Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 10, 2017
Starting Point for Prayer and Meditation
When starting to pray and meditate, different people have different ways to focus. Different starting points, or prompts. When Thich Nhat Hanh talks about meditation, he is often speaking of mindful meditation, in the Buddhist tradition. Meditation and prayer cross the borders of many different faith traditions and belief structures. I would very much like to practice my type of prayer and meditation as fully, deeply and thoroughly as this Buddhist teacher.
As Thich Nhat Hanh describes the beginning of his meditation and prayer, he talks of a bell. A simple bell, struck once or twice, can be a marvelous focus for one’s mind. After a person hears the bell sound, then the different parts of the human—intellect, thoughts, feelings, perceptions—can come together. It is then that a person is enabled to think with clarity.
This got me to thinking: what kinds of starting points for prayer and meditation was I used to?
I do not believe there is any other audible start to prayer and meditation except “Let us pray.” Not in my tradition of prayer, anyway. Except—I have borrowed a cross-cultural way of meditation. I have started meditation with a bell a few times. This has been a pleasant and welcoming experience for me. A welcome starting point.
Gracious God, Thich Nhat Hanh has a lot of good ideas, including such a positive starting point. Thank You for such wonderful examples for me in this life. I ask to be as faithful as Thich Nhat Hanh in my prayer and meditation life, today. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.
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