"Active" Meditation

Meditation - a powerful tool for recovery!
garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:17 am

Hi Manette,

You might find this sort of odd, but I'm not what you would call a "Christian" or "Catholic". Yet I've learned so much and grown spiritually through reading and spending time with some incredible Catholic people.

I haven't read the books you mentioned, but I love the work of Thomas Merton. What an amazing man - his work is very deep and poetic. He was a man who knew himself well, especially his "dark side" which sometimes colors his writing. Just keep in mind when reading Merton that he was EXTREMELY hard on himself - I believe he was harder on himself than God ever was - AND he lived an ascetic life. Contemplative life and vocations have unique challenges, and the folks who live that way face a "different set of demons" so to speak. But Merton is top notch!

You also mentioned a book I'll have to read - I never heard of the title. I am familiar with Ignatian theology and was real impressed. The "Exercises" in it's original form can bore you to tears. But if there ever was a practical approach to living a life that serves God and teaches any man or woman how to love and serve our neighbors, St. Ignatius and the Jesuits have one of the best things going that I've ever seen AND experienced. The big thing for me was having "teachers" who were alcoholics and could explain St. Ignatius in a way that I could understand.

For me, it's the EXPERIENCE I've gained by living out some of St Ignatius' suggestions that it's so much more than "boring church dogma". There are so many "universal spiritual principles" available where you're seeking that you can't help but learn how to live and love "in the now" -That is if your mind isn't closed by prejudice against religion or that alcoholic "perverse streak" talked about in the book that rejects just about any concept of a personal relationship with a Higher Power.

Good luck, stay tuned, and thanks for helping me.

Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:00 am

Postby tj » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:30 am


Here is the description of A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius from Amazon:

Based on the parallels between St. Ignatius and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anony-mous. These 52 meditations consist of sections from St. Ignatius Spiritual Exercises, followed by an exploration of both what it means and how it relates to 12-Step philosophy. At the end of each meditation is a short encapsulation, which Father Harbaugh whimsically calls a Second Prelude, to go. Re-freshing and down to earth, this book will set you briskly along a new path and greater independence.

I, too hope that it is in words that I find interesting and can understand. I will share anything that I find to be helpful.


garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:30 am

Hey Annie,

Can you tell me if you've experienced the "stilling" of your mind in active meditation without a guide - or maybe I'm trying to understand if I can "happen" into that state sort of spontaneously?

I think I might be like you in the "sitting still" category :oops: , but I'm also probably like you in that I can "walk and chew gum" at the same time. So I think it would help me to understand active meditation a little better and try to use it.


Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm

Postby anniemac » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:15 pm

Well, Paul, my answer may be a subjective one, because the only time I've ever gotten that "stilling mind" feeling is once or twice during the meditation portion at the end of yoga. I've never gotten it from plain old straight sitting meditation. So, no, what I feel in active meditation is not the same as what I feel after yoga; but it is about the same as what I feel when doing a sitting meditation. And, maybe that's because I don't "sit" well, so while others may feel more still just sitting as opposed to an active meditation, I don't. After yoga, however, where I have been active, but in a very focused, inward way, I am then able to be still and feel totally quiet - sometimes.

Not sure if that answers your question, but it's the best I can do! :lol:

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