9. Relax Breathe Listen

A Simple approach to preparing for prayer.

Introduction

When we prepare for meditation we all need to be recollected; to recall the presence of God, and the privilage given to us to approach him and seek his blessing of peaceful communication. Sometimes this is a little harder than others. For all sorts of reasons we can feel tense, distracted, preoccupied with responsibilities, and even disinclined to prayer. If you ever experience any of these, at least be assured that it is not a sin to be human. But having said that, it would be regrettable if we habitually allowed those things to interfere with our prayer time.

We have assembled below a very simple but effective approach to becoming calm and rested. Our purpose in offering this is to help you simply to be your true self when you come to prayer; to be fully present to God, and not focussed on other things.

The Christian approach to relaxation is to be aware of the unique person God created you to be, and let allthat impedes this awareness to slip away, leaving you free to present yourself to God without pretence, without clinging to any false images.

Relax  (3 minutes)
1. Settle in seat

  • Back supported
  • Arms and legs at rest

2. Feel what is touching your:

  • Head
  • shoulders
  • back
  • hands
  • thighs
  • feet

Go down body several times becoming aware of what each is touching

Breathe (3 minutes)

1. Breathe naturally and simply be aware of your breathing

2. Breathe in naturally to 3 counts

Breathe out slowly to 4 or 5 counts

"IN—> 2 —> 3 and OUT and 2 and 3 and rest"

At "rest" exhale remainder of breath and pause a split second before repeating sequence.

Listen (3 minutes)

1.    Continue to breathe rhythmically

2.    Listen to sounds:

        First         To distant far off sounds

        Second    To nearby close sounds

        Third        To the sounds within

 

Carry out this or a similar routine as suggested taking more or less time as circumstances suggest.

Then move into your meditation routine.

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