I grew up not going to church. My mother and father also grew up not going to church. My grandparents had their Buddhist shrines in their bedrooms, but I only saw them tend to the artifacts on special occasions (New Years meant a bowl of rice and ozoni presented as an offering).
I was not spiritual in any way. I heard of who Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed were, but I just knew names, nothing more, nothing less.
However, despite my lack of religious knowledge and experience, I always felt there was SOMETHING out there that created the mountains, beaches, and valleys. I just didn’t know what (or who) it was. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school when I finally understood that there was a God who not only formed the individual branches on a tree and the clouds in the sky, but also made my flawed self–and loved me unconditionally despite my flawed nature.
I read my Bible, prayed, attended small groups and conferences, all to better get to know God. It wasn’t until the pastor at my church mentioned meditation as a way of worship that my ears perked up. Meditation?? Wasn’t that Buddhist? Or Shinto? Or some other Eastern-based religion NOT affiliated with Christianity? But in reality, the time I spent reading my Bible, thinking about the scriptures, and journaling on what God was telling me was a step towards meditation.
The final component of the 3M Campaign is just that: mindful meditation. I’m sure when you first saw that piece, you immediately thought of having to sit in lotus position, eyes closed, arms extended and middle finger and thumb touching in a circular shape. Meditation CAN look like that, but in reality, meditation is clearing one’s mind from all the noise and business and refocusing on one’s inner being.
Maybe it’s sitting by the beach, thinking about a passage of scripture you read and contemplating what those words mean to you.
Maybe it’s NOT thinking of the to-do list, but instead waiting to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit inside of you.
Maybe it’s just feeling breath going into your diaphragm, filling your stomach and then your chest to a slow count of 10, then exhaling all of that air from chest to stomach, all to the same slow cadence.
Maybe it’s cultivating a list of three people or things you are thankful for the moment you wake up, and remembering three wonderful things that happened to you that day before you go to bed.
Maybe it’s taking the time to journal prayer requests, answers to prayer, and praises you have.
How many of you spend the whole day working, running around, doing things, being busy? When do you actually find those moments of rest–and I mean TRUE rest? Solitude? Quiet? Calmness? Peace?
They are few and far between.
Out of all three components of the 3M Campaign, Mindful Meditation may just be the most challenging, yet it is also the most important. It’s easy to discount the complexity of true meditation. Try it for yourself right now: Put aside your technology, find a quiet room, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and try to focus on one calming image, word, or phrase. Can you do it? How long does it take before your mind starts to wander and you begin fretting over all of the clothes that need to be washed, the dinner to prepare, and the projects that need to get accomplished?
Meditation is hard.
Also, the possibilities of what constitutes “mindful meditation” are endless depending on one’s religious beliefs (or non-beliefs as well). In reality, being mindful in meditation entails an individual to find that quiet space for reflection, the time during the day to reflect and ponder and wonder and be in awe.
So….are you up for the 3M Campaign?
3 Mindful changes each week.
Are you ready to mindfully strength and grow in your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being? What are YOUR 3M Campaign goals??
I would love to hear from you–comment below, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of the 3M Campaign!