Rediscovering Ourselves

One of the complaints against meditation, is that it is seen as self-involved. In other words, it is perceived as all about me. And many in the religious world don’t like that.

Which is ironic in a sense, since so much of Christian teaching is all about personal salvation–what to do to get to heaven. If that isn’t me oriented, I don’t know what is.

Meditation is often seen as but a different method of psychoanalysis, a way to integrate the total personality, stirring up the dark sides of ourselves, healing and putting ourselves all back together in a package that can more successfully live.

Meditation does function in this way, or can, but it is but a stepping stone. It is a dangerous one in that some folks think that this is the goal, when they are still far from the end of the journey.

We often think of meditation as breaking down and eliminating that “ego” self that is afraid, that is needy, that is demanding of protection at all costs. Yet this is wrong too. It is truly to integrate those aspects of our “public” persona with the real “me” deeply in touch  with the divine, but submerged under layers of sludge that is the ego.

If this were not the case, if the real point was the destruction of the ego as a false image, then every “successful” practitioner of meditation, would be a carbon copy of every other practitioner. All uniqueness would have vanished. Surely this is not what God intends.

So the true end of the journey is the integration of the perfect divine me still much hidden to me, with those aspects of personality that make me unique and special. Thus unified, the “new person” in Christ goes forth to act in the world with the “mind of Christ” firmly in charge and operational.

Centering Prayer, with its devotion to self-emptying,  is the perfect vehicle for this transformation and reunion. All is let go, both good and bad thoughts, to allow the work of the Spirit to proceed with vigor. Each release is a new “yes” to God that we are willing to be led.

Say yes today.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 21:40:32

    Sherry, inasmuch as both are journeys are routes of self-discovery one imagines meditation and psychoanalysis do share some common traits. But, for me, the “Aha!” in your post comes when you speak of “the divine me.” Yes! This the precognitive state of being–the raw material of self that God gives us to work with, our “making,” as I sometimes call it. Reacquainting ourselves with that brings clarity of self that transcends analysis’s cause-and-effect, I think. It’s a return to being. And that, I think, is the ultimate form of self-acceptance–and faith!

    You raise some very important points here well worth considering in how we think about meditation and prayer. Thank you.



    • Sherry
      Apr 05, 2011 @ 14:16:47

      I’ve learned so much from Cynthia Bourgeault’s book and am now returning to another she recommends, and I have already read…hopefully this time with new insight…”Putting on the Mind of Christ.” Don’t have the author on the tip of my tongue..but it talks about the stages of our “awareness.”


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