How to Meditate

Prisoner MeditatingYou learn to meditate by meditating. Meditation is simple. It does not demand that you master any difficult theory or special techniques. Christian meditation is an ancient form of prayer which anyone can learn.

Sit down. Choose a quiet time and place and try to ensure you will not be disturbed. If you’re in prison, it can be difficult to find quiet time alone. I would recommend “count” times, or the times before and after sleep. Sit comfortably but alert and awake, with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then silently, interiorly, in silence, stillness and simplicity begin to say your word, your mantra.

You can choose a word or short phrase that resonates with your faith. The word we recommend is ‘Maranatha’. It is an Aramaic word which means ‘Come Lord’ and is one of the oldest prayers in the Christian tradition. Say it as four equal syllables MA-RA-NA-THA. Listen to the word as you say it without haste or desire.

Repeat your chosen word or mantra continuously, gently and faithfully from the beginning to the end of the meditation period. Let go of all thoughts and imagination, including religious thoughts. Meditation is not about thinking but being. It is about paying attention with the whole of one’s being. Distractions will come, but do not be discouraged. Simply return to your word.

Meditate twice a day, early morning and early evening, for between 20-30 minutes. It may take you a while to establish this but be patient. It is helpful and encouraging to meet other people on this journey and you may wish to join or start a weekly group.