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Lent as a Living Practice Meditation
Lent is a holy season with a joyful outcome and as such is one of my favorite times of the year. Rather than think of Lent as a time of forsaking something I think of it as a time of extra preparation and enrichment in my spiritual life.
Growing up we were told there were two ways to look at Lent: we could make a sacrifice and give up some treat we really liked, or we could add to our storehouse of spiritual growth by doing something extra to help others.
Well, I usually took what I thought the easier practice and gave up chocolate which I still dearly enjoy.
But now as an adult I like to give extra time to service projects as my way of respecting the Lenten season, because it enriches the world at the same time adding to my spiritual growth.
Here is a meditation to add to your own practice during Lent
Prepare your meditation altar by lighting a candle and an incense cone or stick. Keep your meditation journal nearby. Sit up straight in front of your altar, either on a cushion with your legs folded in, or on a chair with your feet flat on the floor for balance. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Let your eyes gently close.
Begin a pattern of even and regular breathing. For example, breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue for a minute. Now let go of counting but continue the pattern. Breath is the tie that harmonizes the functioning of body and mind when either or both are restless.
Now take a few minutes to think with appreciation on at least one relationship you care about in your life. It could be a spouse, a friend or even a pet you are really devoted to.
Caring is the way the Divine looks after each of us. As eternal souls we are as well-loved children, even when we are dressed in these costumes we call bodies and playing in our various roles.
Caring love is so precious and I believe is the message for us to hold during Lent. After all, this is the season where we are shown that we are more than minds and bodies through the resurrection of Jesus into the Christ in the celebration of Easter.
Lent is our time of preparation, laying the table, preparing to receive the new step on our way to remembering from whence we've come and in fact, for coming to know, once again that we always have a foothold in heaven.
Finish your meditation by resolving to expand in caring love to include more and more in your thoughts and actions for good in the world.
Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Go on with your day with a full and brightened attitude to make caring a top priority in your life.
Article and photo by Susan Kramer; pampas grass and eucalyptus tree
For offline reading
Meditation for Teens and Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
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