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Meditation - Question

Q: I have gone to your site and I was searching about meditation. Please teach me how to meditate.

A: Thanks for your note to TruthBook.com. We are always available to answer questions from our visitors, and we are happy to try and help you in your spiritual path as we can.

Meditation is an important topic. It is a meaningful way to go within oneself for the purpose of communing with God.

You want to be taught how to meditate: I am not really qualified to teach you how to meditate, but I can certainly point you in the right direction.

While on earth, Jesus of Nazareth practiced meditation on a regular basis. Even as a child he would practice quiet times of communion with God. We are given no specific how-to details in The Urantia Book, but we are told numerous times that it was his practice to go off by himself for his times of communing with the Father. By reading and learning how Jesus did this, we can glean important clues about how to do it ourselves.

For many years, and for many cultures, meditation has been seen as a sort of "emptying" process, whereby we try to blank out any outer stimulus and become somewhat passive in hopes of receiving communion with spiritual forces; meditation, as practiced by Jesus, seemed to have none of these qualities. His methods of meditation appeared to be "active." The meditation practices of Jesus involved active thinking, rather than the passive approach. His times of communion with God always included worship. He used his mind to commune with God; and this is not surprising once we understand that our minds are indwelt by a "spark" of God who desires communion with us. Our deepest and highest thinking is a sure way to engage that fragment of God and to receive its wisdom in our inmost spiritual experience.

One key factor in meditation is relaxation. This Urantia Book passage helps one to see the value of meditation and relaxation which combine to produce a state of worship:

"The effort toward maturity necessitates work, and work requires energy. Whence the power to accomplish all this? The physical things can be taken for granted, but the Master has well said, "Man cannot live by bread alone." Granted the possession of a normal body and reasonably good health, we must next look for those lures which will act as a stimulus to call forth man's slumbering spiritual forces. Jesus has taught us that God lives in man; then how can we induce man to release these soul-bound powers of divinity and infinity? How shall we induce men to let go of God that he may spring forth to the refreshment of our own souls while in transit outward and then to serve the purpose of enlightening, uplifting, and blessing countless other souls? How best can I awaken these latent powers for good which lie dormant in your souls? One thing I am sure of: Emotional excitement is not the ideal spiritual stimulus. Excitement does not augment energy; it rather exhausts the powers of both mind and body. Whence then comes the energy to do these great things? Look to your Master. Even now he is out in the hills taking in power while we are here giving out energy. The secret of all this problem is wrapped up in spiritual communion, in worship. From the human standpoint it is a question of combined meditation and relaxation. Meditation makes the contact of mind with spirit; relaxation determines the capacity for spiritual receptivity. And this interchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self, constitutes worship. At least, that is the way the philosopher views it.

"When these experiences are frequently repeated, they crystallize into habits, strength-giving and worshipful habits, and such habits eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual character, and such a character is finally recognized by one's fellows as a mature personality. These practices are difficult and time- consuming at first, but when they become habitual, they are at once restful and timesaving. The more complex society becomes, and the more the lures of civilization multiply, the more urgent will become the necessity for God-knowing individuals to form such protective habitual practices designed to conserve and augment their spiritual energies." (160:3.1)

We learn from this passage that meditation is a practice that is "protective, " in that it can "conserve and augment...spiritual energies.."

Here is another passage from The Urantia Book, describing somewhat the methods that Jesus used:

"But the greatest of all methods of problem solving I have learned from Jesus, your Master. I refer to that which he so consistently practices, and which he has so faithfully taught you, the isolation of worshipful meditation. In this habit of Jesus' going off so frequently by himself to commune with the Father in heaven is to be found the technique, not only of gathering strength and wisdom for the ordinary conflicts of living, but also of appropriating the energy for the solution of the higher problems of a moral and spiritual nature. But even correct methods of solving problems will not compensate for inherent defects of personality or atone for the absence of the hunger and thirst for true righteousness.

"I am deeply impressed with the custom of Jesus in going apart by himself to engage in these seasons of solitary survey of the problems of living; to seek for new stores of wisdom and energy for meeting the manifold demands of social service; to quicken and deepen the supreme purpose of living by actually subjecting the total personality to the consciousness of contacting with divinity; to grasp for possession of new and better methods of adjusting oneself to the ever-changing situations of living existence; to effect those vital reconstructions and readjustments of one's personal attitudes which are so essential to enhanced insight into everything worth while and real; and to do all of this with an eye single to the glory of God—to breathe in sincerity your Master's favorite prayer, "Not my will, but yours, be done."

"This worshipful practice of your Master brings that relaxation which renews the mind; that illumination which inspires the soul; that courage which enables one bravely to face one's problems; that self-understanding which obliterates debilitating fear; and that consciousness of union with divinity which equips man with the assurance that enables him to dare to be Godlike. The relaxation of worship, or spiritual communion as practiced by the Master, relieves tension, removes conflicts, and mightily augments the total resources of the personality. And all this philosophy, plus the gospel of the kingdom, constitutes the new religion as I understand it. This worshipful practice of your Master brings that relaxation which renews the mind; that illumination which inspires the soul; that courage which enables one bravely to face one's problems; that self-understanding which obliterates debilitating fear; and that consciousness of union with divinity which equips man with the assurance that enables him to dare to be Godlike. The relaxation of worship, or spiritual communion as practiced by the Master, relieves tension, removes conflicts, and mightily augments the total resources of the personality. And all this philosophy, plus the gospel of the kingdom, constitutes the new religion as I understand it." (160:1.10)

Meditation is an important, and often neglected tool for gaining spiritual insight and wisdom. I think that people in general are confused about what it means, and how to do it effectively. One clue though, is in this idea of an active, "thinking" type of practice, rather than a purely passive anticipation.

Here are some further Urantia Book quotes about meditation:

Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth. One can develop religious predispositions toward favorable reaction to spiritual stimuli, a sort of conditioned spiritual reflex. Habits which favor religious growth embrace cultivated sensitivity to divine values, recognition of religious living in others, reflective meditation on cosmic meanings, worshipful problem solving, sharing one's spiritual life with one's fellows, avoidance of selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, living as in the presence of God. The factors of religious growth may be intentional, but the growth itself is unvaryingly unconscious. (100:1.8)

The more healthful attitude of spiritual meditation is to be found in reflective worship and in the prayer of thanksgiving. (100:5.10)

It seems to me that the most important factor in learning a meditation technique that is workable for an individual relies on one's sincere desire to actually do it, and then to experiment with various ways that are used by other people. To that end, I would like to direct your attention to a very insightful and interesting study on "Meditation, Jesus-Style" This was written by a long-time Urantia Book student who gives us a fresh, modern-day approach to meditation, using Urantia Book teachings. It is a scholarly, detailed study, and has been very helpful to me in my meditation practices. I hope you'll give it a look...

Please click on any of the links provided in this answer to open the text; you may also find our Topical Study on Meditation useful.

Thanks again for letting us help you to explore this most important topic. I hope that this answer is meaningful to you.

Date published:
Author: Staff