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A few Meditations from Religious Traditions

There are many approaches to meditating from diverse faiths. One approach, across faiths, is to select a word or phrase to repeat silently in the mind/heart. Sample words and phrases from major traditions are:

Christian

  Maranatha (repeat Ma-Ra-Na-Tha)

  Lord Jesus Christ, Have Mercy On Me

Jewish

  Ribbono Shel Olam

Shema Y’Israel Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad (potentially, with each word repeated several times before moving on to the next word)

Muslim

  Subhan’ Allah

  La Ilaha illallah

Buddhist

  May I be happy; may you be happy; may all people be happy

  May I be free; may you be free; may all people be free

Hindu

  So Hum

  Om Namo Bhagavate Vadudevaya

If you wish, you might experiment with repeating a word or phrase coinciding with the inhale and/or exhale of the breath. For example, you might repeat the word or phrase:

Christian

  Lord Jesus Christ on the in-breath, Have Mercy On Me on the out-breath

Jewish

  Adonai on the in-breath, Eloheinu on the exhale

Muslim

  Subhan on the out-breath, Allah on the in-breath

Buddhist

  May I be on the in-breath, happy on the exhale

Hindu

  So on the inhalation, Hum on the out-breath

Of course, you might softly and gently repeat your word or phrase silently within the mind/heart without coinciding with the rise or fall of your breath. The point here is to allow your own intuitive meditation guidance to facilitate quieting the mind and inviting spiritual connection.

When distracting thoughts arise, even pleasant or holy thoughts, allow the train of thoughts to pass on by, rather than hopping on the freight train for an extended ride. If self-judgment arises (which is not uncommon), gently return to your meditation with compassion. Smiling may ease any tension.

When your meditation has ended for this single sitting, notice what feels new or different. And do refrain from grading yourself as a meditator! Feel free to see IMI’s basic guide to meditating (located toward the middle of that website page).

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"I've co-led two interfaith meditation events, each time with Jewish and Muslim faith leaders...I connected with the devotion of my colleagues, and the language of their meditations became a portal for me to a place beyond words.” Reverend Randy Lord-Wilkinson, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Maryland; IMI meditation co-leader