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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Finding Our Self Again - Meditation In Simple Form

Updated on December 6, 2015

Just an ordinary park in Saigon

City life is a night life filled with stuff coming at you.
City life is a night life filled with stuff coming at you. | Source

The meandering mind

Just a simple couple of reminders about who you are. Don’t worry we all forget sometimes. It seems that with a political race in the US that may change us fundamentally and Paris tragedies we get a little lost on the issue of who we are. Let me be bold and tell you that you are not a pinball in a pinball machine. You decide what to jump to and from. Now stay with us on this next part it is kind of hard to read.

I run a very loose ship. I get swayed. I am not rigid, I tend to bow with the wind and go with the flow. So I take special care to jump into current that is going in a direction I want to go in. But really, mostly I stay out of the fray. I do not get or get nightly news. I put on the radio about ten minutes a day, I get a few news feeds on my computer but otherwise I don’t get paid to pay attention so I do not. Don’t get me wrong I used to get paid to know what was in the know and how it played out. I was a GIS from Asia to Euro to Africa to Americas.

With all that we have a plan here. We are going to teach you to sing like Bob Dylan. It’s all right ma. I am going to be bold again and declare you SAVED. Funny isn’t it. Like I could do that – wait a danged second I can. What fun we have when we let loose and let the wind carry our thoughts.

Will you pretend for a second that I have a great band behind me and a great silk suit on and one of those headsets and you are in an auditorium and we all cheer when I wink. Now we are having fun. Truth is I just put my 5 year old on my shoulders and tried to step on a stool and fell down hard but I protected him with my big old butt and we are laughing at good times. My boy just told me to change that to “big old fat butt” that daddy tunes too much and so the fall was good, because we fixed that problem.

Do you see where I am going with this? All that rambling has a purpose so listen to some music and then read on.

Sometimes taking a nice walk in nature is worthy of our time spent.

That quiet space where only nature changes our mind is a good place.
That quiet space where only nature changes our mind is a good place. | Source

Sometimes I think Bob lost his filters - but not badly

Recognizing the chatter

There is a strange place in our mental space that sometimes dictates who we are. It is not always acting in our best interest. The above meandering ramble was just free thought flowing through to the keyboard. It is actually hard to write that way because of our natural filters that kick in between what we are thinking and what we are writing. Letting go in that sense takes some discipline. Try it sometime. You will find that you want to rewrite it when you get your brain back into focus and worry what the world will think of your meandering thoughts. I would like to go back and rewrite it right now but that would defeat the purpose of what we are talking about.

On the other hand if you just do that naturally we have a problem. Here is the test. Talk to someone for 5 minutes straight and when you conclude go back and repeat what you started with. No fair thinking it out ahead of time. Show yourself that your 5 minutes had meaning and not just free flow thought spewing out from your mouth without filters. Have you ever listened to someone tell a story about a car and somehow in there you found out the hat size of the speaker’s aunt Eleanor from Cleveland. You know you have and you know you have done it. It is just that for some reason our filters are not up and running well. Or in the case of dementia those filters are the first to go.

We learn early to look to the outside for warmth.

We should look so longingly at the light within us.
We should look so longingly at the light within us. | Source

Perhaps a new meaning on this old favorite

Finding our self is finding relief

So that brings us right to the point of meditation in a biblical or spiritual sense. I have been told that Bibles from some time back used the word meditation about 100 times. Somewhere the powers decided that that word was too aligned with Eastern mysticism. So the word was replaced with other stuff like “think on” or “consider”. I do know that many verses in the Bible would make more sense if they just used the word meditate. My favorite is Paul. He is writing to the people in Phillipi and this verse goes like this “New International Version; Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Closer to the original version and it reads like this: “Aramaic Bible in Plain English; Therefore, my brethren, those things that are true, those that are honorable, those that are righteous, those things that are pure, those things that are precious, those things that are praiseworthy, deeds of glory and of praise, meditate on these things.” See how funny the first one sounds and how complete the older version is?

