For Lent we are going through a book on centering prayer where we spend about 30 minutes every day praying and meditating. I will be the first to say that centering prayer is hard! I’m only two days in and I’m struggling…I have tried meditating many times in my life and usually go through phases where I can keep it up every day for a couple weeks and then eventually I skip a day or two here and there and I lose it all. Meditating is an incredibly intimidating and surprisingly difficult practice, I have an amazing amount of thoughts running through my mind constantly. I have heard people say that during meditation it is best to be still and not fight your thoughts, but dismiss them and watch them go by like you would watch a river go by. This is a nice thought, but I am at a loss as to how to actually watch thoughts go by without identifying with them. I’ve had a couple of times where meditation has been wonderful, but they are rare. In those times I was repeating a mantra or focusing on my breathing, and it was so refreshing. It is so counterintuitive to sit and be still and silent that when given the chance to do so it is almost scary. I don’t know how to rest in silence, how to not let my thoughts control my mind constantly. This is a good challenge to take on for Lent, and I hope to continue it afterwards as well. I’m sure some days I am not going to be happy about practicing this, but I know, without a doubt, that it will be rewarding. Just beginning to learn to silence my thoughts and rest in love, however long that takes, will be invaluable.
Two mantras that I involuntarily started repeating this morning when I would catch myself getting lost in my thoughts were: “Creator, God, draw me to You” and “Creator, God, remind me.” Both of these phrases settled my mind and thoughts. So, we’ll see where this goes, but I have a feeling this is going to be an intriguing Lenten season.