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Contemplation and Meditation

by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Description: Susan Kramer

Adults Collection Three 81. to 120.

Articles teaching adults about meditation, including prayers for special occasions

81. Light and Meditation
82. Developing Compassion
83. Meditation on Being Alone Without Being Lonely
84. Prayer in Honor of Pope Benedict XVI
85. Forgiveness from the Lord's Prayer
86. Thoughts About Meditation and the Brain
87. Make Space for Meditation, Prayer, Tai Chi or Yoga
88. Keeping a Meditation Journal
89. Meditation for Developing an Open Mind
90. Reflecting on Opinions on Various Religions
91. Running Meditation for Teens and Adults
92. Meditation to Harmonize Action Reaction
93. Meditation on the Source of Creation
94. Women Meditating for World Peace
95. Prayer in Remembrance of Terri Schiavo
96. Blessed Dearest Mother Divine Prayer
97. Madonna Meditation
98. Lesson of the Snowflake Meditation
99. Everything Is Interconnected Meditation
100. Prayer in Honor of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter
101. Contemplation and Meditation

102. The Incorruptibles What Is Happening?
103. Meditation and Heart Health
104. Gaining Insight through Reflective Meditation
105. Insight Meditation Technique
106. Walking Meditation for Problem Solving
107. Ecumenical and Interfaith Meditation
108. Radiant Heart Meditation Practice
109. Problem Solving Meditation Techniques
110. Morality Meditation
111. Meditation on Attitude
112. Walking Meditation to Become Peaceful
113. Commitment and Meditation
114. Prayer in Memory of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
115. Love, Meditate, Realize What Does It Mean?
116. Humanitarian Effects of Meditation and Prayer
117. Kindness Meditation
118. Intelligent Design in Meditation and Prayer
119. Meditate in the Midst of a Busy Family
120. Music for Meditation
more articles

 



81. Light and Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Light is the very sustenance of spiritual and earthly life. Have you ever wondered what the spiritual significance is of lighted candles upon a meditation altar?

A central candle, a single lit candle, represents the Divine Light that enlightens all of us, without regard to being a member of a specific religion, or of any religion. Other arrangements include a circle of candles surrounding a central candle, such as during Advent, or a row of candles representing many faiths coming together to light the main candle in an interfaith service.

On the earthly scale, without the light of our sun we would not be able to live on our planet. There would be no process of photosynthesis to turn sunlight into plant material, the basis of our diet for both vegetarians and non-meat eaters, alike. (After all, the animals we eat need to make their flesh by eating plants, first.)

Our sun shines as a covering upon all of us, nurturing and uniting us as a world family.

Back to the significance of the candle light on the meditation altar. The flame provides both heat and warmth, another of the requirements we need on the planet to ward off the chill, and in early days, to scare off predators at night. And what is more nostalgic then a blazing campfire promoting comradeship and the telling of stories and tales.

In earlier days, while sitting around the flaming light of a central campfire, and still in tribal cultures without a written language, it is most likely many traditions and tales from the culture and history of the tribe are passed down by the younger members listening carefully to the tales of the elders.

Candle light has been with us for a long time in our history and even if we do not 'need' it today it adds ambience to any gathering or event.

Keep your candles burning brightly and think about some of the ways light and heat have benefited humankind through the centuries. And, why not enjoy the special delights of scented candles, brightly colored as a special centerpiece on meditation altars or holiday tables!

Candle light burning bright
Remind us of the spiritual light
That shines so brilliantly from within
Through thoughts and acts of pure lovin'.




82. Developing Compassion

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We come to earth as needy babes dependent on the loving compassion of others to raise us. Compassion is mainly learned. It is by the loving example shown us that we grow to see the best way to treat others.

If we break down the word into com and passion we see that it is the coming together with passion that produces the result. We can't go wrong when acting compassionately. We are acting for others out of what we feel in ourselves. It really is a passion for wholeness we wish to pass on.

And why do we thrive on giving and receiving compassion?

We are connected as a universal family and in that reality we know that in preserving another we preserve ourselves, because we need what each of us has to offer.

Some may be teachers, some store workers, some bread makers, some lawmakers. But what we have in common is we all serve others while taking care of ourselves and families.

Compassion is developed through practice. The more we give with kindness the more easily it is to give spontaneously when the need arises. Compassion flows from us as a rushing stream of action.

Meditation is a way to purify our thoughts that we may give from our very best for the good of the situation. In meditation we have the quiet time to let our body rest, to lose our bodily sensations for awhile, to concentrate on feeling appreciation for what we have. Meditation is a beautiful route to developing your compassionate attitudes, ready to use in daily life.

After a meditation session we zoom off to our regular routines, but eventually the quiet introspection pays off by putting us in just the right mood when another is in need for what we can give.

Let's spend time to develop compassion, for bringing out the best in ourselves, and extending our caring net around others in need.

Compassion opens us
To joy that knows no bounds
Alive as spiritual lights
Alive in love unbound.




83. Meditation on Being Alone Without Being Lonely

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We can be alone in a room and not feel alone. When I am reading a good book I do not feel alone. When I am exercising or writing I do not feel alone.

The human species is social we interact with each other in nearly every aspect of living. So, the desire to socialize comes up even if our personal activities are fulfilling to us. Aloneness is felt when we have become dependent on someone or something outside of our own being to 'provide' personal happiness.

Thoughts to reflect upon after silent meditation

Being alone, and also feeling lonely, comes when we have not yet discovered that our personal fulfillment comes right out of our depths, right from our depth of consciousness, from communion with our Source, Resource.

Contact with our Source-Resource is socializing with the Presence that is always with us as a listening ear, that warms and energizes us with feelings of harmony, spurring us on to be positive and productive in the world.

"In contact with our Source we are never alone
The unseen presence our infinite and daily companion."

To develop consciousness of the Unseen Companion, listen to the soft wind within, developed in silent meditation and carried out into daily living. When we learn how to socialize with our Source, we will find that we always have a companion with us, that we are really never 'alone'.

Being alone without being lonely happens when we discover and nurture the Holy Presence within. Our fulfillment lies in taking the gifts of the Holy Spirit warmth and energy, peace and contentment into our social interactions.

As we improve the quality of our character, we become more aware of our state of happiness - the state of happiness hidden from us till we consistently act for the best of each situation.

We may think that happiness is an acquisition, and therefore buy more and more things. Soon we observe that depending on the momentary high experienced in an acquisition is truly temporary, and that in order to stay happy all the time, we would have to acquire a never-ending stream of objects.

We also might think that another person gives us happiness by paying attention to us. Again, this would mean a person would have to be focusing on us all the time, in order for us to feel happiness all the time.

Neither by trying to acquire a stream of possessions, or by constantly expecting or trying to coerce a person to focus all their attention on us, do we experience a baseline of happiness.

We all want happiness so where is it?

Happiness is the outcome of harmony. And, harmony is the outcome of living moment to moment in alignment with the highest good of the moment. When we live peacefully and usefully, we are living harmoniously and we feel happy.

So, happiness is with us all the time as a state of our own being, brought to the forefront in our lives when we are living harmoniously in the world. In this realization we can see that each of us has happiness ever available, from within ourselves, experienced when our attitudes, decisions and actions are in harmony with peacefulness and goodness.

At the end of your meditation take a deep breath in and out, and write any new thoughts in your journal for later review.

