The Adirondack Meditation Workout
Fourth Week of Advent 2020
The following exercise is based on the ancient Christian practice of Lectio Divina. At the center is a short reading from the Bible.
By first opening the mind to our own memories and life experiences, we can touch the Scriptures, allowing God’s Word to respond in a way we can personally appreciate.
This approach respects the fact that when we enter into dialogue with God we do so with our mind, body and soul already affected by the world we live in and the experiences we already have.
Like a “power nap”, ideally one should mark out at least 20 minutes and find a place where you know you will not be disturbed. At best, this exercise could be printed out or if on a smartphone screen, consider engaging the airplane mode for the duration of the meditation.
Recall and Notice
When you are ready to begin, first be conscious of your breathing and your body. This is an invitation to the Holy Spirit, the breath of God Who dwells in your body, His Temple.
When ready, follow these pointers.
Remembering: Have you ever watched a Christmas play, maybe put on by children? What is the typical reaction of parents and teachers during the performance? Have you ever seen a child being born? What was it like or how do you imagine the reaction of those in the room, from parents, doctors and nurses? How prepared do you think everyone is at that moment?
After reflecting on your divine placement in the plan of God,
consider this prayer.
You formed me in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to my care,
so that in serving you alone, the Creator,
I might have influence over all your works.
And when through disobedience I had severed friendship with you,
you did not abandon me to despair.
For you came to us by a small child so I might seek and find you and through your Son, to look forward to salvation.
He shared our human nature
in all things but sin.
To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation,
to prisoners, freedom,
and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.
To accomplish your plan,
he gave himself up to death,
and, rising from the dead,
he destroyed death and restored life.
And that I might live no longer for myself
but for him who died and rose again for us,
he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father,
as the first fruits for those who believe,
so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world,
he might sanctify all of creation to its perfection.
Father, may I receive that same Holy Spirit, through Christ our Lord.
The Lord's Prayer - say it slowly and carefully.
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
Finally, take note of your breathing, your body and how your spirit is now. Remind yourself not to forget this present moment.
You can return and enter this to this same meditation again, with a fresher insight of one’s soul. Like any physical exercise, it will mean a commitment to a regular time and place, even repeating the same exercise to slowly build up a discipline of loving God with your mind, heart, body and soul.