Meditating Day and Night

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

My Honors Negotiation class has spent time talking about meditation as a means to center yourself and control stress, anxiety, and anger.  These conversations caused me to think more about meditation in general, and remember that the Bible suggests multiple times that we should meditate!  Not some kind of strange, ‘Buddhist chanting monk’ meditation, but a deep reflection on scripture.

So, I’ve been meditating this week – on the first three verses of Psalm 1.  I think you men should give it a try as a means of dealing with law school stress, and centering yourself in the truth of the Word of God!  Here’s how it works:

1) Find a comfortable place to sit, someplace by yourself.

2) Open your Bible to a favorite verse, or use the first three verses of Psalm 1, above.

3) Close your eyes, and spend a minute or two breathing deeply.  Focus on your breath as it moves in and out.  Count slowly as you breath in as deeply as you can, and release your breath as slowly and evenly as you can.  Do this perhaps 15 or 20 times.

4) Acknowledge your fleeting thoughts, and then push them out of your mind. Acknowledge other latent sounds (e.g., the air conditioner, passing cars outside the window, etc…) and push them out of your mind.

5) Repeat the verse slowly in your head, with your eyes closed.  Picture every individual word, and think about the meaning of the phrases.  Do this at least twice.

6) Return to your slow breathing, picturing your breath as it enters your lungs and leaves again.  Do this 5 or 10 times.

7) Open your eyes and return to work.

Practicing this kind of meditation this week has helped me re-gain focus during my study times when I find my mind racing because of too much going on.  It’s also helped me memorize all of Psalm 1.  And not only are the words memorized, but they are internalized, as well.  What does it mean to ‘walk’ in the counsel of the wicked, or ‘stand’ in the ‘way’ of sinners?  What does it mean to ‘sit’ in the ‘seat’ of mockers?  How is the man this verse speaks of different, and what is the result of that difference?

I am beginning to see that meditation is an important and lost art for Christians, and I think it’s particularly vital for us as law students, allowing for both stress relief and impactful study of scripture at once!

You guys are awesome!

– Jer


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Wednesday Jan 26th 2011
8:00 AM - George Page Commons

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