The assignment for this week presented the challenge of writing a 2 page spread for either the New Era or Ensign magazines, which are magazines published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. I had a slow start trying to figure out where I wanted to go with this project. I began pouring over the vast depths of my mind (it’s easy to get lost in there) and came up empty. What came to me was the idea to incorporate part of my last project, combined with a church lesson I taught the first week of this month. I started to search online to find doctrinal or Church messages about meditation. I found what I was looking for and then found some images that had pictures of teens meditating, and another of scriptures. I chose my audience as readers of the New Era. My main thought process here was that I know it can be very overwhelming as a teenager to find outlets or ways to focus your energy and find the kind a way to center yourself. I’ve included the article I came up with along with the images, and links to the images.
Story: Boost Your Connection
You sit down, open up your scriptures, and stare blankly at the pages. No matter how much you try and focus on the words, you’re distracted. Prayer has helped before but for some reason, today is different. There is a wall that’s very real and isn’t going away. I’m here to help you break through those moments where you feel stuck; when the world is so busy and distracting that you don’t have the connection to your Heavenly Father that you’d like to. I’m going to talk about something that is seldom discussed in the church; Meditation.
David O. McKay taught, “We pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion.” Wait a minute you feel yourself saying, isn’t meditation for people outside of the Church? Nobody has ever talked to me about meditating, so it must be something the Church doesn’t believe in. David O. McKay furthered the Churches views on meditation when he said, “Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as “a form of private devotion, or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.” Would you believe that meditation is considered a form of prayer?
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help center your life, calm you when life feels overly complex, and help to establish the connection to your Father in Heaven that we all strive for. While meditation has its roots in Hinduism, Latter Day Saints can use the methods that have been adopted all over the world to find inner peace. If you were to look up the meaning of meditation, you’d find that it means a, ““variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy, and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness.” You might be surprised to discover that meditation also carries with it health benefits that will help you to live a longer, healthier life.
How can you go about trying meditation on your own to see if it helps you to strengthen the experiences with prayer, scriptures, and your Heavenly Father? I’m going to outline some very basic ways to start your journey into giving meditation a shot. It won’t require much of your time, and it could very well make the kind of changes in your day-to-day activities that really make a difference.
- Find a quite place to sit or lie down
- Close your eyes
- Breath naturally, don’t try and control your breathing
- Focus on how your body inhales and exhales. Focus on the breath itself, and slowly remove outside distractions. If you get distracted, focus on your breath and continue to focus your energy.
Try meditation for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night to start to see if you notice any changes when you go to pray or read your scriptures. The Lord wants us to establish the very best connection we can with him, meditation just might be the thing you’re missing in your daily meditations.