A very old definition of prayer described it as “the raising of the heart and mind to God.” What is the “mind,” what is the heart:? The mind is what thinks—it questions, plans, worries, fantasizes. The heart is what knows—it loves. From Christian Meditation Your Daily Practice – Laurence Freeman
As I understand it, all Christian prayer is a growing awareness of God in Jesus and for that growing awareness we need to come to a state of undistraction, to a state of attention and concentration – that is, to a state of awareness. And so far as I have been able to determine in the limitations of my own life, the only way that I have been able to come to that quest, to that, undistractedness, to that concentration, is the way of the mantra. From The Gethsemani Talks – John Main
What is the way of meditation?
The way of meditation is essentially simple. There are no special theories, complicated techniques, no preconditioned dogma that you have to hold or subscribe to. It is essentially simple because it is experiential. The essence of meditation is the discipline of saying your word. It is entering into a faith-filled silence of mind and body where we leave words and thoughts behind. A Short Span of Days – Laurence Freeman
What is Contemplation?
Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that Source. From New Seeds of Contemplation – Thomas Merton
What is Contemplative Prayer?
Contemplative prayer is a deepening of faith that moves beyond thoughts and concepts, One just listens to God, open and receptive to the divine presence in one's inmost being as its source, but with a view to becoming aware of the obstacles to one's friendship with God. The Human Condition - Thomas Keating
What is the basic theology of meditation?
The basic theology of meditation is that at the core of our being, in our heart, is the mind of Christ. Christ is praying in us, with us and for us. From A Simple Way – Laurence Freeman
What are the fruits of Meditation?
It is in your daily life and especially in your relationships that you will notice the fruits of meditation. From Christian Meditation Your Daily Practice - Laurence Freeman
What is a mantra?
The way we set out on this pilgrimage of ‘other-centeredness’ is to recite a short phrase, a word that is commonly called today a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a way of unhooking us from our thoughts and concerns. From Moment of Christ - John Main
Time and again the practical advice of masters of prayer is summed up in the simple injunction: ‘Say your mantra’, ‘Use this little word.’ The Cloud of Unknowing advises, ‘and pray not in many words but in a little word on one syllable. Fix this word fast to your heart so that it is always there come what may. With this word you will suppress all thoughts.” Word Into Silence – John Main
The mantra’s work is to detach oneself from ego and be liberated for God. Christian Meditation is contemplative from start to finish. It is rightly called meditation, because it is applying one’s resources to the work of saying the mantra from start to finish, gently brushing off distractions, and cultivating a generalized attention. Contemplative Prayer for Today – Ernest E. Larkin