Monthly Archives: February 2011

On Meditation

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Originally composed as “thoughts on meditation…” and posted on Facebook Notes Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 5:01pm

In my World Music Cultures class with Professor Koen, our final project deals with meditation. For 30 days we music incorporate meditation into our lives and record it in a journal which he will read at the end of the semester; most of our grade is based on this. Well…instead of the chanting and the humming and that he taught us how to do in class (because I felt that his meditation techniques focused on the self to resolve mental conflicts), I decided to research Christian meditation. And here are some of my findings….

Source: http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/ph/ph_18.htm

A Brief Study on Christian Meditation

There are two common Hebrew words used for meditation.

“hagah” which means “to murmur, mutter, to make a sound with the mouth. When used of “meditation” it implies what we express by talking to ourselves.

“shiyach” which means to talk with oneself.

Meditation in the Bible usually indicated a person considering something about God and quietly focusing his mind on that truth. Most often, scriptures in the Bible were the focus of meditation, but anything about God – His mercy, His love, His majesty, His power, His kindness – were all causes for meditation. Christian meditation is when we quietly reflect on the things of God. It is different from prayer in that we are not communing with God but we are reflecting on His Word or His attributes. It is not like eastern meditation, since we are always cognizant of our thoughts and we never enter into a trance-like state. The focus of Christian meditation is always on God, something about God, or on God’s care for us.

Scriptures about Meditation

Joshua 1:8
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 48:9
Lord, here in your Temple we meditate upon your kindness and your love.

Psalm 119:27
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.

Psalm 77:11-12
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.

Psalm 119:48
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

Psalm 145:5
I will meditate about your glory, splendor, majesty, and miracles.

Psalm 77:5-6
I keep thinking of the good old days of the past, long since ended.

Then my nights were filled with joyous songs. I search my soul and meditate upon the difference now.

Psalm 119:14-16
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Portions of Scripture on which to Meditate

Psalm 91:1-4

Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you.”

God will save you from hidden traps and from deadly diseases.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 119:9-15

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.

With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Footnotes:
This study on Christian Meditation © 1998 by David Humpal. All Rights Reserved.
All scriptures unless otherwise noted are from the New International Version © 1971, Zondervan Bible Publishers
Psalm 48:9 and 145:5 from The Living Bible © 1971, Tyndale House Publishers
Proverbs 3:5-6 from the New King James Version © 1984, Thomas Nelson Publishers
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Windtalkers

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I noticed today that hulu.com has the movie Windtalkers online. In a household that included my father and two younger brothers, I watched a few war movies growing up.  Interestingly, I found this one had a deep emotional element; I loved the history of the Navajo and watching them use their language as code during the WWII.

Catherine, ISTJ

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In my last post, I was guessing at my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator results.  This weekend, my husband and I received the results from an MBTI test we had taken a few weeks ago.  The results were interesting.

My results revealed me to be an ISTJ: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging.  I’ll be spending the next few posts dissecting exactly what each of that means for me, but for now I’d like to focus on a larger aspect on type: my temperament.

I am what is called a “Traditionalist” or a “Sensing Judger.”  Apparently, 35-40% of the population falls into this temperament category.  According to our MBTI instructors, SJs are characterized by the following:

Quest: Belonging

Quest: To Belong is to Be Loved...

Style: Traditionalist/Stabilizer

Achilles Heel: Disarray or Disorder

If you knew me in high school, this poster makes a lot of sense!

SJs are, overall:

  • Loyal to system
  • Prepared
  • Dependable
  • Preserving of Tradition
  • Organized
  • Family-oriented
  • Gatekeepers
  • Followers of procedures
  • Strive to earn their keep
  • Passionate about social responsibility
  • Authority dependent
  • Production-oriented
  • Bound to duty
  • Capable of taking charge
  • “Worker bees”

Apparently, the following people may have been ISTJs: Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, JC Penney, Martha Stewart, Henry Ford & Colin Powell.  I thought of two more….Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Star Trek Enterprise, and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.

