Three Types of Meditation

Over the years when I sat down to meditate I found myself mind doing one of three things: Processing, contemplating or communing. It took me a while to sort them out. Each of them plays an important part in spiritual development.

It is important to make time for each of these. You may find you have no need for the first two on a daily basis, but the third one you should definitely do each day.

Processing: Processing is where you just can’t stop thinking about something. It is necessary when you have been particularly busy, when you have had a shock or are under stress, or even after watching a movie or reading a book. Processing is a way of clearing your mind. This is probably more necessary at the end of the day than at the beginning, though you may need to process a dream in the morning. It is almost impossible to stop a mind that needs to process. The best thing to do is to let it happen. Let the thoughts come up and then go by. Eventually your mind winds down to the point where you can quiet it for contemplation or communion.

Contemplation: For the ego, contemplation is when your mind analyzes and evaluates ideas and situations in your life. It is a means of judgment. But when you think something over with the Holy Spirit, it becomes a way of gaining a deeper understanding of it. This is true both with situations in your life as well as with ideas in the Course or other spiritual teachings. Contemplation only has real value when you do it with the Holy Spirit. Otherwise you’re not doing anything at all.


Communion: Communion with God is true prayer. Your mind is quiet and you strike a resting, listening attitude. You open to God. You say nothing and you ask for nothing. You may use words to help you reach this state, but then you are quiet. You may still have thoughts, but you let them go by. Then you sense a Presence, or perhaps you find yourself spontaneously taking a deep breath and relaxing further. These are signs you are connecting with God. The more you do this, the more the Presence of God and the peace of communion extends over the rest of your day.

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Comments

Anonymous said…
Judgement or perception...
Holy Spirit sounds external, as in coming from a place I don't abide.
Wholly Spirit sounds internal as in my TRUE experience.
Paula said…
Hi Liz,
I read your first sentence in this post and thought, "Liz was watching her mind to realise these processes were happening so who is really doing the watching?" Is that Spirit? Does Spirit watch IN the Mind?

Can you help me out with this Liz? It seems I'm being shown something here but I'm unclear on what's True in my above questioning. I just felt a shift going on in my mind as though I detached from the idea I am mind and moved away from my thoughts. What just happened, Liz?
ACIM Mentor said…
Paula, you are the mind split between two thought systems: ego (personal thought system) and Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth). When you are the "observer" you rest in the the Holy Spirit and watch the ego's thoughts without judgment. This is how you detach from the ego and learn it is not you.

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