All religious traditions have forms of meditation, contemplation, mindfulness or deep reflection that are methods of inviting deeper spiritual connection. Meditation slows the world down so that we might become more attentive and more aware. It opens the door to deeper levels of consciousness and connection to a spiritual level which transcends our normal daily existence. By accessing this dimension, we can experience a transformation which impacts our daily existence in many positive ways.
– Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University
Meditations Monday, August 24, 2020
|Cincinnati Friends (Quaker) Meeting
Meditation led by Rev. Jim Newby
Quakers are a Christian community of faith dependent on silence as a way to connect with the Inner Light of Christ. Our meditative practice is enhanced by spiritual readings and queries which prompt worshippers as they seek to “center down” and mind the Light.
A statement by the Friends General Conference explains the importance of silence in our worship: “Silence is a natural demand born of a need for God; felt by young and old, in all the world’s religions. In silence we may worship together sharing our search for life, sharing our quest for peace, sharing God’s gift of love.”
Meditation led by Claudette Coleman, Sylvia Hadley, Renaldo Raeheim, Gregory Vaughan
For Baha’is, meditation is focused reflection on the revealed words of Baha’u’llah rather than on our own thoughts, which he says are “like waves moving in the sea without result. But if the faculty of meditation is bathed in the inner light and characterized with divine attributes, the results will be confirmed.”
Although there are no precise approaches in Baha’i Writings for meditation, we are asked to read His and The Bab’s prayers and writings every morning and evening. He advises us not to weary ourselves with prayer but to lay upon our souls “what will lighten and uplift them, so that they may soar on the wings of the Divine verses towards the Dawning-place of His manifest signs; this will draw you nearer to God, did ye but comprehend.”
|African Methodist Episcopal Church
Meditation led by Rev. Lynn Felts, Lee Chapel AME Church
Within the African Methodist Episcopal Church, spiritual meditation is practiced with the focus being prayer and reflection on the presence of God. We seek to have a deeper connection with God and to receive spiritual nourishment and wisdom from Him.
The setting of our spiritual meditations include dim lighting along with complete silence or softly played instrumental music. Praying and reflecting can also be done while pacing a room, sitting, or while lying face down on the floor. Posture is also a key component in order to control breathing and to reach a spiritual balance between our prayer and reflection on God.
Meditations Tuesday, August 25, 2020
|Sikh Community of Cincinnati
Meditation led by Jaipal Singh
Meditation, in Sikhism, refers to that peaceful state of Divine Love when the Sikh (literally ‘student’) is remembering the Divine Being. In this way, Sikhism transcends religious belief and becomes a lifestyle through which one’s actions are a form of praise and worship of the Divine.
The inspiration of the Divine is found in creation through the laws of nature and the will of God. Through a deeper understanding of Creation, the Sikh remains inspired and in a state of awe, shedding one’s ego and realizing the truth of Oneness. Through the recognition of one human race, one family within creation, one Ultimate Soul comprised of countless drops swimming in that vast ocean, we find the deepest and most profound meaning of community and the ever-vivid experience of the Divine Beloved. This we have learned from the guru.
|Christian Contemplative Prayer/ Meditation
Meditation led by Jan Seidel
”God is the center of my soul” wrote St. John of the Cross. “God is the still point in my center” wrote mystic Julian of Norwich.
Journeying to this center is the work of contemplative prayer/meditation. It is a journey beyond words, thoughts and images, into one’s own center, where the “spark of divinity” dwells. It is prayer of silence and solitude in which direct contact with God can occur. Once the mind is stilled and distractions are put aside, we become aware of and enter into the loving presence of God.
Rather than being a “mountaintop” experience for only the few, it is available to everyone. With practice and patience, it is life-changing, leading not only to a deep personal relationship with God but to loving, compassionate action among our fellow human beings.
