as spiritual.

Actually, it is our senses that take us from form to the formless, and the Church in her wisdom has always known this.

Candles, flowers, music, statues, spoken word, incense,  raiment, stained glass – all of these can escort us into meditation.

Occasionally I’ve been asked, “What happens in meditation?”

The answer is, “Nothing and everything.”

Those of you who meditate know exactly what this means.

Meditation is not a ‘happening’ exercise. It is about the prayerful connection that takes us beyond ourselves.

It is a real experience of Jesus’ words to his followers. “I am in you as you are in me.”

And the day that follows has a sense of wholeness that is difficult to describe. An ordinary day, yes.  But everything in it seems part of a oneness.

There is a feeling that we are all drops of water in the ocean of God.

Meister Eckhart put this another way: “The ground of God and the Ground of the soul is one.”

In meditation, we know this ground as love.

  • Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

Tags: ,