"Happiness brought to the forefront of our lives
When we improve the quality of our character
Through acting harmlessly in the world
By acting with care in the world."




84. Prayer in Honor of Pope Benedict XVI

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

This prayer is dedicated to the new Holy Father, Benedict XVI, that he may enter the challenging role of leader of the Roman Catholic Church with grace, dignity, compassion and care for his flock all over the world. And a special wish that all people of earth will realize we are part of the holy family of humankind!

"Holy Father, Benedict XVI
Through this prayer, with honor we say
May the Light of all Lights
Guide you each day
So your blessings flow over
The world flock in your care
Each and every way.

Holy Father, Benedict XVI
We your children, with honor do pray
May God's grace and love
Keep you safe always
Close to the Supreme Heart of Hearts
In peace and joy wisdom and care
Alive in the Lord day to day!"

Prayer by Susan Helene Kramer

 



85. Forgiveness from the Lord's Prayer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi


This is a meditation for reflection upon the lines from the Lord's Prayer as I learned it "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."

For reflection

Thinking about the message in the Lord's Prayer, I am most inspired by the thought of "forgiveness" as an idea that flows both to us and from us.

Perhaps it is easiest to forgive others the wrongs we perceive having been done to us, and harder to accept forgiveness ourselves. After all, that would mean we have done things where we need forgiveness.

Let this reflection go further to the idea of forgiving ourselves for having negative thoughts about anything. Yes, anything.

For when we hold negative thoughts we are placing blame for our unhappiness upon another. When in living a real life, a spiritual life, we are steeped in forgiveness for all, including ourselves, and do not feel unhappy. Rather, we enjoy our eternal spiritual state of harmony and joy right in this moment and all moments.

If the state of heaven is a mental experience, separate from the body and brain, then we truly can forgive ourselves for negativity and others for their negative inspired actions toward us no matter what state or shape our body is in, young or old, in sickness and health. The mental peace brought on by living forgiveness is with us now and forever more.

We live in our body for now a body that is continually changing and eventually decaying if we live long enough. But we needn't be bounded by loss and decay if we remember we really have the choice for harmony and joy by keeping a forgiving attitude.

A forgiving attitude knocks out negativity before it has a chance to harden into physical aches and pains in our body. When feeling harmonious we feel most relaxed and our physical body feels relaxed, too.

It is worth it to adopt the attitude of forgiveness as a lifelong companion from here on out, and enjoy a heavenly state of mind while living on earth.

In summary, reflect on the points that forgiveness is many sided: forgiving others for injuries; forgiving our harms to others; forgiving negative thoughts as they arise. And, heavenly happiness is for now when we maintain the attitude of forgiveness.

 



86. Thoughts About Meditation and the Brain

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

I've been practicing mantra meditation for more than 25 years and can attest to the fact that it does have the benefit of calming me in a way that I can think more clearly about situations at hand.

My opinion is that if we all were able to think out our personal situations clearly for the greatest good, that together as one humanity we could work out how to solve problems facing our world as a whole.

It is my opinion that considering meditation to be mixing science and religion is not the case as there is no "religious" dogma in meditation. Rather, I find that even breathing combined with concentration on a syllable or group of syllables in repetition calms my thoughts when I'm feeling agitated. What's religious about that?

Here is a mantra or Om meditation that I find practical for everyday use

Sitting or walking take a deep cleansing breath such as 3 counts to breathe in and 3 counts to breathe out. Then do one minute of regular even breathing in a pattern like 1 count to breathe in and 1 count to breathe out.

Now, while continuing to breathe evenly, begin either saying or thinking your mantra or the Om syllable.

A mantra is usually what you consider an uplifting word you are comfortable with. Many people use the word "peace" or "love." One of my favorites is "peace reveal."

If your thoughts stray while doing the repetition gently bring your attention back to your mantra. Do not strain in your efforts!

To use Om as your mantra take a breath in, and on the out breath say or think Om and let the "m" part of the Om continue out longer than the "o" part.

Example: Ommmmmmmmm

Practice your mantra or Om meditation a couple of minutes long enough to feel the effects in your body and mind as feeling more physically easeful, and mentally or emotionally more peaceful or uplifted.

To finish mantra meditation take a final deep breath and release it and continue on with your day.



87. Make Space for Meditation, Prayer, Tai Chi or Yoga

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Do you want to reclaim your peace after a busy day? Do you want to get centered before heading out to school or work? Do you want a private retreat to get away from the world? Then create a space at home to practice meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi or other spiritual practices!
Description: reclaimed attic space; photo credit Susan Kramer
Some ways to create space

Convert a guest room or adult child's old bedroom to a clear open space that serves double duty, by keeping a futon folded up and stored on end in the closet - to be rolled out for visitors.

Create floor space by removing tables, dressers and night stands from the floor. Instead use high shelving to store items. Perhaps you have room for a long shelf or a string of cupboards on the wall over a window or doorway.

Use the center of your attic if you have space to stand. Attach flooring boards to the rafters in your 'found space' and tack down a piece of wall to wall carpeting. Do not burn candles and incense, though, because of fire danger. Rather, use a soft light bulb in the attic light fixture. (Photo shows reclaimed attic space light is coming in from a dormer window at the right.)

Do you have a space of patio that you can block off from prying eyes with a fence or shrubbery? Practicing meditation, prayer, tai chi or yoga outdoors can be very peaceful.

How wide is your hallway? Perhaps this is another space that can be reclaimed for motion practices. Be sure the flooring is non-slip - roll up those throw rugs first.

As you can see, there are ways to make some space for the practices that keep you going and enrich your body-mind-spiritual health in the process!



88. Keeping a Meditation Journal

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

A meditation journal is an invaluable tool for keeping track of your spiritual practice and progress.

A spiral bound notebook with lined pages makes a good journal because there is plenty of room to both write reflections, and make to do lists of ideas that come during meditation.

I have 5 completed journals that I pull out and review every so often. And I have been known to tear out pages after a time if I have resolved an issue that involved others, so it wouldn't be embarrassing if anyone came along and read my notes.

If you want to keep a small size meditation journal that is fine, too. It is an opportunity to keep it handy in a purse or pocket to look at during the day when you have a few moments to yourself. I like to keep both sizes of meditation journals for just that reason.

For sitting and writing after my silent meditation I use the journal with the large pages. Then I transfer key notes to reflect on during the coming time into the smaller pocket-size journal I keep with me.

Meditation includes a time of silence and reflection. It is one time that ideas in the back of your mind can come forward for attention or as insight, and at that time it is handy to have a meditation journal to put down these thoughts before they float away.

Another way to keep a meditation journal is with a loose leaf notebook. Be sure to have plenty of blank paper on hand. The advantage of this type of meditation journal is you can take and then later rework your notes, keeping what is useful and in legible form.

I have a large binder that I've set up with subject dividers. At different times in my life the subjects may be different, but it is a way to keep an overview of what is happening, my insights and how I'm doing in following through on meditation's special messages tailored to me.

In summary, maintaining a meditation journal is a practice that lets you track your spiritual progress. It is a way to state issues and write out your insights from meditation to solve sticky issues. It is a tool that goes hand in hand with making meditation time both a spiritual and practical experience. At day's end it is a way to wrap up loose threads and prepare for the morrow.



89. Meditation for Developing an Open Mind

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi


We continuously create our reality by our choices, moment to moment, maintaining harmony by following our conscience and acting for the highest good. An open mind allows us to see many options.

