The biggest problem for many of us when we try and meditate is staying focussed. Ignatian meditation uses the imagination to construct a setting which becomes the backdrop for the experience and helps with that focus.
Spiritual not religious
Although the meditations are each based on an episode from the Christian gospels, no religious knowledge or background is required.
What do we imagine?
At the heart of Taketime is the Ignatian idea of an imagined encounter with the Jesus of the Bible in which we are invited to step into an episode from the New Testament and imagine a conversation with Jesus.
Who was Jesus?
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and summarised the teaching of the Old Testament as “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
He was put to death for claiming to be the Son of God and Christians believe that he rose again and lives forever.
Do I need to believe any of this to benefit from Taketime?
No – for some it is simply a wonderfully relaxing exercise. For others, however, it may be the beginning or the renewal of a personal spiritual journey.
What do the meditations consist of?
The sessions enable you to imagine a setting in which you encounter Jesus. You are then given an opportunity to speak to him and then to hear him answering you.
The 5 minute version is simply an imaginative encounter.
The 10 minute version adds to this a relaxation exercise and a few moments to rest in God’s presence.
The 15 minute version adds more space in which to rest in God’s presence.
The 20 minute version adds to this an option to go back into the story and imagine who you might be, how that might feel and what God might be saying to you through the experience.
How do I know that Jesus is speaking to me?
You don’t. It could be God or it could be wishful or destructive thinking on your part. Because God is Love, a genuine message will never be destructive. Challenging, maybe, but not destructive.
Ask yourself if what God seems to be saying is what a loving and wise parent would say to their child or if it agrees with the teaching outlined by Jesus. If so, then there is every chance that it is God speaking to you. If not, put it down to your imagination. If in doubt, speak to someone with spiritual wisdom, perhaps a Christian minister or friend. You will gradually grow in confidence in discerning what is from God. In my experience it is usually God speaking.
The introductory meditation takes 5 minutes to experience, why not give it a try?