Items in Meditation
Whole groups can use Items at the same time using a guided meditation. Christian meditation has a long tradition and is an excellent way to begin or end a gathering. A successful meditation will require a good opening and a good ending as well as a comfortable environment. Make sure your space is comfortable for the people who will be using it and endeavor to choose a suitable background music track. Explain to the participants that they should choose whichever position suits them, and give a rough outline of what will occur.
An Item Meditation can be subdivided into five parts: Opening Prayer, Entering, Personal Space, Shared Space and Close.
An Opening Prayer or ritual reminds us that this is a Christian activity. We are offering ourselves to God, to hear the divine voice. This often helps people relax, offering a recognizable entry point to the meditation.
Centering is the process of relaxing and slowing our breathing. This can take a couple of minutes; so do avoid the temptation to rush this.
Personal Space involves individuals exploring an item by
themselves; this may come in several parts.
Shared Space brings the participants thoughts and prayers together.
Finally the Close brings a definite end to the meditation. All five of these can be seen in the example meditation with the glass spheres found below.
When speaking during a meditation use a gentle but audible voice, it is worthwhile keeping your eyes open but try not to stare at people! Don’t be surprised if people are quite moved by the experience, but do avoid the temptation to keep interrupting the meditation to ask people if they are okay. After the meditation you may want to do a number of things. People may wish to talk about their experience, and here you must be careful not to make one interpretation right and another wrong. To one person the Item may symbolize emptiness, to another fullness; both are valid! You could also respond with creative materials, each person creating a work of art. Encourage people to take the Item away with them if they wish.
This meditation works with the small glass spheres, but can be adjusted for use with any small item. You can do the meditation in silence but an ambient background track can relieve awkwardness.
Start by sitting everyone in a circle in a position they are comfortable with. Light a tea light and begin with a simple prayer like
Lord we open ourselves to your holy breath, to the Holy Spirit. Be with us, share with us and move with us as we give ourselves to your presence.
Pause for a moment then begin with the script.
Place your hands open in front of you, palms facing up. Close your eyes, and slowly breathe in through your nose. Feel the breath rise up over you’re the top of your head, then flow down your back to fill your stomach. The breath out, let the breath pass out through your mouth. Breath in. [pause] Breathe out.
Spend a few moments breathing as a group then continue.
I am going to give you each something very precious, very special and very fragile. Cup your hands together and I will place this item in the palm of your hands.Place a glass sphere in each person’s hands very gently, and then continue.Keeping your eyes closed explore the Item I have given you, be careful it can break very easily.
Allow the group some time to explore their spheres. If they have never seen them before it may take them some time. Then continue.
Open your eyes. Look at the Item you have been given. See how fragile it is. Before you is a candle, hold your Item up to the light, see how the light refracts and dances within and through it.
Again allow the group some time to do this. Don’t feel pressurised to rush this or any other part of the meditation.
Move on to the final part of the meditation.
Now place your Items around the candle, stop and see what we have brought together, what we have created.
You may wish to have some other creative bits and pieces handy at this point to support the spheres, like the glass cubes or other small blocks. Again give some time for this part of the meditation.
End the Meditation.
Close your eyes again. Breath in through your nose, over your head, down your back, to your stomach. Breath out through your mouth. Breathe in … Breath out. Bring your hands together, one palm over the other and close our meditation.
Let us say together: + In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
This should bring the meditation to an end.