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Page 3 - Meditation: Fanning the Fire

I encourage people to take a regular time for meditation each day if possible. It need not be a long period, perhaps ten minutes for a beginning. It is helpful to have a regular time and place for meditation so that our mind-body gets into the habit of doing this. This also helps to diminish resistance. We very much need to guard against perfectionism. Many of us have a sense that we cannot meditate as well as somebody else, or else that we can't sit still long enough. In truth, our whole meditation may simply be returning to focusing on our breath or returning to a mantra/prayer word which we have chosen to repeat in our mind as a meditation tool. We are naturally restless. That need not stop us from meditating. The purpose of this article is not to teach meditation techniques but to encourage people to utilize them in simplicity and without judgment of self or others.

The fruit of meditation is not in how we feel in our time of meditation but in our ability to be a bit more patient, confident, available for others, open to the Sacred, etc., between meditation times. Meditation fans the fire of Qi, which then deepens our practice, be it spiritual or healing, or some synthesis of both.

If you are fortunate enough to be training in some form of healing or martial arts and there is no meditation component, I encourage you to add that element through the use of another teacher or by asking about it with your present teacher. Spiritual/healing practice without meditation and its related Qi is like taking a walk on a very cloudy day. Light is there but it is significantly reduced.

As we deepen our practice through meditation, I believe that we will truly allow East and West to meet and complement one another in a much more profound way. Meditation is the bridge. It is what really allows yin and yang to be one in the Tao (Dao). The seeds of this article, like many other things in my life, bubbled up into my psyche during the process of meditation. Please share whatever emerges with the rest of us as you deepen your meditation process. Perhaps it will be a gentle presence, appropriate assertiveness, a deepening of life lived in your own spiritual or healing tradition. Whatever it is, please accept it without judgement and pass it on. Our world needs it. Thank you!

Brother Bernard Brother/Doctor Bernard Seif, SMC, EdD, IABMCP ministers as a clinical psychologist, spiritual director, and abbot and founder of the Salesian Monastic Community. Brother Bernard holds a post-doctoral diploma in Behavioral Medicine and is a Certified Bodywork Therapist.

©1999 Qi Journal

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