In 1975 Dom John Main OSB, opened the first Christian Meditation Centre at his monastery in London. He had recovered a simple tradition of silent, contemplative prayer in the teachings of the early Christian monks, the Desert Fathers. It became clear to him that this tradition had relevance today not only for monks ... though he also saw it as a way of monastic renewal ... but for all people.
Meditation is simple and practical. It is about experience rather than theory: a way of being rather than merely a way of thinking. Indeed, because of the profound change meditation can work in one's life it is even more than a way of prayer; it is a way of life, a way of living from the deep centre of one's being. Meditation is the missing contemplative dimension of much Christian life today. It does not exclude other types of prayer and indeed deepens one's reverence for the sacraments and one's reading of scriptures.
Maranatha is the final instruction: To many people the use of mantra or sacred word appears to be an Eastern practice, often associated with Buddhism or Hinduism. However, there is a Christian meditation mantra that has been used for a very long time by the early monks, though it is little known publicly as a mantra practice. It is the mantra Maranatha. The word Maranatha is the final instruction of St. Paul's teachings to the Corinthians, and is St. John's final instruction in the Book of Revelations. Thus, the last word, the final teaching of the entire Christian Bible is "Maranatha," which is Aramaic and means, "Come Lord."
Maranatha is Aramaic for "Come Lord," and is a prayer or mantra of Christian tradition. Breathe with inhalation and exhalation of Ma-Ra-Na-Tha. To hold the feeling of "Come Lord" in the heart can be very useful for some, while not for others. The choice rests with each person in accordance with his or her own beliefs and particular denomination or tradition. In that light, this video may be useful for some, and not for others. Again, the choice rests with each person.
"The wonderful beauty of prayer is
that the opening of our heart is as
natural as the opening of a flower.
To let a flower open and bloom it
is only necessary to let it be; so if
we simply are, if we become and
remain still and silent, our heart
cannot but be open, the Spirit
cannot but pour through into our
whole being. It is for this that we
have been created."
Dom John Main OSB (1926-1982)
Meditation involves coming to a stillness of spirit and a stillness of body. The extraordinary thing is that, in spite of all the distractions of the modern world, this silence is perfectly possible for all of us. To attain this silence and stillness we have to devote time, energy and love.
The way we set out on this pilgrimage is to recite a short phrase, a prayer-word that today is commonly called a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a method of drawing us away from our own thoughts and concerns. The real work of meditation is to attain harmony of body, mind and spirit. This is the aim given us by the psalmist; be still and know that I am God. In meditation we turn the search light of consciousness off ourselves.