New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Erik Walker Wikstrom
Also appropriate as Meditations
There are, essentially, three ways to offer meditations in a worship setting. The first is to say something while people listen quietly and reflect. It should be filled with sensual images, concrete things people can experience with their senses—sights, sounds, tastes, smells, feelings. The purpose is to invite people to have an experience; to stop thinking and spend some time “out” of their heads.
The second type of meditation in a worship setting is a guided meditation. This involves leading the congregation on a “journey” in their imaginations by narrating where they go and what they do. You invite them to imagine themselves on a beach, for instance, and give them time to experience the sights and sounds of it. Then from the beach they go into the water, and then under the water, at each step pausing to allow people time to experience this new phase of the journey. This kind of meditation has a lot more silence in it, which can be daunting for some people, yet still has direction.
The third kind of meditation is a silent meditation. To do this you offer a few words of invitation and then ask people to sit in silence for a set period of time. You might initiate the silence by ringing a bell or chime. Most people in our culture are not used to silence, so beginning with a minute or two will be hard for some. Despite the difficulty of such silence, we also deeply crave it. Some congregations have found that silent meditations have become beloved moments in their regular services.
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Last updated on Monday, March 25, 2013.
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