Eric's Sunday Sermon; Finding the Peace
Visiting Grandma's Farm
We can slow down and that is good.
Now here is a little sermon that talks all around meditation. If you go back into old versions of the Bible you find meditation is a principal concept. Somewhere along the way the “authors” of versions of the Bible stopped using that term and replace it with “think” about these things. Probably because the Eastern philosophies and religions coined the concept. I think we can put on our big boy pants and see the benefits of hard thought filled meditation. Call it something else like “think” if that makes you happy.
There is a space of quiet contemplation. A place we can find ourselves in if we only give it a try. It is a place away from the crazy hustle and bustle of the world. And you can find it if you give it half a chance. That place is within you. It is a beautiful place but we have to give it a little effort to get there.
There is a wonderful concept that I believe comes from the Far East. The notion is to sit still and set your intentions on something. For instance you could set your intentions on prayer. Intend to just pray. Other thoughts will come in no matter what. When these other thoughts come in you notice them and gently put them aside for later. The idea is not to make it a battle but to guide yourself exclusively to your intentions. Concentrating is a little bit of a rough word for it. This is not a hardnosed “I will do it” concept. It is a gentle intentional concept.
The idea is to let go of the worldly cares for a few moments and center your thoughts on something calming and good. We would use the word meditation here, but alas that word carries too much with it. There is nothing formal here that we are talking about. We are just talking about putting your intentions on finding rest within yourself. Now I like to put my focus on nature and be taken away to there. Of course it would be even better if I was in nature doing this. And I have but that is not always feasible in these modern times. But being in a safe calm physical place is optimum.
That end of the day feeling.
Standing on the ground
Life is good
Closing your eyes. When was the last time you sat down and closed your eyes for a few minutes without intending to go to sleep? Try it you might like it. No matter what else it is good for your eyes.
Slowing down your breathing. Oxygen is really good for you and most of the time we breathe very shallow. When we are stressed we really breathe shallow. Deep sighing breaths are good for you anytime.
Calming music. Isn’t it about time that you just stopped for a few minutes and let a nice gentle sound wash over you? Personally I prefer music being sung softly in a foreign to me language.
Time of day. I prefer to get up before the sunrise or anyone else rising and sit still for a bit. But often I do it when I need it during a hectic time of day. The first is nice to do and second is when I need it.
We hope that does not sound like a how to concept or instruction. It is meant as a reminder of what you already know.
When we are at peace we are more receptive to peaceful thoughts. Here is the really cool part about such a peaceful state. We can come back into our reality refreshed and with a better perspective. I admit that sometimes I do not want to come out of it and face reality. But such is life. Right away when you come out is the time to face tough decisions. Right away is the time to make priority lists. Before that calmness washes away it is time to take matters head on and make decisions as to what to do. I don’t know about you but I make bad decisions sometimes when I make them during frustrating times when my emotions or fatigue have the better of me. When I am refreshed and at peace I almost never make a bad decision. Sometimes things in life really are that black and white. Frazzled and emotional = bad decisions. At peace and energized = good decisions.
Give it a try
Now here is a problem that requires some balance in life. When you are at peace then somethings just don’t have priority anymore. Winning seems to be one of the biggest casualties. It just becomes less important about being right and winning at things. Now this becomes a problem if you are surrounded by people who will improperly take advantage of your passivity. So you have to set up boundaries. You have to make yourself aware of things that may not seem that important but are. You still have to stand up for things you think are right. The right way to do things is still important. Don’t become a doormat.
If you take the time to get into peace there is a simple rule that has to be understood. You will feel things more deeply. As I like to say, there is good news and there is bad news. You feel things more deeply and you feel things more deeply. It is a worthy thing to do. But it can actually change you so be careful. Some work just does not lend itself to someone who feels other people’s feelings all the time. And some work does not lend itself to being at peace all the time either.
Can you use the techniques of finding peace to find energy to tackle your work day more efficiently? Yes you can and it is not that difficult. Once you have found that peace simply set your intentions on your tasks at hand and work through solutions. If you are doing this in a peaceful state you are far more likely to see solutions rather than just focusing on the problem.
I just finished reading an article about the health benefits of prayer. There are many. Doesn’t it seem a bit strange that we would be praying just because the act of prayer creates baby miracles? These health benefits are not little ones either. Things like the prevention of dementia and clear benefits to heart health are no small matters. There is a paper out that lists 47 benefits of prayer (google just that) and they back them up with journal findings from studies performed by reputable organizations. Here is the fun part of the studies that outline these benefits. Most of the organizations are science oriented folk with a normal bent on disproving the non-science based concepts. Scientists and statisticians rarely have a normal desire to prove things like the benefits of praying to a higher power which requires a belief in same. And here is something you might file away. These studies overwhelmingly favored a combination of religion and spirituality. Something about getting together and praying is extremely healthy.
So what I am saying here is that it really does not require prayer to become at peace. But if prayer is a natural part of finding peace you are far better off. I pray. In my home we pray. We prayer individually silently, we pray together (every time we get in a car), we pray out loud alone and we pray holding hands silently and out loud. Now our lives are not perfect we have troubles and tribulations just like everyone does. We have medical issues and we have financial issues. But we do not have discord over these things. Believe me having cancer is stressful just the cost of diagnostics alone in mind boggling. But there is peace and harmony in our home. Through prayer we have a family commonality and bonding.
Do not shy away from togetherness in these matters. Incorporate them into the family setting. I have known of zero cases where it caused harm.
Now I can say it with true conviction. May peace be with you.