Adoration, or contemplative prayer, is when we simply enjoy hanging out with God. It’s also sometimes called “practicing the presence.” This “presence” is both our joy in happy times as well as our lifeline in times of difficulty. But, you may well ask: how can one “enjoy” hanging out when in the midst of tragedy?! This is possible because when we’re well established in our spiritual practice, when we’ve made a daily habit of dwelling in divine love and peace for at least a few minutes every morning, we can then rest in that and find comfort in it even during the darkest times of our life. Once we’ve made that connection with the source in the center of our being, and “practiced the presence” regularly, it is always there for us; a place of refuge, a shelter in the storms of life.
But, exactly HOW do we get there? That is the purpose of meditation, and there are various techniques which work for different people. You may simply follow the breath—bring your attention back to your breath whenever the mind wanders. You may use what is called a mantra, a word or phrase that brings the mind back to its source. Some people like to memorize and focus on a brief verse from the Bible or other scripture, or to silently chant the name/s of God from their particular religion. This method is useful because it can be done anyplace, anytime to bring us back to our center.
The two most famous Christian mantras are The Rosary and The Jesus Prayer. The Rosary is more complicated and normally uses beads to keep track of where you are in the process. The Jesus Prayer is short and easy to remember. Hindus and Buddhists likewise have their own prayers or mantras. Repeating the words while focusing on their meaning in your heart can have a profound effect, bringing a consciousness of peace, love, and joy—the fruits of meditation.
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