Meditation preparation: 1. Ideally find a time and a place where you will not be interrupted. This could be a quiet room at home, … (visit YouTube for more)
Do you ever wonder how to meditate? Or perhaps you’re wondering, am I doing it the right way? Or is there a better way?
Today we’re going to talk about how to meditate. We’re going to talk about how to get ready to meditate and then how to do it.
Now, if you’re not there yet, if you’re wondering even why you should meditate at all, have a look at this first part in this two part series where I talk about some of the reasons why meditation is very helpful and good for us. And now we’re going to talk about how we do it.
So let’s start with preparation. If you’re going to go on any journey, it helps to be prepared. And the first step for us in preparing for meditation is to make sure you’ve got somewhere to do it. I know I’m stating the obvious here. But think about the place where you’re going to meditate.
It needs to be a place where it’s relatively free from distraction and interruption. And this could be on the train, if you’re commuting to work. Or it could be in your bedroom, or in your office. Somewhere where there are not going to be interruptions.
If there are likely to be interruptions in your working environment or on your commute, you could wear headphones. Just something that subtly says, I’m not to be disturbed, and just block out the noise. And then you should find that you can focus on what you need to do over the next few minutes.
Second, why not say to the other people there, so if this is your home, perhaps this could be your family, that this is your quiet time and could they please not interrupt you whilst you’re meditating.
And then thirdly on the subject of unwanted interruptions, we hear this so many times, don’t we? Put your phone on silent. If you’re at your computer, make sure you’re not going to get lots of pop up messages or notifications because they can easily break your concentration and concentration is what you will need for meditation. You don’t want that to be broken.
Now if we’re going to meditate fourthly, it’s helpful to pick a time in the day where you will do this consistently so that you can build the habit. It doesn’t necessarily need to be every single day of the week, but if you’ve picked a time that will help you to stick to that time and to form a habit of meditation.
And I think that once you’ve started, if you’re not already meditating, you will find it is so valuable that you’ll want to keep doing it. So try and pick a time where you can consistently get that space and that headspace and the time without interruption or distraction where you’ll be able to focus.
And fifthly, this might help you in the early days, you could set an alarm to remind you to meditate and this will help you to build the habit. As long as you don’t build the habit of dismissing and ignoring that alarm. Because that would be counterproductive.
Sixthly, it is not vital what physical position you’re in, what posture you adopt to meditate. But let me just suggest that if this is first thing in the morning or last thing at night, lying down might not help you. You might be prone to falling asleep.
So, sitting or standing or kneeling, they’ll all be good, As long as, however you’re positioned isn’t going to risk further distraction. I mean, you can definitely meditate while doing exercise. So, posture’s not vital, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
Seventh, it will be useful to have some kind of resource that will give you ideas for what to do next when you meditate. And this could be a daily devotional, or it could be a Bible app which has a verse of the day. There are so many resources out there that can help us to focus on God, and specifically on the Word of God.
On this channel Phroneo, I produce a daily meditation that’s two minutes long and you could use that as a springboard into your own meditation.
Eighth point. Make sure you have a Bible to hand. I know this almost goes without saying, but if you’re going to meditate on the Word of God, you kind of need the Word of God in front of you.
And it may be useful because during your meditation you might find that there are other verses occurring to you that you would like to look at as well whilst you meditate. Now don’t overdo that because that can lead to distraction, right? If you’re focusing on one verse, then shooting off and looking at lots of other verses, that’s turned into a Bible study and that’s not meditation.
But if we’re meditating on the Bible, we really need to have a Bible. Just a word of warning, it might be best for that Bible not to be a study Bible, because study Bibles have lots of things in there that are very helpful, but they are not the words of God, they are commentary from humans, who may be very inspired, but the point of biblical meditation is that we’re focusing first and foremost on the Bible.
Point nine. Very useful to have a notebook with you. Now, this is not a journaling exercise necessarily, but if you receive revelation during your meditation, as I fully expect you will, writing it down helps you to remember that, and also it helps you when you look back later on and ask yourself, what has God said to me?
Also, it’s quite useful if you’ve got it written down, because not everything that we think or hear during meditation will be of God. And we always need to make sure that our meditation lines up with scripture. So the thoughts and the ideas that occur to us during meditation, we can then check them against scripture and make sure that they are valid, because God will never contradict himself.
And then the 10th and final point in preparation for meditation, and this is by far the most important point. There’s almost no reason to meditate if you’re not going to do this.
