The word meditation means different things to different people. Sometimes we may use the word to refer to traditional Buddhist sitting meditation. Another meaning is contemplation. In this service, among other things, we intend to offer thoughts to seed your contemplation. When you ponder these seeds you may want to take the time to prepare yourself for the experience. Some of you may wish to print out the meditation text so you can assume your familiar meditation position before you proceed. You may wish to block out distracting sounds with relaxing music or nature sounds. If you are at your computer, we recommend that you sit upright in a comfortable position with your feet resting flat on the floor. This position will allow you to breathe without restriction and will help you to be in touch with the earth in some small way.
Breathing is important. You do it automatically, but when you are under stress your breath becomes restricted. Let it go. Allow your breathing to deepen in a very calming and natural way. Don't force it, just let go of your tension and feel the breath become slower and deeper.
Sitting at a computer frequently causes tension in the neck and shoulders. When you take this time of peace we suggest you allow your spine to straighten and relax. You may imagine that a toy helium balloon is pulling gently upon the top of your head, so that your head is over your shoulders and your spine is flexibly straight.
After you are finished reading you may want to close your eyes as you contemplate the message, or you may want to switch to a relaxing screen saver or graphic pattern that unfocuses your eyes. Whatever you do to enjoy this time, let it be natural and unforced.