Christians Meditate St Louis has been a dream for a long time. It brings together my faith, insights gained from life experience, training in mindfulness-based therapies and years of experience guiding individuals and organizations as they grow and develop.
Our mission is to help people of faith transform their spiritual life adopting the mind of Christ. The Bible is clear about the goals — trusting God’s love and grace, letting go of fear and praying unceasingly. The Bible does not provide an instruction manual on how to do these in our hectic, modern world. That’s where Christians Meditate St Louis comes in. We offer classes and retreats that combine Christian meditation practices with elements of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to teach participants how to trust, let go and pray in the midst of demands that exceed the hours in a day.
This mission is supported by the threads of our spiritual lives and careers:
- Faith in a loving God that co-creates with humans
- Nearly 60 years of meditation practice between the two of us
- The science that supports mindfulness-based therapies
- The evidence-based skills of mindfulness-based therapies
- Experience nurturing behavioral change in individuals and organizations
We do this through classes and retreats as well as our weekly blog, how to meditate and other educational resources. Blogs and new educational resources are posted on our Facebook page. You can find us @Christiansmeditate or you can sign up to receive blogs by email in the footer of each page.
Transformation: An Ambitious Goal
To be sure, transformation is an ambitious goal. Working with seriously mentally ill clients, I have seen first hand how mindfulness can transform the lives of people with mental illness when they embrace it as a practice and way of life. I have come to believe mindfulness-based therapies are at their core a spiritual journey to fin part of our selves created in God’s image, whether conscious or unconscious.
Transformation occurs by changing tiny habits moment to moment, not in huge leaps of insight. We discover the child of God within us by developing mindful awareness of our inner thoughts and emotions, learning to adopt the mind of Christ by refocusing the mindless thoughts that maintain and exacerbate worry, fear and anxiety (not to mention depression) in the present moment. And most importantly, resting in the presence of God who loves us.
Fear Keeps Us From Experiencing God’s Presence
Over the years, I have come to believe that fear (and its corollary, worry) are the common threads that keep individuals and congregations from living into their God-given potential — fear of failure (and success), fear of judgment and rejection, fear of being examined and found unworthy, fear of loss and the list goes on.
Living in a chronic state of worry and fear is a habit. The more we worry, the harder the habit is to break. The good news is research has shown that we can change the worry habit through the regular practice of meditation combined with intentional application of behavioral skills to refocus our thoughts. If insight meditation is that powerful, think what transformation is possible if we meditate on God’s love.
Want to “Test Drive” a Class at No Cost?
Christians Meditate St Louis is currently piloting two classes at Trinity Episcopal Church in St Charles. We are taking applications from interested churches to identify 2-4 more churches willing to further “test drive” a class or retreat in the Mindful Way Series in 2019 at no cost to your church or participants. To learn more, contact Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-399-8568.