The reward for continually upgrading our conscience, by keeping an open mind, is that we become more conscious of our harmonious, self-effulgent nature.

We are being courageous in living according to our conscience when it would be easy to hide from others what we are doing. It is easier to slide down the hill of life, maintaining or digressing in our current state of consciousness, than to follow the hard climb up the path of what we know is right.

Meditation

Choose a quiet place to sit and begin even and regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out. Keep up this even rhythm throughout your meditation without actually doing the counting.

After reflection write out any new insights in your journal for contemplation at a later time and for future review.

Before finishing your meditation say a prayer of appreciation for the people in your life and extend those thoughts to your community and the world. As we learn more about the universe we see we are all cogs in the wheel of a fantastic creation, stretching out almost endlessly.

Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer; cactus at Meditation Mount, Ojai, California, the only place this purple cactus grows in the world

 



90. Reflecting on Opinions on Various Religions

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

If one says they belong to a religion, that attachment leads one to practice and follow those doctrines. The follower feels part of that religious family.
Description: photo credit Stan Schaap
It is like in a human family with the members growing to know each other deeply through repeated interaction and interest in each other.

When we talk about our human family it is with the credibility of having shared time and experiences together.

And when we talk about our religion, and its doctrines and practices, we have credibility because we are immersed in and live those teachings.

But when we then talk about a different religion it is from an academic stance rather than experiential.

We know our own religion best for having lived it.

As a Christian I can speak from my experiences having lived those teachings. But, I cannot speak with the same authority about any other religion, because no matter what I've read about it or studied about it I have not lived a different set of teachings from Christianity.

Meditation for reflection

Begin by sitting straight in a quiet private place where you will not be disturbed. Fold your hands in your lap or lay them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Do a few rounds of even regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out and continue the pattern until it becomes regular and you feel calm.

Here is a verse to reflect upon

"My religion is best for me
And others have the right
To best their religion live
Whatever it may be."


Repeat the verse a few times to feel the impact of the words most fully each person has the right to live their religion as best they can.

Now, turn your thoughts to an appreciation for something positive in your life.

Return to the even breathing for a minute to center your mind, then finish your meditation by taking a few deep breaths.

Resolve to practice your religion well, while at the same time feeling respect for others' religious choices.

Article Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap, North Holland, The Netherlands



91. Running Meditation for Teens and Adults

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Going for a long run has benefits on different levels. If your health is good enough to go running, here are some of the benefits, and then we'll talk about meditation while running. These are all generally known, but I'll list them for review:

1. Change of scene;
2. Aerobic activity;
3. Increased blood and hormonal circulation;
4. Draws in more oxygen and discharges more carbon dioxide;
5. Tones muscles, and because it is weight bearing maintains bone density;
6. Burns calories.

Running meditation background

My experience has been that after the first three-quarters of a mile or so, I go into the mental and physical stage where I hardly feel my body the 'runner's high' and begin to enjoy mental peace and feeling uplifted.

In this 'runner's high' I feel in a more positive state of mind, reflected in being able to work out positive resolves to issues. This is a great example of cause and effect positive thoughts leading to positive results.

How to do a running meditation

1.
Be sure your doctor okays running for you before beginning;
2. Choose a path you're familiar with;
3. Carry a cell phone or run in a neighborhood so help can be contacted if needed;
4. I recommend carrying a water bottle and small towel;
5. Stretch out before beginning and jog in place for a minute before setting out;
6. Begin at a slow pace and gradually hit your stride;
7. Wind down slowly and stretch out again at the end of your run, and re-hydrate.

During the part of the run where you've hit your stride and are enjoying the uplifting feelings is the time to do the reflective running meditation. Your breathing should be even and your arms, bent at the elbow, moving back and forth in a balanced opposition to your legs. (Right arm and left leg move forward at the same time and vice versa.)

Use this time to first think with appreciation for all that is good in your life. Then choose a situation to pick a part and look for a resolution that works for you, and all concerned, in the most productive manner.

Returning from your run, after slowly cooling down, take time to record your plans in your journal, and resolve to work on them in a steady way.

Making time for running meditation may be just the kind of meditation that suits your busy lifestyle, with health benefits for body, mind and spirit!

Author's note: I ran with the men's running team in college, because there was not a separate women's team. So, I got the benefits without participating in competition.

 



92. Meditation to Harmonize Action Reaction

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Meditation brings our body, mind, emotions and spirit into coordinated grace. In that way it becomes a useful tool when there is a need to harmonize one part of the equation that makes up our total being while we are humans.

Sometimes, when we express our opinions, they are not received as we expect. Others' reactions to our words and actions depend on their background, and their emotional, mental, and physical state of being at that moment.
Description: Photo credit of Grand Canyon Stan Schaap
Our own feelings are valid for us. We own them. And every other person owns and is entitled to their feelings, also.

If we get a reaction back that we do not expect, we need to slide over to another track of communication, or even forget about communicating with that person till another time.

We cannot expect to derive our happiness from the reaction of another person to us. Whether at work, play, home, or with family or friends, we are each responsible for acting so that we maintain our peace of mind and contentment without regard to another's feelings or reactions. This is where a meditation session becomes a valuable tool for harmonious daily living.

Some useful hints

1.
Maintain or establish positive attitudes under all circumstances. This is so important, as how we view situations determines their outcome. Positive attitudes allow the positive ideas for a resolve to come to mind. Think back. All situations from the past had a resolve; therefore it follows that all current and future situations will have a resolve, also.

2. Meditate for guidance. The combination of supplication, meditation and reflection gives us all the answers we need for the application of the guidance received in our prayer time.

3. Treat everyone and everything in life as we would our own possessions and family members. This keeps us striving to establish harmony at work, home and with friends.

4. Our body is our home base. Treat it with care and consideration, remembering that all we ingest becomes an integral part of us. Attitudes and thoughts, too, as stress is felt in our body as well as our mind.

In summary, detaching from other's reactions to us, allows us to maintain our peace of mind and harmony, best able to resolve the steady stream of situations that come our way in life. And, our right actions reap the best reactions outcomes.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo of Grand Canyon by Stan Schaap



93. Meditation on the Source of Creation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

To create an enjoyable dinner, we decide what will taste good, then buy, prepare and eat.

In order for the dinner to be ready, we use our creative mind to visualize the finished product. Then, using our logical mind we plan how to get the vision into solid form. And finally, we physically eat our created vision.

Meditation for reflection
To begin this meditation sit quietly and prepare by doing a few sets of even breathing exercises, such as breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue until you feel balanced and peaceful.

Then let your mind turn to reflect on these thoughts: On the universal scale we are seeing a vision that has been brought into physical form; a large sumptuous dinner of stellar objects, plants, animals, ourselves. All aspects interrelating through exchanges of energy to complement and sustain their physical existence.

All parts harmoniously compounded one upon the other in shapes and roles; parts of the whole, and as individuals, completeness in each of the parts.

We are curious about the nature of the Universal Creator that has brought into the physical realm harmonious, rhythmical, cyclical, growing, diversified, and intelligent forms of existence.

As noted above in the experience of dining we first had a vision, then took the necessary steps to be able to physically eat. Following this logic, we see that our precisely planned and harmoniously functioning physical universe came about from a well thought out and implemented plan.

The Creator used methods we have yet to wholly understand, as our minds are part of what was created. But, we can come to experience our existence as an essential interlocking part of the harmony of the large universal home by living the way that easily functions within the natural rhythms and cycles of everyday life.