And so that brings us back to the meandering mind. If we focus we can control the chatter up in our head and begin to be somewhat enlightened. Fun thing about all these new age gurus, they like to say “let go”. Well that is a misnomer until you get way into it. The way it works out is that we actually let all those thoughts come in and gently dismiss them. If you do this for 10 minutes or so without additional sensory input you can actually get rid of the intrusive thoughts – nearly completely. Then you can begin to do as Paul suggests and meditate on good things. And that is a very good thing indeed. I suggest you pick out some good things that you can focus on as you dismiss the chatter. You don’t need to get all transcendental you can just focus.

And so we are refocused.

So with all this talk of freeing our mind, we really do mean to control it and let it do its job rather than be like a pinball in a pinball machine with flippers bouncing us around. We really mean to free the mind from the chatter. If we can do that we can concentrate our minds on God stuff. Whether we see that in a tree, a babbling brook or clouds in the sky – these things are praise worthy and are worthy of our meditation.

So the whole point being that we allow the world to control our thinking and it does a very poor job of it. Just too much stimuli. From time to time we need to find ourselves. That thinking that is not reactionary but rather the fruit of our true self. We need to get “unlost” in the world of chatter.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I look at the world today, and like so many people, I find myself pissing and moaning about how things are, and I wonder how we can change it all and how overwhelming that seems.....but all I can do is change myself. I begin with me...I need to be the change I want in others...it really is that simple.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And the beauty is that that change can come just by being ourselves. I like your self Bill!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 16 months ago from Chicago

      Good ideas here Eric. I think the best way to find oneself is via the purpose that God created for each one of us. We must believe, apply due diligence and trust ourselves in the purpose to be served as well as followers of Christ.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you word55. That place inside us, without outside influence, is where we find the heart of God -- in our hearts. Truly if we reflect in proper fashion that purpose given to us shall be revealed. It is a connection between God and us, unbroken except by too much attention to the world.

      May I ask why you do not use your name when writing about our Lords?

    • word55 profile image

      Word 16 months ago from Chicago

      My name is Al Wordlaw. You may call me by name if you prefer to.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 16 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very inspiring sermon as always. We should try to come out of our materialistic indulgences and spend some minutes with nature to keep our mind at peace and in touch with our self. Real meditation is experiencing the proximity with nature and the feeling of yourself being a part of it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Al Wordlaw -- that is a great name and now I see where Word came from. I look forward to more conversing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Venkatachari, it is good to hear from you as always. Thank you for your continued awesome and uplifting support or these sermons. Nature is like the perfect contact with our world. It is a calming and peaceful sort of influence. When I am not outside I try to maintain my contact with outside. Truly nature is our best pathway to true peace.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 16 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - I find comfort in the 10th verse of Psalm 45 -- 'Be still and know that I am God.' Our heavenly Father is saying that we don't have to know it all or do it all. He is in charge. Thank you for another beautiful sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Carb Diva, thank you for coming by and leaving a nice addition to this sermon. Being still. Just being still is wondrous. I must admit I like it best when I can still that which is around me also. I need to work on letting go of that. The verse is most welcome.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 16 months ago

      Eric my friend , you are a hero . ........ I find that my own presence in the natural world actually holds me together , when I am there I actually use my imagination a lot to center myself I am a pretty calm person and I often find that , that bothers some people . And yet , I also find that most people ARE too wound . This is a great sermon for many reasons , for me , It tells us who our Eric really is ! God , that's one beautiful boy you have there , congratulations !

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      The latter part of your article brings to mind a quote I memorized decades ago. "When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God." It's just like you said. Now I shall meditate on (think about) it. Thank you for triggering that memory.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ed it is OK to bend like a willow, but we were made to stand upright eventually. Our tether to that which is outside of nature in tenuous at best. Those who already connected like you need to hold tight to nature as so to lift us both up. We need beacons and towers for which to gravitate to and which to hold on to. Thank you.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 16 months ago

      I repeat , you are a hero , and good evening !

