I did learn something....meditation is not for the faint of heart.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely new to this. I've been on enough retreats (silent, women's and otherwise) to have lectio divina'ed with the best of them. I can dial down, hold thoughts, and sit with an open hand like nobody's business.
But I don't do it all the time.
So when Karen suggested that in this time of freaking out, I should really take time to meditate, I figured, why not, I've got the time. She suggested I read "Christian Meditation" by James Finley. They were out of them at Coles in the Mall, so I googled him, and now am in possession of a lovely PDF of an interview that he did with Gary Moon. He laid things out reasonably simply, although there isn't much simple about meditation - actually it's very simple and that's what makes it so hard.
I found my favorite chair, which now resides in Ben's room, and brought down some yogurt and granola (I don't know if you're allowed to eat yogurt and granola when you're meditating, probably not, although it does seem like food the mystics would have enjoyed) and picked a word to set my mind on.
My go to word in these situations is usually "Jesus" - go figure - but this time I thought I'd mix things up a bit and chose "love". I set my timer for 25 minutes. That seems like a reasonable amount of time. I shut my eyes and started to dwell on my word.
Not long after I realize I have to pick granola out of my teeth. My tongue starts digging around and I'm wondering if this is considered multitasking while meditating.
The granola thing is now dealt with, and my attempt to experience the presence of God continues. That lasts for about 15 seconds and I start to giggle. You see, I have this rash on my arm, I've had it since about August. Way too long to have a rash. I did go to the Doctor and he gave me cream but it's still there 2 months later. I did some research and discovered that I've been putting vaginal yeast infection cream on my rash. That's probably why it's not really working. Anyway, the whole "vaginal yeast infection cream on my arm" thing is really quite funny and of course I'm distracted easily at the best of times. So the next 5 minutes of my precious meditation time was spent in utter bemusement.
Focus Beckie, focus.
Maybe I should sing. That could give me some spiritual direction. I'm a singer, surely there are lots of songs that could help guide me into oneness with my Creator. Alas, the only song, and I mean ONLY song that my mind could think of was "No One Mourns the Wicked" from Wicked.
I check my timer. 9 minutes left. This isn't going well.
So I have more work to do around this. I think I will attempt it again, maybe tomorrow. And for today I will rest on this James Finley quote, "First, from the standpoint of contemplation, God’s invincible love for me is absolutely sovereign, regardless of the degree or the extent to which I respond to it or
Nice. Or the amount which I'm able to concentrate or not.