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What Is Meditation?

What Is Meditation? Cover Image

Mardi Long

August 4, 2022

What Is Meditation?

By Mardi Long – Author of It Is Always NOW!

 The first thing you need to know about me is that I think outside of the box. My approach is not for everyone. I have no problem with this. Still, I feel empowered to share what works for me: What brings me peace of mind and heart. If it works for others, that is great. If not, I just hope they find something that does work for them. We all need peace of mind and heart.

People from different belief systems define the practice of meditation differently. Still, there are many who see a place for this practice in individual spiritual journeys. What I share here is an explanation of how I have been able to put this into perspective so that it works for me as a Christian. We pray, we study, we listen to others. Information floods in from numerous sources. Soon there are many ideas and concepts in our minds. Meditation is a time to wait: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14 [NIV]. We must go to our “secret garden,” take a deep breath, quiet our mind, and let these thoughts come together in a meaningful way.

Is there a higher power that helps facilitate this? I believe so. But even if you do not believe, there is still value in shutting out the world and gathering your thoughts.

Based on my personal experience, meditation is for those who want to get the most out of their personal journey. Now, every journey requires preparation. So let’s start with a few basics.

  Quiet Your Mind

How exactly can you do that? If your mind is filled with worries, you will not be able to concentrate. Those worries will swoop in and take you off track.  It is like a bridge to nowhere.  There are two bridges on the Rhone River in Avignon, France. One that goes out into the river for a little ways and just stops. The other goes clear across. For hundreds of years attempts were made at the first site to take a bridge across the river. Always, the middle failed. They finally had to accept this and build a new bridge at a different site  – a new “pathway.” If all of your attempts to quiet your mind are failing, perhaps it is time to find a new way of approaching this. Perhaps it is time to develop a new pathway. [More about this on another day.]                                                                                                                               

Develop a Foundation

Yes, we need that alone time to ponder and reflect and get our bearings. But sometimes there are circumstances in our lives that keep us from finding the peace we seek. Humans need other humans. God intends for us to be part of a community. Most of us start by talking to a close friend who really understands us. Other options include study groups and book clubs with others who are exploring the same challenges. Then there is the internet. For example, on Facebook you can literally search for “study groups about God.” Check them out before joining. There are also blogs, podcasts, videos, and, of course, books. Pray about this and wonder wisely. 

As you pray, you may find the best answer to your prayer is to talk to a religious leader or a therapist. This is not a sign of weakness! In fact, it can take a great deal of courage. Pray about finding the support you need. Do not give up or think it is hopeless.


Live In the Moment

Here is a quote from one of my favorite go-to books when I need a little reinforcement to keep me on track: 100 Ways to Keep Your Soul Alive by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.

#1 Live in This Moment [A quote from One Hundred Graces by Helen Mellicost.]

I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly God was speaking, “My name is ‘I Am.’” I waited, God continued.

“When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not ‘I Was.’

“When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not ’I Will Be.’

When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here. My name is ‘I Am.’”


NOTE: The concepts that I plan to share on this topic relate to my upcoming book: Meditations, It Is Always NOW!.