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora a beautiful thing about a little age and experience, we are, if we are wise at all, drawn back into good things. Silence me oh Lord so I may hear your voice not mine.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Eric, in a lot of my writing I tend to just ramble on and wander off in all different directions. I guess it is a way of clearing my mind and getting them down on paper. I do agree the Bible would read a lot better if the word meditate or meditation was reinserted from whence it was removed and replaced. I think you have the right idea in distancing yourself from the news...it's 90% bad anyway.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi John. Writing in such a way is a great way to see the distractions and gently move on from them. My old yogi was amused by us fighting with and being frustrated with the distractions. He would say "that is know way to treat them". They are there, we can minimize, but we must ultimately deal with them so we should do it kindly. John I get what is important I think as far as news goes, I just don't need that 90%.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 16 months ago from United States

      I don't fret about who is thrown at us anymore in the presidency...it is well monitored when those runners move into the White House. There are many mad meanderings and I think it is only a snow screen for the last minute candidate. The kids in our trusts will be given very good guidance as there are those of us who really care about their futures.It only does take just a few to guide and protect the many, as history has so well demonstrated my friend. Perhaps time and trials will be the real teacher and we shall arise from the ashes. Where there is hope there is ample faith and the faithful will prevail. Well written my friend. whonu

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 16 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      My mind wanders a lot and it's hard for me to stay focused. When I went back to school, I noticed it was hard for me to grasp things because my mind kept wandering back to things usually left undone. I realized I had no peace and decided to make some small changes. I started being more careful of what I watched, listened to and read. I agree 100% that meditation needs to be put back into the bible. If you meditate on the scriptures an overwhelming sense of peace comes over you. I think many people have a hard time understanding the scriptures because they read and not meditate and absorb so the scriptures will speak to them.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby,

      I am not so sure that not paying attention to the news is the best way to go, but it sure is nice to live in a time and place where it is our option. I note with keen interest the fact that you, nowadays, can get so many choices on a top story. It does make us ponder which is the "true" story. Carrying on with our lives might mean "to make changes".

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu,

      The current narrative of our lives as produced by media is astounding to me. On current scales I am "impoverished". Man I have never had it so good. Stability and I am fat. So much money for food that I eat too much. Enough gas money to go anywhere. But I am poor by today's standards. But I have this other crazy notion. I think all our presidents are outstanding heroes. Wow what a great country! Even ones I do not like do a great job leading a great peoples. We have great choices for president right now - let us see what the American public really wants our new direction to be.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana,

      I heard a great sermon just last Sunday -- The preacher man prattled on about innocence. Really just that word. Of course we read some scripture but we "thought hard" about what the Word had to do with our innocence and how great it would be to be innocent. Then we sat in silence and plain old meditated and prayed on the lessons learned.

      But a funny thing about that fine Baptist church -- they had so many activities going on, all good, that through the announcements and churchy stuff it was hard to settle down and study the Word.

      We walkie walkie a fine line between of this world and the world of the Word. Meditation is a safe place for me to rest in the better world.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 16 months ago from New Orleans, LA

      Tuning out the chatter can be really hard to do, but writing can help. Thanks for all these ideas.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Lovely photos! Your mind is great and you think of good emotions.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow Devika, thank you -- I blush.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 16 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Yes--time to refocus a bit. Lots of great thoughts here. Well done.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reynold, Thanks for commenting and bringing me back here -- I definitely need to stay focused.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton

      Eric I love the message this sermon... we all I think lose ourselves once in awhile, but when we realize that it is also true that we can find ourselves.. love this sermon my friend :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Frank, thank you. I lose myself unto the world so much I had to figure out a way to get me back. We are well disposed if we keep an eye on it.

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