Meditation led by Becca Diamond, Rabbinical student, Hebrew Union College-JIR
There are a variety of Jewish meditative practices, both contemporary and traditional. The particular meditation is based on the practices of an Israeli musical prayer group called Nava Tehila that hosts Shabbat services each month in Jerusalem. At each service, musicians sing and play original settings to psalms and other Jewish texts that are sung at Kabbalat Shabbat, a service created by Jewish mystics in 16th century Tzfat.
At each Nava Tehila service, musicians sit in a circle at the center of the room, and hundreds of participants gather around in larger concentric circles, singing texts over and over again, loud and soft, fast and slow, until they become chant-like. This musical meditation unlocks the spiritual energy of the community and marks the beginning of Shabbat.
Meditations Wednesday, August 26, 2020
|Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Meditation led by Imam Hossam Musa
Salat, Islamic prayer, is an act of complete submission to God, Allah. Muslims are required to pray five times a day: dawn, mid-day, late afternoon, after sunset and nightfall. Prayer is recited in Arabic and is taken from holy Quran verses.
Prayer is a direct link between the worshipper and Allah and can be prayed individually or within small groups and preferably at a mosque. There is no hierarchy in Islam and prayers are led by a learned person, Imam, who has a deep understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Specific movements, including supplications and reflections, are part of prayer. These help the worshipper connect to Allah and to gain peace and tranquility for self and compassion and understanding for others.
|Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church
(Presbyterian/Reformed Protestant Christian)
Meditation led by Rev. Stacey Midge
While we have learned to honor and sometimes integrate meditation practices from other traditions into our lives, the primary way we meditate is to focus on Scripture. Our goal is not to study or analyze it, or even to apply it concretely to our lives. The purpose is to allow a small portion of Scripture – even just a word or phrase – to focus our minds, clear away distractions, and make space for the Spirit to live and move within us.
In an individual setting, I might choose a single verse, read it aloud several times to internalize it, and sit in silence with it for a time, repeating the verse mentally or aloud to draw my attention back if I become distracted. In a group setting, we might read a longer passage and invite those present to listen for the word or phrase that calls for their attention, and then meditate on that.
|Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition
Meditation led by Jheri Neri
Native Americans have no word for either meditation or spirituality. This is because we do not separate either aspect from our everyday lives.
There are over 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States alone. Each one of these has its own unique way of worship and expressing that worship. We will share with you what we do in our everyday walk. We will give an overview of some of our practices.
Meditations Friday, August 28, 2020
|Cincinnati Buddhist Community
(Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Tibetan and Western Buddhist groups)
Meditation led by Arundathi Marapane
Buddhism offers countless meditation practices, all of which may be described as “mind training”. They are all founded on the cultivation of a calm and positive state of mind, and, with regular practice, can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life itself.
According to the Buddha, meditation is the most important thing we can do, teaching us to take responsibility for our state of mind and to change it for the better. It helps develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, clear seeing, positive ways of being and solutions to human sorrows, anxieties, fears and confusions. Such experiences can help create a profoundly peaceful and energized state of mind.
Our meditation is Taking One Seat.
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Meditation led by Brett Greenhalgh, President
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that our Father in Heaven knows, loves, and is involved in the lives of each of us, His daughters and sons. He communicates with us through multiple methods including prayer, scripture, thoughts, impressions, and personal revelation. Meditation is one of the tools we can use to draw closer to Diety.
Our faith does not practice a formalized approach to mediation, but can be described with words like ponder, consider, think, and study, and is usually coupled with prayer and scripture study. Through meditation, we can draw closer to God and seek His will for us, direction for our personal lives, and answers to meaningful questions.
Meditation led by Sri Mirle
According to Hinduism and many other faith traditions, the ultimate aim of human life is to be self-realized and to become one with the Supreme Being. Meditation has been practiced in the Hindu tradition as a key element of self-realization for thousands of years. In fact, meditation is considered the most effective means for attaining self-realization, along with other paths of devotion, selfless service and knowledge. In this session, we cover three tools of meditation: mantra chanting, Pranayama (breath control) and Chakra (energy center) visualization. This will enable participants to get a flavor of Hindu meditation as we all experience the positive effects of diverse meditative practices.