March 1, 2010

Learning to be still

Is there anything like sitting down with someone, expecting to receive the death sentence for something you’ve done wrong and having them bless you instead? When you get a blessing like that, you want to understand the anatomy of it. What special trait allows people to offer this kind of heaven-on-earth? I can’t help but believe that such gifts are really suffering transformed into something beautiful. It doesn’t matter who we are or how fortunate we are in life, we’re all bound to suffer from our cravings, our aversions or things we just can’t seem to accept or forgive in ourselves or others. One of the best known but least understood ways of coping is prayer and meditation.

If you, like me, look to books to improve your life, read Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. Although it is filled with a lot of eastern thought that won’t jibe with a Christian’s perspective on the world, it elaborates on a process that’s biblical in its origin: transformation of the mind through meditation.

You can read this book in stages, a few pages a night. What you’ll get is a careful dissection of meditation from a wide variety of people, from the famous to the ordinary. It is loaded with short descriptions of how people view meditation and practical advice for making it part of your life. This book is an in-depth study of how inward changes really do change the world around us. If you’re a practicing Christian and you often find yourself rushing through your prayers, you’ll find it a useful tool for learning to be still, which is really the beginning of transforming your suffering into something beautiful.

Bonus Book for Kids: Don't miss this adorable picture book to share with kids on the joys of practicing yoga, Stretch, by Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin.

1 comment:

Beth Gigax Bates said...

Just last night I picked up a Henri Nouwen book I started (and abandoned) about three years ago. The topic of solitude, like the title of your post here, blew a gentle breeze of calm through my busy heart. I want to read this book!