Meditation Talks – An Introduction

toolsIn summer 2016, I joined the leadership team of a Christian meditation group that I attend regularly on Saturday mornings, upon invitation by Tom Lehmkuhl. Tom was a founding member of the group and is a Benedictine oblate with a charge for Christian meditation.  Tom invited me to help at a second group as well, but I couldn’t make it to their Tuesday morning timeslot. As it happened, a few months after Tom’s invitation, I left my paying job.  One of the things I looked forward to during my self-funded sabbatical, was the opportunity to join Tom’s second meditation group.  This week, I gave my first talk at the Tuesday morning meditation group.

In celebration, I’m launching a new area of my blog, to archive the talks and music played as the interlude preceding each talk.

The group meditation sessions follow a set format:

  • 10-15 minutes of quiet music, e.g. Ambient 1/2 by Brian Eno
  • an verbal introduction to begin meditation, starting promptly at the scheduled time
  • three strikes on a bowl gong to begin the meditation
  • 25 minutes of silent meditation
  • a single strike of the bowl gong
  • ~3 minutes of interlude music
  • a brief talk, usually ~5 minutes, related to meditation

If you’re already meditating, hopefully you’ve already found a meditation group. Meditating with others is very supportive — just like praying with others.  Hopefully reading these talks will also encourage you in your meditation practice.

If you haven’t meditated before, I recommend that you give it a try.  You’ll need a mantra (also called a “mantram”).  Tom Lehmkuhl recommends “Yahweh”.  “Maranatha” is also recommended by spiritual leaders.  Eknath Easwaran’s philosophy on choosing a mantram is a good resource before making a decision.

Meditation at home and in the two groups has brought much peace and encouragement for me.  Now, leading these meditation sessions brings me much joy, as I write them, choose the music, and share them with the others.  By posting the talks and music links online, I hope to pass these blessings along.

Happy New Year!

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