In 2004 I was quite ill and became involved with the Gawler Foundation. This had many positive consequences but most importantly I discovered meditation. Prayer for me has always been a bit challenging. I often find I have nothing to ask for. Perhaps I lack imagination. I can, and do, recite the Lord’s prayer regularly but beyond this have struggled to find a way of active prayer with which I am comfortable. In discovering mediation I found a new way of simply being quiet with God and being comfortable that this was indeed prayer.
The Gawler Foundation teaches an ecumenical form of meditaton based on simple silence. Ian Gawler has written a number of books on the subject which are worthwhile: Medititaion: Pure and Simple and Peace of Mind. It is possible to add a more overly Christian element to your meditation using the technicques popularised by John Main. Sometimes I use a Christian mantra and sometimes I try to simply merge into the universal silence.
The meditation is important because it allows me to understand that all that is created, including myself, are merely this “creations". It doesn’t bring (or hasn’t yet) a blinding rationale about why we are here. Indeed, I suspect this is impossible as the meditation hints that the mind as a creation cannot ultimately comprehend the creator. It does, however, bring a calm sense of knowing about the general outline of the final destination. And one senses it is a knowing shared by the Buddha, the Saints and, of course, Christ himself.
It is a knowing of feeling not of complex thinking. Indeed the object of the meditiation is to get beyond complex thinking. This is not to dimish thought (the danger of doing so is very apparent in a lot of popularist religion) but to understand that thought must ultimately be transcended. When I begin to know that God cannot be contained by my intelligence (to suggest He might is to suggest the more intelligent can know him in a greater way than the less) I begin to approach reality. And I try to approach it in a humility which will allow me to share in it.