Ask God to reveal himself to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you and give you revelation while you meditate. Because we want anything we hear to be from God.
So those are some ideas about how to prepare for meditation. And I’m sure you’ve got lots of ideas too. And I’d love to hear about those. So please put them in the comments because they’ll be helpful for, for me, helpful for each other.
But now let’s move on into the practice of meditation. I’m going to give you seven things that you could do while you meditate as part of the process of meditation.
But I really want to stress that this isn’t the only way to meditate, and by all means refine this, or look for other resources on how to meditate. Just be careful though, because some of the resources out there give you ideas about meditation that I wouldn’t consider to be especially biblical.
So, things like emptying your mind, some sources might suggest. That isn’t what you want to do at all. We want to fill our minds with the Word of God and with everything that He has to say.
So here’s how we might do it. First, read the verse that you’ve chosen for your meditation and read it several times, two or three times, maybe even more. And read it out loud if you have the opportunity to do that. And there’s a really good reason for reading it out loud.
Actually, our own voices are quite important to us, and if you are able to speak, hearing your own words will reinforce those words back to you. So, psychologically, it’s helpful to read these things out loud.
Secondly, ask, what does this verse mean broadly? What does it mean in context? What is the meaning of this verse generally? What does it mean within the context of the story of God’s kingdom and its advance? What does it mean in the context of where this first happened in history? What does this verse mean in the context of the society and the culture in which the verse happened?
We’re not going to be able to answer all of those questions during meditation, but these are some of the things that you can dwell on as you seek to understand this verse and all that it is saying.
Thirdly, it is perfectly valid to say, what does this verse mean to me? What is God saying to me through this verse? Absolutely, we want to hear from God for us.
We want to hear from God for our society, for our culture. What is this verse saying right now, to me, that I need to know, or act on, or I need to tell people about?
Fourthly, keep your attention fixed on God. We want our minds to be filled with God. We want to approach him so closely that our vision is all him. And this takes practice, and this takes an act of the will, because it is very easy for our minds to drift off into other things.
But if you find yourself drifting, just bring it back to God. Say, God, I’m addressing you. My attention is on you. I want to hear from you.
Fifthly, keep that scripture that you’re meditating on as your anchor point. So yes, we’re focusing on God, we’re also focusing on this scripture. And again, if your mind starts to wander, just come back to the scripture, read it again, ask those questions again. What did it mean then? What does it mean to me? Come back to the scripture.
Sixthly, and I referred to this during the preparation, but this is now the practice, you’ve got your notebook, make notes. Keep a track of the things that come into your head.
You don’t necessarily need to judge them at that point, so it’s perfectly fine to write down something that you later think maybe wasn’t all that great. But get these thoughts out on paper, and then you can step back and review them and go, “Oh wow, that was a powerful revelation. That was of God.” Or, “Hmm, that probably was just of me.”
So you keep the good, you dismiss the bad. But you can’t do that if you haven’t written it down.
And then finally, let’s end as we began. You know, I said in preparation that the first thing to do is to say, God, please speak to me. So then at the end of the practice of meditation we say, God, thank you for speaking to me. Speak to him. Commit what you’ve heard back to him.
This is a precious, precious time, meditation. This helps us to develop and improve our relationship with God. And it is great for us to say thank you God. How wonderful you are, how wonderful is your word. Let’s keep doing this.
So this is just one process that you could use for meditation, and you, I am sure, have your own ideas and things that help you. So please, if you have a moment, put some of those ideas in the comments here. Again, they’ll be useful for other people and useful for me. The more we know about meditation, the more we understand how to do it, the more valuable it will become to us, and the deeper and richer our spiritual lives will be.
But even more so than that, the more God’s kingdom advances, it advances through us, it advances in the work that he does in us, and the work he does through us. And we want to see God’s kingdom advancing. We want to see him glorified in us, we want to see him glorified in our communities.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Thank you for paying attention during this video. I hope it’s been helpful to you. If it has, it would be really useful if you could click the like button. That provides me a signal that this is the kind of thing that you want to see, and it also helps YouTube a bit to know that this is the kind of thing that people generally want to see.
Ultimately, I want God to be glorified in all of us, and if this is helpful to us in that process, then let’s spread it. Maybe share this with someone else who you think might be helped by it.
If you’ve got any feedback for me at all, please leave comments. I would love to see them and interact with you. But that’s all for now. May God bless you as you meditate. I’m Rob Pomeroy, signing off.