We do this by caring, sharing, loving all forms of creation.

When we act in harmony within the creation we are closely aligning to the visionary mind of our Creator. And, as vision is as a root and closer to the Self than the ensuing physical manifestation, we are our very closest to experiencing our Creator when we live harmoniously.

"Experience CreatorSustainer
By sinking into harmony."


To finish your meditation take a few minutes to record any new insights in your journal. Take a deep breath, slowly release it and go on with your day.



94. Women Meditating for World Peace

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Throughout history women have been called nurturers. And in this time of planetary unrest, what better goal is there to nurture than world peace?!

I believe world peace will manifest through the efforts of the many applying their energies to our common goal.

I invite you to join with me every day, right from where you are at 2pm ET each day for a few moments, or longer, to think about and visualize everyone in our world living in peace and harmony.

Here is a prayer to meditate upon in those few moments we are united as a world family.

Prayer for Peace

With peace and harmony our goal
Let's shine our lights of caring
That in unity we show
Freedom from strife and oppression
Is the only way we're content to go.

Affirmations

Personal peace maintained, planetary peace gained.


Caring to love, loving to care.

Kind in mind, feelin' fine.

Though separate in individuality,
We are as one in our humanity.

By our free will it is our choice,
To view for improvement,
Or just prove a point.

All problems find a resolve.

What is here on planet earth
Is for our use, usefully.

Following conscience consistently,
A growing consciousness constantly.

 



95. Prayer in Remembrance of Terri Schiavo

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

May we remember Terri Schiavo by sending loving thoughts to her personal family and our worldwide family of humanity.

May our dearest prayers be with all who took care of her with love and tenderness.

May their example touch our hearts and souls with compassion that we may have a beautiful example in our own lives, and with our families during difficult times.

"Your life and death has touched us
More than we can say.
We came to know the struggles
That you faced from day to day.

This little prayer sends forth our wish
For your peace and joy always.
May God's grace give comfort now
And fill with peace our days."

 



96. Blessed Dearest Mother Divine Prayer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

A prayer for meditation on love, joy and devotion …
Description: ceonothus; photo credit Susan Kramer
"Blessed Dearest Mother Divine
Be with us in every hour
Guide us daily on our path
Nurture us to fully flower.

May we emulate your love
In giving with our family
And in stretching wide our arms
Care well for all humanity.

Mother's love is caring love
Mothers give with kindness
Mothers embrace without thought
Mother's love is finest.

Blessed Dearest Mother Divine
Be with us in every season
Fill our hearts with love's desire
To give most kindly without reason.
To give with love in every season."

Prayer and photo of ceonothus in The Netherlands by Susan Kramer



97. Madonna Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Some of us may have a special devotion to the Madonna symbol as an eternal life-giving mother. As we all began in a mother's womb it is not surprising that we find comfort in the mother, the Madonna.
Description: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France; photo credit Susan Kramer
To begin your meditation on the Madonna, go to a special peaceful spot it could be in the garden in nice weather or your meditation spot indoors. Then sit comfortably with a straight spine, close your eyes and fold your hands in your lap.

Take a minute to do a few rounds of even breathing to calm your body and mind. Example: breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue.

Now that your mind is calming turn your thoughts to the Madonna symbol the Mother symbol the unconditional love mother gives her child.

Reflect that unconditional love not only benefits the receiver of that caring love, but just feeling unconditional love gives us feelings of fullness and joy. And I do believe that is a big lesson for us on earth - to practice and learn about unconditional, caring love, by giving of it in plentitude.

Finish your meditation with an appreciation for having the opportunity to think loving thoughts and show them by action!

Article by Susan Helene Kramer
Photo credit Susan Helene Kramer; Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France



98. Lesson of the Snowflake Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Ah, gorgeous snowflakes! How can one not be in awe knowing every one of the billions falling at the same moment is an individual masterpiece.
Description: sheep grazing in snow; photo credit Stan Schaap
Guided Meditation

Sit with a straight back at your meditation altar or favorite location.
Fold your hands in your lap or place palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes.

Breathe evenly without stress, such as: breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 1, 2; breathe in counts 1; 2 and continue for a minute.

Let go of the counting and continue the pattern of even breathing.

Visualize yourself warmly bundled sitting on a park bench on a snowy day. Wafts of wind blow the snow into sculptured peaks nearby.

Eventually the wind begins to let up and snowflakes gently float down all around.

Looking at your coat sleeve you notice the large individual flakes retaining their shape for a few moments before melting into the warmer fabric.

You suddenly realize that this miracle of the individuality of snowflakes is an example of all in the physical world. Forms are variations of the same elements, right from the innards of DNA to the multi-dimension systems that form every different-looking object.

Everything is of the same substance, keeps its shape for awhile, then melts into another form.

Coming back to the presence of snowflakes falling the whole world feels anew in the knowledge we are one world family, as individual as the snowflakes in personality, with infinite threads going within, within, within interweaving us within the pattern of one infinite ever-present home.

Now, just sit quietly, breathing evenly, while enjoying these moments of conscious connection.

Finish your meditation with a deep breath and go forth with renewed warmth in the feelings of deep and infinite oneness with everything with all!

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit of sheep grazing in snow by Stan Schaap



99. Everything Is Interconnected Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We see variety in the world; different looking people and objects. But, going a little deeper within each form on the physical level, we find all are made up of atoms.
Description: photo credit Stan Schaap; Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands
It is only the outer forms in the combinations of atoms into molecules into systems into working forms, that we see as different looking, and may perceive as separate from ourselves.

On the finer and inner planes, what sustains one atom sustains all atoms, and that energy has different names depending on one's point of view.

This meditation is to reflect on how our lives are connected and interconnected while we have these seemingly separate bodies.

Choose a favorite place to meditate and sit up straight. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes.

Begin even regular breathing, such as breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts, and continue this even pattern without actually saying the counts. Continue this pattern for about 2 minutes to relax and harmonize your body and mind.

In this physically relaxed but mentally alert state, visualize yourself walking down a busy street. People are milling about doing errands, shopping, going to work or school, visiting friends, and a myriad of other reasons for being there.

Appearing independent, all are upon closer investigation interconnected.

One may be the grocery shop owner that provides a place to buy food. Another may be a farmer growing that food; another may sew our clothing in a factory; another may be a school teacher; another a truck driver getting merchandise from here to there, and so on.

What seems like many people doing different things, going different ways are really acts of serving others, and being served by others.

Materially, the forest trees give wood for furniture; the trees are fed by the sun and rain and soil they stand in; they may provide homes for birds and in turn the birds droppings may fertilize the soil surrounding the tree helping provide lush foliage.

The natural world is interconnected within itself and with people too.

Reflecting on these things, take some time to plan how you can use your time to better nurture people and the world - adding to world harmony and peace.

Take a deep breath, stretch and go forth with the cozy family feeling of being part of the larger world we call home.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer, and photo credit Stan Schaap; Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands



100. Prayer in Honor of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi


May this tribute and memorial prayer in honor of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter extroadinaire, give comfort and also inspiration to continue his work.
Description: photo credit Stan Schaap - flying free
"Dear Steve, you came into our lives
In unexpected ways
Made us aware of wild animals' plight
That knowledge will stay with us all days.

Your love for wild nature opened our thoughts
To see that in our earthly home
Man and animals together live
Never far apart roam.

We depend on each other
Each playing a role
Respecting the animals
Allows them to grow.

Into their potential
In a healthy earth home
So all live and thrive
Man lives not alone.

We honor your bright life
The time you were here
Through your inspiration sparks
Ringing out loud and clear

We'll continue with wild animals
The work you held dear."

Prayer by Susan Kramer; photo credit of seagull flying free over the North Sea by Stan Schaap

 



101. Contemplation and Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

When we think about something, we are contemplating what to do next, what would be best, what course to follow. Contemplation is a most useful skill to develop, as we usually make the wisest choices from forethought.
Description: photo credit of Jackdaw by Susan Kramer
Before I go to sleep each night I spend some time as part of my meditation routine reviewing what happened that day, and how I wish to proceed on the issues for the next day.

Keeping a journal is useful

As we contemplate we can take notes on ideas that come to mind. Writing down my ideas in my journal while contemplating helps me evaluate the best course to follow. I look over my notes and decide the pros and cons of each idea before making an important decision.

As we progress in upgrading our consciousness through sticking to the virtues and truths we have decided to follow, we will more quickly be able to make the best decision when called upon to decide spontaneously.

As we upgrade our consciousness
Our conscious decisions
Become more spontaneously for the best.
Time spent in contemplation
Uses our mind optimally
Stirs our thoughts and sifts out the dross
Leaving us with just the right answer.


Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer



102. The Incorruptibles What Is Happening?

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Why do some saints seem to leave incorruptible bodies behind when their soul or spirit have long fled? This is a question that has long perplexed me.

Last night I watched a television program on the National Geographic Channel here in The Netherlands called "Sleeping Beauties : The Incorruptibles." Again my long-held interest came to the surface.

I won't give away the findings in the program incase it has not be televised in your area, but I will give my personal comments from the point of view of meditation and spirituality.

Most of the incorruptibles bodies that have not naturally decomposed over a year or so, and haven't been imbalmed are of people who led saintly lives.

I find it astounding that the bacteria that very quickly begin the normal decomposition of a body are missing in the incorruptibles. I mean, don't we all naturally have this kind of bacteria?

The shocking answer seems to be apparently not.

Then why don't the incorruptible saints have the decomposing bacteria?

I think that when a person's life is filled with joy it may be the outcome of years of meditation and prayer. And that meditation practiced with a pure heart acts as a vibrational cleansing to the superficial and self-centered mind. (An example is silverware being cleaned by vibration.)

And that the deep waves generated in meditation have so great a calming and peaceful effect that harmony reigns in the physical bodily cells as well as the mind lasting years beyond physical death.

The power of goodness and kindness can be seen to be almost immeasurable in the lives of people we end up labeling saints.

Personally, this spurs me on to redouble my efforts in meditation and prayer, that I may bring the greatest good to fruition by my life and enjoy peace and joy in the process!



103. Meditation and Heart Health

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

The evidence has been mounting for some time, and more and more it points to the benefits of meditation for heart health for those interested in the medical details I've listed Dr. Dean Ornish's books below.

One way that meditation reduces a stress reaction is by using the mind and breath to relax the body.

"Instant Meditation" is a practice of standing back from yourself and concentrating on your breath for a minute cutting short a further bodily reaction to stress.

To practice, when faced with a sudden stress or trauma begin counting and regulating your breaths like this: count one breathe in; count two breathe out; count three breathe in; count 4 breathe out; then repeat the entire one to four sequence.

After a few rounds of this concentrated breathing pattern the mind is distracted momentarily from the problem and the body avoids reacting in a fight or flight mode.

A regular practice of longer meditation sessions such as deep relaxation meditation is a chance to totally relax the body and mind.

Dr. Dean Ornish says in his "Guided Meditation Series" here use "… Deep Relaxation to encourage the body to let go of stress, tension, anxiety, and pain".

Dr. Ornish has authored and co-authored many books on heart health which I have read through over the years. I've personally known Dr. Ornish since the mid-70s and recommend his work and books. Here are two available at Amazon.com if you wish to understand more of the scientific benefits of meditation, yoga, better diet and exercise
1. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease
2.
Stress Diet and Your Heart: A Lifetime Program for Healing Your Heart Without Drugs or Surgery

And from my long-time friend and yogini supreme, Nirmala Heriza
Dr. Yoga: A Complete Guide to the Medical Benefits of Yoga (Yoga for Health)

And finally, my own book on the practical benefits of meditation for children and teens that includes the "Instant Meditation" technique geared for their ages
Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer



104. Gaining Insight through Reflective Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi


Taking time to think over a situation on any level reveals there may be more options than what comes to mind at first thought.

This process of seeking out all the relevant facts before acting and planning leads to the most constructive result of our efforts. And add to that holding a positive attitude while thinking over options leads to what is best for the situation and all concerned.
Description: photo credit Stan Schaap
Reflective meditation is an opportunity to get to the most positive resolve.

In the quiet of meditation the body stills and is one less interference to the mind's train of thought. Sitting or reclining quietly is a time to take an issue from its roughest outer edge, and gently pull off the coverings of irrelevant and unworkable solutions to reveal the pure nugget of truth, of wisdom underlying all.

As we quietly reflect we are playing out one scenario after another in our mind with most of our concentration. Trying to figure out a sticky situation while doing another activity would be harder and take longer than the concentrated time given in reflective meditation.

To practice reflective meditation

Sit in your meditation spot with a journal and pen at your side. Begin with some even regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out do not hold your breath in between. Keep up this rhythmic breathing throughout your period of reflection.

Think of an appreciation for the good you have in your life. This sets your mind on a positive track, which is a necessary ingredient to being able to reach the best possible answer.

After all, positive thoughts lead to positive results. Negative thoughts do not lead down the path to a positive result. It is the action of karma, like for like, that can be observed in the world around us.

Now on to the topic for reflection sitting or lying still begin by considering the options that first come to mind. Take a moment to record them in your journal. Write out the pros and cons. It may take awhile for just the right answer to come to mind because as we go more inward new options present themselves that weren't obvious at the beginning.

Gaining insight is a huge benefit of reflective meditation.

When you feel you've uncovered the resolve write it out in your journal for action as needed. To finish your meditation take a deep breath, stretch out, stand and go on with your day.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap

 



105. Insight Meditation Technique

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We spend our quiet moments mentally conversing with ourselves, thinking over situations and problems on all levels. Should I do this or that? How should I act?

We can get good advice from our 'wise voice within' by following the 3-part sequence of
1.
asking;
2. quietly waiting;
3. then listening to advice that comes to mind.

How do we know the advice is really for the highest good of all concerned? Answer: Our body feels relaxed and our mind stays calm in thinking about our plan of action.
Description: Jan Sluijters - vase with flowers, 1912; photo credit Susan Kramer
Insight Meditation Practice

Preparation: Either sit straight, hands in lap, or if you can stay awake, lie on your back in relaxation pose. Close your eyes.

Begin even regular breathing. Example: Breathe in 1 count; breathe out 1 count; breathe in 1 count; continue for about a minute.

Next, bring your attention to what you want further insight about; ask for what you want to know.

Now, for a minute or more, go back to listening to your regular breaths. It is during this quiet phase of meditation, when the body is relaxed and mind calmed by even breathing, that our wise voice within our creative, inventive mind comes to the forefront. It is heard in the form of new insights and their practical applications. Stay with these new ideas for a few minutes.

To finish your meditation take a deep breath in and out; stand up and stretch; take time to write new insights and ideas in a notebook or journal.

Article and photo credit by Susan Helene Kramer. Painting by Jan Sluijters vase with flowers, 1912, Kroeller-Mueller Museum, The Netherlands



106. Walking Meditation for Problem Solving

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

When there is a chance for a 10 minute walk, here is a meditation for problem solving I find useful. Even circling a large parking lot when no chance to go into the country is an opportunity …

Setting out on a familiar pathway, let arms swing at your sides in opposition to legs: when left foot steps forward, right arm swings forward.

By walking a familiar path, there is more opportunity for concentrating attention while traveling the upcoming guided inner journey.

Begin by mentally counting the in-breath as 1, 2, and the out-breath as 3, 4. When the pattern of breathing is established, let go of counting.

As the body warms, regular breathing settles into its automatic pattern; thoughts begin to clear.

On the imaginary pathway of mind, just up ahead is a long strand of beach; a sunrise bursting upon the horizon.

Walk along toward the sunrise in your mind, feeling a rise in energy and spirits in the growing warmth of sun. Let sunlight dispel any gloomy thoughts by replacing them with caring thoughts for another.

If a problem comes to mind, form it into a question that asks for action.

Example: A school friend or co-worker is getting on your nerves. Form the question "How can I get along with ... better?"

Moving on, absorb the warmth of sunlight while noticing possibilities coming to mind for solving the problem. Next, make the mental decision to go with the solution that brings a positive result for all.

Because of making the decision to act in a positive way, enjoy the feelings of increased energy in body, emotions and mental alertness, along with the satisfaction that comes with discovering how to solve a problem as a win-win solution.

As time for the walk comes to an end, mentally sit on a convenient boulder and view the sun-lit horizon; know that by making inward journeys as this, problems can be sorted out, leading to solutions for the common good.

Finally, coming back in mind to the familiar pathway and concluding the walk, take a deep breath; refreshed, energized for constructive action.

Walkin' along
Refreshed in mind
Solutions arise
Feelin' fine

 



107. Ecumenical and Interfaith Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We are one world family seeking truth, beauty, harmony and world peace.

This meditation is for anyone, irrespective of religious faith it is nourishing to the underlying spirit that unites us in humanity.
Description: Photo credit Susan Kramer
To begin Sit on a cushion on the floor, legs folded, hands in lap or on legs, or sit in a chair with spine as straight as possible. Alternately lie on your back if you can stay awake.

Close your eyes. Breathe evenly in and out counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out; counts 1, 2, breathe in and continue for about a minute.

Now, let go of counting but continue to breathe in an even in and out pattern.

Let your thoughts turn to a universal virtue such as love caring love. Think about how you currently show caring love in your life. Reflect on how you feel when you give caring love perhaps your body feels both relaxed and energized and your mind peaceful. How could you give caring love to at least one other?

Say a few affirmations for personal and world peace such as

"I extend my personal peacefulness to everyone."
"Personal peace is my aim - world peace we will gain."
"My spirit of love nurtures my soul and our world."

Finish your meditation by taking a deep breath, opening your eyes and stretching.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer
Photo credit Susan Helene Kramer; sculpture by A. A. Dumonte 1833 Le Louvre, Paris, France



108. Radiant Heart Meditation Practice

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

In our changing roles we are the unchanging ones, able to radiate caring love in any situation, and able to feel others' love for us from our underlying constant of lovingness.

Throughout life we relate with people in the format of the roles we are playing, and the roles we see them in. We dance in and out of relationships, but on the inside we remain our essential 'Grand Self' able to give and receive love.
Description: Photo credit Stan Schaap

While playing our roles we come to understand each other by feeling how similar we are underneath. Our role-playing lets us see many perspectives and points of view.

Underlying all is the thread of our commonality, interlocking us as the stitches in a sweater. One long thread with many loops; the fabric of humanity.

We ask ourselves who we are. At any moment, in whatever role, we each can say, "I am the one who always has love to share." Roles change. Love is constant.

Sitting Meditation Practice

Time: 2 to 10 minutes or more.


Preparation: If indoors, sit on a carpet, folded blanket, or pillow on the floor with back held straight and facing forward. Clasp your hands and let them rest in your lap; close your eyes.

Breathe easily and evenly, in and out. Silently count each in breath as one count, and each out breath as one count, till 50 counts, or another even number.

Example:
Count 1: breathe in
Count 2: breathe out
Count 3: breathe in
Continue…

After the 50 counts while you are feeling calm begin thinking caring thoughts about at least one other person or even a pet. Notice that you will start feeling joy and harmony in yourself by holding caring and loving thoughts for another. Hold onto these thoughts after meditation time.

To finish, take a final deep breath in, slowly let it out, open your eyes, stand up, and stretch, refreshed.

Thinking caring, loving thoughts opens up a flow of energy. Self-centered thoughts are like a log-jam in a river; clearing the way releases a great gush of energy that flows freely, energizing us.

At any moment, in whatever role we play
Son, daughter, mother, father, friend
We each can say
"I am the one who always has love to share"

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo by Stan Schaap

 



109. Problem Solving Meditation Techniques

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

We seem to turn to what has timeless value for us when we are in distress, or having trouble solving a problem.

Under stress, our thoughts may not be calm enough to do a peaceful meditation right away. Spending time in prayerful intercession asking for what is wanted followed by silent meditation to glean insight and direction, allows us the opportunity to both ask and receive.

Then follows the time for reflection on how to put new insights to use.

Here is a meditation I find useful…

Preparation: Sit up straight, hands in your lap, or lie on your back in a deep relaxation pose; close your eyes. Begin breathing evenly and regularly: breathe in 1 count; breathe out 1 count; continue on for a minute.

Part 1: Use a set prayer of intercession, or your own words, to ask for what you want. I even combine a set prayer, followed by my own words. Example: At night I say this prayer from my childhood "Now I lay me down to sleep…" which I then follow with concerns in my own words.

Part 2: After saying my prayer and expressing my concerns I quietly meditate; listening to my silent and regular breathing as my thoughts and body relax and calm down.

Part 3: As clarity and new ideas come during the meditation I reflect on how I can put them to work the next day or in the future.

Part 4: I finish my practice with a prayer of appreciation in my own words for the insights gained.

Prayer, meditation, then thoughtful reflection
Combined for receiving useful direction

 



110. Morality Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Do we understand what morality encompasses? Do we say one thing, but act the opposite way?

Morality, to me, means living a life that causes no one harm.

Morality is keeping personal commitments when faced with challenges, or when it would be easy to cheat, because no one would find out.

The problem with cheating on morality is that our actions form our personality. When we live good and moral lives, we are building a personality and way of thinking that will spontaneously choose for the highest good.

When we live without morals we can't expect to enjoy harmony or peace in our lives, and by our actions we may drag others down by exposure to our negative way of living.

Here is a meditation to help fortify our will to choose to live a moral life.

Meditation

Sit in a quiet spot or in your meditation space. Keep your meditation journal and pen at your side. Begin even and regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in, and 2 counts to breathe out. Keep up this rhythmic pattern during your meditation without actually saying the counts. Breath is the tie between the body and mind. When we are stressed, even breathing is calming.

Take a few moments to think lovingly about someone or a pet dear to you; this brings up a positive frame of mind.

Reflect on this affirmation: I choose to live a moral life because it gives me peace of mind and a happy, harmonious life.

Repeat this affirmation at least 5 times. Sit quietly for a few minutes thinking about what you need to do to live a moral life. Write your plans in your journal.

To finish your meditation, breathe in deeply and slowly release the breath. Now stretch out and continue with your day, in a moral way.



111. Meditation on Attitude

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Attitude supercedes all our planning and thoughts. And thoughts determine actions. It pays the highest dividend to hold the best attitude in all we do, as like determines like.

For example, if we want to get a certain job our prospective employer is most likely looking further than the job applications. He will probably choose the candidate who, when interviewed, exhibits a positive attitude or a helpful or caring attitude over someone with a bad outlook.

Meditation for developing a positive attitude

Sit up straight on a cushion on the floor in a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed. Alternately, sit straight on a chair with your feet planted on the floor. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs.

If you are sitting in front of an altar, first light your candle to represent the Light of Knowledge within. Some like to have fresh flowers on their altar; choose the items that you find uplifting.

Let your eyes rest barely open rather than shut tight or wide open. Let the light in front of you be the example of warmth you wish to develop in your character, in your attitude.

Begin a period of even regular breathing such as - 2 counts breathe in; 2 counts breathe out; 2 counts breathe in and continue this rhythm without actually saying the counts. Just settle into it.

Breath is a tie between body and mind. Regular breathing calms the mind and relaxes the body. This practice is a good preparation for contemplation on the following:

Attitude is what carries us through life more easily if we strive to maintain a positive outlook, or a rocky ride if we let out attitude become negative.

Make the following affirmations to develop a positive attitude:
It is my choice to be positive.
I am being kind and caring.
I see that what I think determines what I do.
I want good in my life, so I am keeping a positive attitude.

Finish your meditation with an appreciation for at least one positive trait you already have. Take a deep breath in; slowly release it. Open your eyes. Now take some moments to record your insights in your meditation journal for later review.

Attitudes determine thoughts
Thoughts determine actions.


Meditation and photo by Susan Helene Kramer; lilacs, The Netherlands



112. Walking Meditation to Become Peaceful

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Walking meditation is a particularly useful way to recover your peace and balanced mind and body after being upset or stressed. It is for kids, teens and adults.

The body, mind, emotions are tied together with the breath.

Even and regulated breathing calms the body and mind when upset.

Walking along with regulated breathing is especially useful in bringing the mind back to center: you are combining physical and the breath in a harmonious rhythmic pattern.

To begin:

Pick a pathway you are used to and that has a safe walking surface. Next consideration is safety from predators, so either walk with a buddy or in an enclosed area like the inside perimeter of a playground or school track. I especially like to take a regular walk on the nearby college track when teams are not working out.

As you step out begin a regular rhythmic pattern of breathing, such as one count for every two steps. Let your arms swing at your side back and front in opposition to your legs. For example: as your right foot steps forward, swing your left arm forward, and as your left foot steps forward swing your right arm forward.

So now you have your breathing and physical exercise all set. It's time to add thoughts that calm and bring harmony back into your life so that when your walk is over you feel positive about the issues you face.

When you set out think about a positive event from your past. Try to relive that experience on your walk. The benefits of remembering are it takes you back to a harmonious state of mind; you are recreating it for the present. Just to remember and recreate those thoughts while walking clears away the debris of unrest and any negativity you may be feeling.

You are replacing negative with positive thoughts, which can snowball into further positive ideas to help solve any problems in your life. Also, recreating the positive event shows that you can get through difficulties and regain peace of mind again.

Let the rhythm and regular breathing of walking help you with your problem solving while invigorating you with fresh energy brought up through walking.

Walking meditation is a movement meditation that brings forward the eternal peace that lies within each of us. And in the deeper peace we most easily find the answers to recovering harmony in our lives.



113. Commitment and Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

When in the deeper recesses of mind, as when in meditation, I've found the strong and vibrant energy well up to carry out commitments in the everyday world.

Meditation is going within and coming back with a ripened fruit. It is like slowly turning on the water tap: When we first start to rotate the handle there is no reaction, and then suddenly the water flows in force.

Meditation is itself a commitment to dive deep hoping the rewards will let themselves be known. It is a way to learn about commitment and how the process of sticking to an action bears a predictable result.

An experience

I'll share one of my experiences sitting in meditation outdoors at the top of a foothill just below mountains near the Pacific Ocean: This was the day I was to dedicate myself in service to God through service to humanity. The thought of this commitment was with me for several years as I considered that my actions henceforth would be more on public display.

I laid a blanket on the hillside and sat to meditate beginning with a short prayer for strength and guidance. Then, I began to mentally say my mantra until immersed in the Holy Vibration. My thoughts trailed to the commitment of devotional service and how I would just quietly have a service of prayer and stay in the background in public.

But, that was not to be. Suddenly I felt a force of energy comparable to a strong wind whip through my torso from left to right invigorating me with a new attitude of public service and the energy to carry it out. And, after 20 years the energy is still with me supporting me in public rather than just in silent service.

This story also confirms the expression that we should be careful what we wish for because we might get it.

Commitment takes energy to follow a certain path while bypassing side trails. It makes us look ahead with the goal in our vision and the thought that the goal is worth letting other side attractions slide away. If we dip our finger into 10 different jars of jam for a sample taste, we get filled up and can't enjoy the finished tart.

Meditate deeply on a commitment you wish to make. The strong energy of Spirit will guide your thoughts to a plan of action if you are aiming for the higher good for yourself.



114. Prayer in Memory of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi


On February 5, 2008, in the town of Vlodrop, The Netherlands, the great master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed on to other dimensions.
It is with great respect that I give this meditation master appreciation and tribute. He spent half a century bringing meditation benefits to the West in the brand of his own transcendental meditation.

Prayer of Thankfulness for Maharishi's Gift
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer; ducks on pond in The Netherlands
"You gave the world a priceless gift
A way of opening hearts of all
By teaching us through meditation
Peace is ours to share; our call.

The state of meditation brings
Awareness that we are on par
With our innate state of grace
Enveloping our world both near and far.

That meditation is a song
Its melody heard both far and wide
From each of us to all of us
Includes the place where all abide.

In love and grace within our Self
We live a blessed life on earth
When meditation's flowing current
Carries us through daily work.

One in heart, one in peace
We are from many lands
Standing together, not apart
Meditating on peace
All dear as friends.
"

Article and photo by Susan Helene Kramer; mallards on winter pond in The Netherlands.

 



115. Love, Meditate, Realize – What Does It Mean?

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Love, meditate, realize is part of a devotional chant I learned from two very dear spiritual teachers Sri Swami Satchidananda, and his teacher Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.

September 8th is the birthday anniversary of Sri Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), and those devotional words were in my mind upon awakening this September 8th.
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer
This is also a very special day for me as it is the day I began writing spiritual essays in 1982. So, to commemorate I will comment on how these three words have shaped my life and spiritual progress for more than 20 years.

Love
Love to me means caring. Caring in action. But first, holding a caring attitude leading to caring thoughts, then the actions that naturally follow.

Even the word love brings up energy in my body and positive thoughts to mind. And feeling energized by thinking of love, I have plenty of incentive to connect with others.

"Love carries me along through the day
In kind and caring ways."


Love is a choice yes, a choice.

Love begins within and spreads without. In the spreading of love we feel that connection and completeness we seek, to feel fulfilled.

Love is primary on the spiritual path as it picks us up from the dullness of earthly and therefore temporary pursuits and plops us firmly on the fast track to realizing our oneness with ALL.

Meditate
Meditation is so essential in our earthly life for releasing the past and opening us to the ever present reality of NOW. Now lived every moment, minute and day day after day.

During meditation we watch what has come before pass by.

And in the past's release we make space for the energy of joy to take hold. And the more we meditate, the more firmly we stay seated in joy when events in our lives take a tumble. It is the soft cushion to fall back upon during stressful times. Meditation is so centering and joyfilled that it gives us a mini-vacation right in the midst of earthly troubles.

Realize
A loving attitude, loving thoughts, loving actions combined with meditation set us firmly ontrack for realization.

And, what is realization? Is it not the opening flower of joy that transforms us into fragrant blossoms in the presence of every other person and our own soul.

And as we are living, body and soul on the planet now, it is most enjoyable to realize all the joy possible for us and not waste a moment accepting less of life.

The good news is that realization is in our hands, brought to the forefront of our thoughts by choosing to love and choosing to meditate.

The choice is there for us all!

Check out the links at the foot of the page for ways to meditate that fit your lifestyle.

Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer; pressed leaves from the Leaves of Finlandi Collection



116. Humanitarian Effects of Meditation and Prayer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

It would seem that many prayers and meditations have been answered in the recent news of Warren Buffett, and Melinda and Bill Gates combining their billions of dollars for the benefit of humanity.
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer
Let's continue efforts in meditating for world peace and add to that the goal of world health. By helping a great number of people healthwise we raise the standard of living for humanity as a whole making the world a better home and haven for all.

Prayer for World Health

"May we see the benefits of helping the poor
And helping those sick to better health
That they may become productive.

May we be inspired to help those in need
As we may have been helped in our need in the past
To reach the health and strength we have now.

May the great charity of a few
Spread to charity of many
For brothers and sisters of the world we are.

May blessings of charity
Extend hand to hand
Ringing around our world, one land."

Meditation for World Health

Sit in your favorite quiet spot, close your eyes and begin even regular breathing, such as 2 counts to breathe in; 2 counts to breathe out; 2 counts to breathe in and continue on.

Begin visualizing our world full of healthy people, with clean air to breathe and enough nutritious food.

See children running and playing and learning. See teens growing and learning to share and give.

See adults working and sharing and giving so all the world lives as a big helping family of earth as we are.

Take a deep breath and repeat this short meditation when you have a few quiet minutes. It calms and balances body and mind, and adds positive thoughts to our world.



117. Kindness Meditation


Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

By acting kindly, we remain energized and free of tension, avoiding self-induced stress in both our mind and body. A smile uses less energy and fewer muscles than a frown!

Benefits of being kind:
1. Our mind stays tension-free;
2. Our body becomes relaxed, but energized;
3. With reduced stress, our mental and bodily health stays at its optimum as long as possible;
5. We infect others with the energy of kindness;
6. Our self-esteem improves, because being kind allows us to look more kindly at ourselves, too.

Meditation Practice

Preparation: Sit with a straight back, hands folded in lap and close eyes. Begin even and regular breathing. Example: breathe in one count; breathe out one count; breathe in one count; continue counting with your breathing for at least a minute.

Just continue even breathing but bring to mind an incident from the past when you acted with kindness. Smile to yourself as you remember your content feelings; perhaps you felt a relaxation in your body and a peace with life. Again enjoy those warm feelings.

Going on, think about ways you can be kind in your daily life; after all, isn't that warm contented feeling worth recapturing and experiencing each day!

Finish your meditation by thinking with appreciation of those close to you and for our world family. Open your eyes, stretch and go on with your day, kinder in mind.

Kind in mind, feelin’ fine;
Fine and fully alive

 



118. Intelligent Design in Meditation and Prayer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

"Intelligent Design" is in the news but is the concept really new?

Relating it to prayer and meditation, my opinion is we are using our intelligence when we design a prayer or sit in meditation asking for the greatest good to occur.

After all, our wish of the moment may seem important, but how much more we gain by intelligently asking for the greater which I see as long lasting good to occur.

Allowing events to move ahead in an intelligent design comes first from inspiration within to hold tight to attitudes of kindness and helpfulness qualities that bring forth harmonious thoughts reaping harmonious results.

Looking at the natural world with an eye for the underlying harmony of atom upon atom, compounding into molecules and systems that work together for the functioning of the simplest to most complex life forms, we see "Intelligent Design" at work as cooperation.

Let us align with "Intelligent Design" in prayers and meditations by holding onto thoughts that most benefit our world, and therefore ourselves in the long run.

Prayer and Affirmation

"May I align with "Intelligent Design"
That my attitudes and thoughts
Produce harmonious, positive results."



119. Meditate in the Midst of a Busy Family

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Whoever said that meditation must be a somber activity practiced in peace and quiet has not meditated in the midst of busy family life!

Here are some circumstances I have been in and meditated, because I really needed to center myself and reclaim my sanity:

Standing in the kitchen cooking dinner kids running through the room, cat on the counter, hubby pulling into the driveway. My meditation: stand with feet slightly apart, lean against the counter, begin breathing evenly and visualize dinner done and presented at the table surrounded by my hubby and 5 polite and quiet kids. (Don't visualizations become reality?)

Driving the van down the freeway with 20 miles to go and 10 minutes to get there and the kids trying to outdo each other letting me know this! My meditation: turn the music up to block out the kids shouts, begin humming along which the kids hate and will do anything to get me to stop even become quiet! With peace reigning I begin to hear the inner spiritual music right along with that from the CD. Listening to both sounds is rejuvenating and we arrive just in time without feeling stressed.

Kids' bedtime uh, I mean my bedtime. When 9pm rolls around I tell the kids I have to go to bed, because I must get up earlier than them in the morning to get everyone ready for school. When I'm safely behind my closed bedroom door, I prepare myself for bed, but then enjoy one or two luscious meditation activities.



120. Music for Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Music can be a great background in a 'relaxation meditation'. Absorbing ourselves in the sounds can take our mind off stressful situations.

Put your CD on and recline on the sofa, bed, or floor, and begin even breathing counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out; counts 1, 2, breathe in and continue for a minute.

Then, keep up the even breathing, but let go of the counting and listen to the soothing sounds of your music.

Here are some of the CDs I like. They can be ordered from Amazon.com by following these links.

Yanni - Live at the Acropolis
Description: Yanni - Live at the Acropolis

Ali Akbar Khan - Journey
Description: Ali Akbar Khan - Journey

Loreena McKennitt - The Book of Secrets
Description: Loreena McKennitt - The Book of Secrets

John Michael Talbot - Chant from the Hermitage
Description: John Michael Talbot - Chant from the Hermitage

Best of Kitaro I
Description: Best of Kitaro I


 

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Collection Two 41.
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Collection Three 81.
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Collection Four 121.
to 160 http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3c.html
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to 200 http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3d.html

 

All content on this site is copyright Susan Helene Kramer
 and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.
Email: susan@susankramer.com

Ebooks or Books - click covers

Description: Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer

Description: Meditation Lessons for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer

A meditation and yoga practitioner since 1976, Susan, Shuchi, writes on practical spirituality, meditation, yoga, family and social issues, and dance. Her instructional books are listed at her web site http://www.susankramer.com/books.html


 

page created October 3, 2009; updated April 19, 2011; April 6, 2014

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