Prayer is like talking to God,
meditation is a way of listening to God.--Edgar Cayce
All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.—Pascal
Of all the practices that one can pursue to provide health, clarity, stress reduction, psychological resolution, and emotional and spiritual growth, the most consistently powerful method is that of “centering”—bringing yourself to your true energetic core—to what you are before and beyond your familial, societal, and egoic restructuring and reshaping.
This centering is similar to maximizing your strength and balance by bringing your stance to a physical axis as in Tai Chi or other physical arts. We all know what happens when something or someone pulls us off center…we “fall” or we act in a way that is “just not like” us—at very least not like what we would wish to be. What would we become if we could spend more and more time balanced, centered daily?
Not all the paths to centering are as structured as Tai chi, Yoga, or some forms of meditation. The methods for coming to this emotional/psychological/spiritual center are as varied and infinite as the individuals that may pursue balance. The most productive path for you could be dancing, walking in nature, cooking, watching the children, fishing, or contact with anything that deeply inspires—even digging a ditch works for me on occasion. The important thing is to realize what activity makes you feel most connected to yourself, your life and everyone and everything around you. In that state, you are nearest your center…in a mystical communion with the Absolute, God, Tao, your source by whatever name.
I find that such activities that “bring one to his/her center” will cause a vibrational change within (i.e. the way I feel inside just after a peaceful experience versus what my body feels like after a stressful day). After a centering experience, we operate at this more beneficial vibrational level (lower blood pressure, clearer thinking, more openhearted responses, greater sense of well-being, generally better health). We drop from this level (like a battery losing charge) toward our “set point” as the time since the centering passes. Therefore, a periodic recharge is necessary to keep us spending more time near that centered state.
Our “set point” is the state of mind that we generally function at without any experience of centering or “offcentering”. On any given day, we may fluctuate over and under the set point, depending on what we are responding to. Over time, repeatedly returning to the “center” raises the set point, raises our base day-to-day operating consciousness—which in turn provides a baseline for reaching consistently stronger connection with one’s center, which raises the set point.
Just one thing: I for one seem to generally (not always) require some time “practicing”/living outside of the “centering” experience to make the increased set point take hold.