Of the several streams of thought on meditation I’ll address two modes which I feel are most applicable to everyday Christians. I wrote about reflective meditation in the last article entitled ‘Meditation — Part 1’. This time I’ll look at the second mode — enfolding meditation.
Unlike reflective meditation, the focus of enfolding meditation is entirely on God. Ideally, the time set apart for this kind of meditation would include no other activities and any disruption would not be permitted. Enfolding meditation approaches Him in a much more transcendent way than reflective meditation. Why is this form of meditation so valuable? Read 1 Corinthians 2 — you’ll see.
This type of meditation, by its nature, is possibly the most difficult form of prayer simply because it requires a stillness of mind that can be harder to achieve for some. Some effort and practice may be necessary if you are unaccustomed to that sort of thing. However, God made you to be able to meditate in this way, so you can do it. This type of meditation may foster the most intimate and transforming relationship you can have with God, so learning it is definitely worthwhile. When you set aside a time for enfolding meditation, you may find that not only are you drawn closer to God, but your mental and physical health will actually improve. In this type of meditation, you are not building a relationship so much as simply experiencing and enjoying God’s presence. So, what is it and how does one go about it?
Enfolding meditation is somewhat transcendent because it involves participation in the freedom and love of the divine nature of God Himself. You may feel His presence surround you — enfolding you and holding you — lifting you. The ability to engage in this kind of meditation is a gift from God and is part of our spiritual design.
To begin, you should address your immediate meditative environment:
- Are you fasting? If not, have you eaten?
- Is your clothing comfortable?
- Do you need to use the bathroom?
- Are you in a place where you will not be disturbed or disturb others?
- Is it quiet? Do you need it to be?
- Do you want some background sound? (music is okay as long as it doesn’t distract you)
- Would incense or a candle be of help? (sometimes “atmosphere” is important)
- Are you warm enough or cool enough?
Nothing but God should be occupying your thoughts. Nothing should distract you from this time. Another way to say this is — do what is necessary to make God the most important issue of the moment.
When you are ready, begin by focusing on a question such as —
- What is life?
- Who am I? Why do I exist?
- What has God done for me? What has God done for mankind?
- Why did God give His only Son?
Pick one of those questions (some prefer to use a short, memorized Bible verse such as John 14:27, John 3:16 or one of the Proverbs) and begin to turn it around in your mind. Consider it from as many aspects as you can in as much detail as you can. Expect the Holy Spirit.
You may go through this kind of deep reflection and pondering many times during a session of meditation. What you are doing is employing your animal mind to elevate and actuate your personal spirit and thereby engage in communion with the Holy Spirit. You’ll know when it happens. You may become aware of that sensation almost immediately or (especially when you are new to meditation) it may take a bit longer. In fact, when you are starting out, you may go through several sessions before you are able to sense the change.
Enjoy the communion for however long you can. Twenty minutes to an hour is not uncommon. You might even want to keep a journal. Many people have found that keeping a record of their thoughts and contemplations after each session is of great value.
I would love to hear about your efforts and experiences. Are you a long-time practitioner or new to meditation?
Copyright © 2019 Sam Dronebarger | All rights reserved