The How to Meditate Guide below is presented here with permission (and minor adaptation) from my friend, Jean Gendreau. You can find the original on her website Christian Meditation: Opening to God in a New Way. Jean teaches Christian meditation in northern Minnesota. She is a beautiful writer and has quite a library of blogs. I encourage you to take a look.
Six Lessons on How To Meditate
Lesson 1. What is Meditation?
Lesson 2. Thought and Non-Thought – Are thoughts reality?
Lesson 3. Christian Meditations – Love one another as I have loved you.
Lesson 4. Surrender Meditations – Life happens when you’re making plans.
Lesson 5. Meditation and Oneness
Lesson 6. Trusting the Practice: Stress, Illness and Death
Lesson 5. Meditation and Oneness
- Meditation changes how we view reality and how we experience God. Our deepest truth is that each of us is a child of God. Meditation helps each of us open to this wonderful truth. (Lesson 1)
- We can just release thoughts. “I am not my thoughts.” Practicing releasing thoughts helps people heal emotionally. Thought and non-thought are very different realities. (Lesson 2)
- We can use specific meditations to grow stronger in love and in forgiveness. It’s like lifting weights. We start easy and then try harder tasks. This is how we grow towards Christian values such as “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Lesson 3)
- We can use “free-floating” meditations to ask God to transform us as God wills. “Thy will be done” means letting God create. We do this by opening to or floating in God’s endless love without preconceived ideas of what should happen. (Lesson 4)
“We are one in the spirit.” Love one another as I have loved you. God is love, and everyone who has love is in God, and God is in him.” “The greatest of these is love.”
But aren’t we talking about two kinds of “oneness”? Sounds funny, right?
First, we want to open to God so completely, to know God so fully that we experience being part of the Divine. Second, we want to love all other people as Jesus loved us. This means all of us are the body of Christ.
Here’s an image that makes this less confusing. Each of us is a wave in the ocean, and each of us thinks we are separate from other waves. We even wonder where the ocean is! That’s our foolish humanity, thinking our individual self is that important.
Instead, the ocean itself is God, the living water of the Divine. We can also call it the Awareness or the Christ Consciousness. All That Is.
Every wave is an intrinsic part of the ocean. A wave doesn’t leave the ocean and come back. All waves are the ocean. Water rises into a wave, falls and seems to disappear. But that water is always the ocean itself.
Being a wave doesn’t really matter, even though we think it does. Being the ocean—even though we think we are waves—is what matters.
Since all of us are the ocean, we are all One. This is how we love one another as Jesus loved us—by seeing all others as the ocean too.
The kingdom of Heaven is now, in God, in the Oneness. In this way, time doesn’t matter because eternity is what is real. In this way, life and death don’t matter because being one with God has nothing to do with time or bodies or life or death.
I am not saying there is no afterlife. I’m saying that our real existence is as a manifestation of God. That is eternity, beyond time and body… and beyond the common idea of an afterlife. If our essence is eternal, then an “afterlife” is after what? After eternity?
We think we are waves, but we are the ocean itself. “What you do to others you do to me.” There is no separation between us because we are all the ocean. There is no “other.” No “other” is possible. Every wave is the ocean itself.
This is the deeper reality that we know in our guts once we have been meditating for a while. We begin to see that the deepest reality is Oneness. Our thoughts are not important and we can release them. Instead we trust the deeper reality, God. Eternity. The Source. All that is. The Ocean.
We are the One, and there is nothing else. Only the One. We are the living water, rising and falling. No beginning, no end. Forever.
Here is a wonderful 12-minute video about Oneness and meditation:
Guided Meditation: The Ocean
Here is a guided meditation on Oneness. You can read it slowly to yourself or listen to an audio by clicking here: We are One meditation. (The words start about 35 seconds into the recording, so you have time to get quiet.)
“God is love, and everyone who has love is in God, and God is in him.”
Intention: “May I be one with God.” “May I open to God completely.” “May I join the one spirit.”
I relax and close my eyes. I take several deep, slow breaths until I feel safety and warmth. [pause]
I am floating on an endless ocean of exquisite, beautiful water. It smells fresh. I taste a little salt on my lips.
Kind light is everywhere. The ocean holds me perfectly. I can trust its kindness. [pause]
Looking down at myself, I see that I am a wave. I am a shape that the ocean makes. A shape, a wave—sometimes beautiful, sometimes funny, sometimes confused and angry.
Waves are the ocean, no matter what shape they take. A wave is the ocean happening.
I come and go, rise and fall. Rising and falling feels wonderful. It’s easy because I am always—always—the water itself. I never stop being the water.
This is living water. The ocean knows me because I am part of the ocean itself. I am always the holy water, the living water. It doesn’t matter what the wave does because I am made of the water itself. [pause]
A wave forms from the water. It rises and falls into the whole. The wave feels wonderful as it falls into the whole. Relaxing into forever is who I am. I am eternity. I am the ocean.
The ocean is all. There are millions of waves just like me. Some waves gather force and crash onto the rocks—They are still the ocean itself. Some waves barely move. Some waves are just a few breaths from start to finish—Even in their tiny seconds, they are the ocean itself.
I think my own wave is not the ocean. I think other waves are not the ocean.
The ocean laughs with love. “Right here, right now, this moment—You are always in me and I am in you.” [pause]
Every wave, all of us—We laugh when we remember it. “Right here, right now—We are forever. We are the ocean. We are One.” [pause]
I rest in the now. I rise and fall. We all rise and fall. We are the beauty of the ocean. We are the ocean’s love. We are Caring. We are Kindness. We are One. [pause]
Waves gleam, water gleams, light gleams..
Put out your hand. I am the living water and so are you. Here, now, in me, in you. Right here. [pause]
We are the One, and there is nothing else. Only the One. We are the living water, rising and falling. No beginning, no end. Forever. Love… Love… Love. [Rest in the silence until you feel finished.]