"...[Jesus] withdrew...to a desolate place by himself..." Matthew 14.13
Meditation has been the most profound and significant spiritual discipline I have ever experienced. I've tried various forms: Chanting meditation, bowing meditation, walking meditation, visualization, repeating a mantra over and over, and of course "sitting" meditation. Sitting meditation is the most rewarding and also the most difficult for me. All the other forms give me something to do...the chanting or the visualizing or the mindful walking can keep me focused in the present moment and limit the discursive thinking of my mind, but to simply sit and to be...it takes effort to do nothing.
Have you ever tried it? Have you ever just sat on the floor or in a chair and quieted your mind and followed (without forcing) your breath? It's amazing.
The 46th Psalm says, "Be still and know that I am God." That simple phrase says so much: Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be. That's the process of meditation...one learns to be still; one learns to be completely in the moment. One learns to simply be.
Jesus withdrew to be alone, and we too can develop that discipline. Try every day or two getting away for a few minutes just to be. Sit quietly. Follow the breaths, in and out, in and out. When thoughts arise, just let them pass and return to the breath. Just sit. Just be. Be quiet. Be still. Be present. At other times you can recite prayers or read passages or do affirmations or think about something profound; but in the moment of meditation, just be. No pondering, no questioning, no imagining, no self-talk; just sit and breathe.
Withdraw to a quiet place, and be still. It’s that simple. And, as you will discover through your own practice, it is life-changing.