Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Meditative Experiment, Part 2

     In a post from a couple of weeks ago, I described how I practiced the YHWH meditation while waiting in the doctor's office.  Not only did it calm me, but it may have calmed people (or at least a crying child) in the vicinity.

     Which got me to thinking . . . .   What if meditation techniques like this, which focus on breathing out peace into the world, really had a measurable effect?  And what if this technique, among other meditation techniques, were practiced on a regular basis by scores or hundreds or even thousands of people worldwide?  What could the results be?  Less anger and violence in our neighborhoods and cities?  Fewer children experiencing abuse?  Perhaps more compassion felt by people for their fellows?  Could the trajectory of this planet be turned around? 

     I challenge you to devote ten minutes a day in a meditative state, focusing on breathing out peace and compassion into our world.  Remember, we are nothing more than conduits of the divine.  Please avoid the trap of believing that you, as a single human being, have anything to do with affecting these changes.  The emptier you are, the better it works.  Let it flow. 

(illustration courtesy of

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Meditative Experiment

     A while ago I wrote about a meditation technique called the YHWH meditation.  Basically, you inhale, envisioning the Divine entering through your crown, and then exhale, imagining that that divinity is flowing through you into the world.  (You can read my original explanation by clicking here). 

     Well, the other day I was sitting in a doctor's office, waiting . . . and waiting . . . as often happens, and I heard a young child crying loudly somewhere in the warren of exam rooms.  Since I had forgotten to bring reading material, I decided to practice this YHWH meditation.  Not long after I started, the crying stopped.  After a while, I got bored and was looking around the room.  The crying started again.  I went back to the meditation.  The crying stopped.  This continued for a while longer until I heard little running footsteps going down the hallway and toward the exit, along with the mother, who was talking to a nurse. 

     Am I taking credit for calming the child?  Absolutely not.  I really was envisioning myself as a conduit, nothing more.  Still, I found it a deeply relaxing and peaceful way to spend time waiting in the doctor's office.  Is certainly beat reading magazines left over from the last decade . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

An Excellent Mystery

     You know how you back to some books you haven't read in years and find them fresher and deeper in meaning than the first time you read them?  Well, I've been slowly working through my old collection of Ellis Peters mysteries, and was reminded of how she (the author's real name was Edith Pargeter) could construct a story that really tugs at the heart.  I just finished An Excellent Mystery and highly recommend it.

     It takes place during the twelfth century, in a town in England not far from the border with Wales.  A monk who has a nose for solving mysteries and helping people reach their destiny, Brother Cadfael, helps to provide aid and comfort for two new brothers at the abbey.  One, it turns out, was a heroic leader in one of the crusade wars in Jerusalem, and the other is completely mute and provides a puzzle for Brother Cadfael to solve.

     I can't give away too much (it would definitely ruin the ending), but this is a story that examines the true nature of love.  Not romantic love as much, but deep, everlasting, do-anything-for-you love.  Agape love, if you know what that is.  A beautiful story, and a most excellent mystery.