We seem to turn to what has timeless value for us when we are in distress, or having trouble solving a problem.
Under stress, our thoughts may not be calm enough to do a peaceful meditation right away. Spending time in prayerful intercession - asking for what is wanted - followed by silent meditation to glean insight and direction, allows us the opportunity to both ask and receive.
Then follows the time for reflection on how to put new insights to use.
Here is a meditation I find usefulů
Preparation: Sit up straight, hands in your lap, or lie on your back in a deep relaxation pose; close your eyes. Begin breathing evenly and regularly: breathe in 1 count; breathe out 1 count; continue on for a minute.
Part 1: Use a set prayer of intercession, or your own words, to ask for what you want. I even combine a set prayer, followed by my own words. Example: At night I say this prayer from my childhood "Now I lay me down to sleepů" which I then follow with concerns in my own words.
Part 2: After saying my prayer and expressing my concerns I quietly meditate; listening to my silent and regular breathing as my thoughts and body relax and calm down.
Part 3: As clarity and new ideas come during the meditation I reflect on how I can put them to work the next day or in the future.
Part 4: I finish my practice with a prayer of appreciation in my own words for the insights gained.
Prayer, meditation, then thoughtful reflection
Combined for receiving useful direction.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer