“Peace Meditation” (Click to listen)
At every Unity/New Thought center there is usually a part of the service devoted to a time of guided prayer and meditation. It’s a way to let go of any cares and concerns we might have brought into the room, and gives us a chance to connect with Spirit and each other.
Beginning today, I’ll share one of the short meditations I’ve delivered over the years from one of my services in churches and centers across the country. Some may be like the “Throwback Thursdays” sermons I’ve been posting lately from my days as a student or young minister, and may not be all that “great.” The quality may suffer the ravages of age, some may suffer from the ravages of inexperience. Some may be backed by live music, some by canned, some may have been delivered without any music whatsoever.
I’m going to be honest here and say that I tend to have a love/hate relationship with this part of the Sunday service. I tend to stress out about this more than sermons. I know many ministers that can lead these extemporaneously with no prep time. Me, I tend to script them ahead, or at least have a few notes and guideposts to help me along the way.
The first time I ever preached, as a student, I was filling in for one of my seminary instructors, at her church in Flint, Michigan where I now have the honor of speaking at regularly. I was extremely sick that weekend, with a raging fever and and a throat that sounded and felt like two metal files being rubbed together. After years of seeing all my ministry mentors (including Marianne Williamson) delivering amazing meditations off the top of their heads (and/or guided by Spirit) I went into it cold, with no notes whatsoever.
The combination of the illness and my nerves led me to have a running conversation with myself while I was leading the mediation, basically second guessing every word coming out of my tortured throat.
During the meditation, as I simultaneously felt my outer voice begin to go and my inner voice was telling me that I had guided my audience into a blind alley that I couldn’t possibly bring them home from, I went into a sheer panic. I interrupted the mellow mood in the room by declaring that I was afraid that my voice was about to go, and that rather than continue and not have a voice for the sermon, I better just jump right in. (Over a decade later of course I know now just to wind the meditation down quickly, bringing their awareness back into the room, and with them being none the wiser that anything is amiss.)
So since then, while I’m trying to create a calm, relaxing space for my listeners to connect with their Higher Power, I tend to be far from that state of mind myself, and I find I’m most comfortable if I have something I’ve written down in front of me, or a passage or a poem that I might want to weave in at some point. But what often happens these days, as is Spirit’s plan, is that having the notes to fall back on is usually just enough to have me in a relaxed space where, at least for most of the time, I actually am just saying what comes into my awareness.
This first meditation audio I am sharing with you comes from by way of a sermon I gave at the Spiritual Life Center in Ferndale, Michigan sometime in 2014. Accompanying my words is the sublime keyboard playing of music director “Piano” Mike Breen.
The subject is something that we can all use a little of every day. Peace.
May you find some listening to this.