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Bridging the Gap Between Spirituality and Meditation

Despite my mood stabilizer to help chill me out, my mind still runs pretty fast, and rarely gets a break from constant thoughts zooming in and out. So, as a result, meditation has always been a struggle for me. It wasn’t until recently that I found a way to calming my mind during mediation so thought I’d share what I’ve learned.

I was raised Catholic. I was one of those kids that went to church during Lent on my recess break which one could say laid the groundwork for meditating. Due to the ambiance of church, I was more or less forced to sit in the pew and be quiet. I found prayer to be helpful in calming my mind despite the ongoing rapid thoughts. Sometimes I would walk around the church and do stations of the cross and pray that my mind would become calm. I didn’t know I was hypomanic and didn’t know any of the symptoms so just thought if I tried hard enough the ruthless intense anxiety and rapid thoughts would cease with prayer.

After grammar school, I attended an all girls Catholic high school so studied religion and kept up with prayers, however, when I left for college my piety pretty much went out the door. I studied Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism but never really prayed that much anymore. Then after college I struggled with entering the real world so would go to church when it was empty, and force myself to sit still like I did as a child and try and clear my mind. It was a practice that was hard but I kept up with it for a few years. Then I fell off the wagon, again, and stopped going to church so my spiritual meditation took a hit. Years went by with no prayer but sometimes I would try and meditate but it never lasted long and didn’t seem to work.

So after a lifetime of going in and out of prayer, and attempts to meditate, I realized that bridging prayer with meditation was the cure or what would work best for me. I thought of those days as a young child when I did the rosary before going to bed to help curb my insomnia, and thought maybe that is the key. So this is what I practice.

When I go to the gym I lift weights and do cardio and afterwards I reward myself with a steam. In my opinion, taking a steam is a privilege so I don’t allow myself to steam unless I meditate. I lie down on the bench and say the rosary in my head. I know this sounds cheesy but I visualize a small light in me that grows and grows and as it grows all the dark matter leaves my body. It’s the perfect combination of meditation and prayer and the fact I don’t allow myself to steam unless I practice my ritual is the best set up for me. And the kicker is since I love steaming, I don’t allow myself that luxury unless I pray and meditate.

If you are someone that struggles with meditation, and you believe in prayer I suggest you try bridging the two. It might have taken me decades to figure it out but, better late than never right.

Bridging the Gap Between Spirituality and Meditation

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough and Undressed.


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2019). Bridging the Gap Between Spirituality and Meditation. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2019/01/30/bridging-the-gap-between-spirituality-and-meditation/

 

Last updated: 26 Feb 2019
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