What do a US Congressman, a Google executive, and a high-powered CNN news correspondent all share in common?

They all work in highly intense, complex, competitive, and aggressive worlds. They are all wired to technology and lead incredibly busy lives.

But all have one other thing in common. They have all discovered a new tool to help them navigate the frenetic world of their professional lives.

Anderson Cooper is a forty-seven-year-old Emmy award winning television journalist. He spoke about this new tool on a recent episode of “60 Minutes”. In this thirteen minute clip, Cooper offers a profound testimony to the value of meditation and the benefits of mindfulness practice:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes/

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is prominently featured in this “60 Minutes” episode is an MIT-trained scientist. He has been practicing mindfulness for 47 years. Kabat-Zinn teaches meditation as the path to mindfulness.

Regular sitting meditation enables the practitioner to slow down their internal life creating a gap between external stimulus and internal response. Meditation creates a small space inside which is the place of freedom where we discover the ability to choose our responses rather than simply reacting to the most recent stimulus.

Regardless of a person’s belief system, the benefits of meditation are available to anyone willing to show up and sit on a regular basis. It is not necessary to adopt any dogma or practice any particular religious tradition.

For a Christian of course, meditation is much more than merely preparation for living a more mindful and healthy life.

Meditation, in the tradition of Centering Prayer I practice, is a workout for my under-used surrender muscles. When I meditate I am sitting with what is and surrendering over and over my need/demand for things to be different than they are.  It is exercise in the discipline of letting go, laying down my obsessions, preoccupations, and expectations.

This act of surrender enables my heart to open to that dimension of reality in which I know God is present. And, when I know God is present, I know that there is no circumstance and no difficulty in my life that can dislodge the truth and beauty of love at the centre of my being. In meditation I become familiar with that gentle strong voice at the centre of my being where I know that all is well because God is present and at work.

In Christian tradition, the prayer of silence has been practiced for generations as a means of becoming more conscious of the presence and action of God. Meditation enables me to open to the subtle rhythms of the Divine; it enlivens in me those faculties by which I perceive more deeply and see more fully.

The second century Christian martyr Ignatius of Antioch wrote,

It is better to keep silent and to be, rather than to speak but not to be. One who truly possesses Christ’s words can also hear his silence in order to be perfect.

The Christian path is a way to being. To be means, in Christian terms, to live in Christ, to know the divine light and love of God as my truest and most real nature.

Because meditation has the power to break the stranglehold of external circumstances in my life, it makes me more responsive and open to the gentle moving of God’s Spirit guiding me and imparting deep wisdom for the journey of life. This seems a worthwhile enterprise for twenty minutes twice a day.

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 see also: https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/the-value-of-meditation/

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