Myers-Briggs

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In my spirit right now I’m experiencing something of a mid-life crisis.  I know; I’m only 24.  Maybe you can find some other word for it – quarter-life crisis? I have responsibilities to my family to work; I have responsibilities to myself to be productive and healthy.  But what does all of that look like?  Where should that take place?  In what environment? I am left wondering, “What’s next?”

I’ve been reading a book called Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron.

Buy This Book on Amazon.com

I think I’ve narrowed down my personality type to either ESFJ or ESTJ; my feeling and thinking functions are so bifurcated right now, it’s difficult for me to tell which one is dominant.

There are some things that are sure, though. I’ve attempted below to identify those that relate to my job search.

I’m about 80% extroverted. I need a dose of people every day; even if I just sit at Black Dog Cafe (like I’m doing now) among people, I far healthier than I would be staying at home alone or in an office.  I’m a sensor.  I value realism and common sense.  I trust what is certain and concrete,  and only like new ideas if they have practical applications.  I’m specific and literal and I desire detailed descriptions of what is expected of me in a job environment.  I do my best to present information in a step-by-step manner, and that is how I organize presentations for myself.  Right now, I’m pretty bifurcated when it comes to thinking and feeling.  Some people have told me that I can come off as heartless, insensitive and uncaring; others have said that I act overemotional, illogical, and weak.  I value truth over tact, but I realize the wisdom in pairing the two.  I value logic, justice, and fairness, but I’ve often tried to be the exception to the rule.  I can see flaws and be critical, but with some people I’ve been known to be obsessed with pleasing them.  My feelings are valid, and eventually they always make sense to me.  I’m motivated more by a desire to be appreciated than I am by achievement and accomplishment.  Finally, I’m a judger.  I’m happiest after decisions are made. I want to work when at work (I don’t like dilly-daddling). I set goals and work toward achieving them on time.  I always prefer to know what I’m getting into.  I’m product oriented (emphasis on completing the task).  I think that’s why I never will be successful as a musician…I don’t enjoy the practice!  I derive great satisfaction from finishing projects.  Time is my most valuable resource (particularly time with my husband, Henry!), so I do my best to take deadlines seriously.

Whether I am an ESTJ or ESFJ, I fall into another category: a Traditionalist (Sensing Judgers). At work, traditionalists are “practical, organized, thorough and systematic.  They pay attention to regulations, policies, contracts, rituals, and timelines.  They are excellent at guarding, monitoring, and regulating.  Traditionalists prefer to deal with proven facts and use them to further the goals of the organization to which they belong.  They take great pride in doing something right the first time and every time.  They are good at seeing what needs attention and at getting the job done with the available resources as efficiently as possible.  Once they’ve committed themselves,s Traditionalists always follow though.  At their best, Traditionalists are solid, trustworthy, and dependable.” (p. 57, Do What You Are).

Reading on, it looks like I would do best in a job:

  • involving a relatively high level of responsibility
  • working for a stable company or organization (not one that is always in a state of flux or confusion)
  • working for a company or organization in which both regulations and rewards are certain
  • that has a lot of room for structure.
  • where I am valued for the structure that I implement in my responsibilities.

Hiding from Pain

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When I was a kid and my parents would fight, I would run and hide in the darkest corner of a closet in our home.  I didn’t want to be caught in the crossfires.  It was painful to hear my parents fight, and I thought if I could run away, or block them out maybe the pain that I felt would grow numb and disappear.

In my office today, I found myself eyeing the large space under my desk where my legs ought to be, desiring once again to hide from pain.

I learned to handle conflict growing up by ignoring it.  I tried screaming & threatening for awhile, but thankfully my younger brother Michael didn’t let me do that for too long.  I remember screaming at him for something or other when I was in high school, following in the model I had learned from my mother, and he turned to me and said, “I would have done it for you if you had asked nicely.”  That was a wake-up call to me: I didn’t have to scream and threaten to get what I wanted.

But…I still didn’t know how to healthily handle conflict.  I don’t remember my mother ever modeling an apology to us.  I don’t think we ever uttered the words I’m sorry, or Please forgive me to each other.  Gradually, we learned to ignore or patch our pains and grievances and simply move on.  But…we never really did move on or forgive.  I think that we kept a tab in our minds and hearts against each other, a list of wrongs that we brought up again and again as it suited us.