meditation has a definite aura of the ethereal, of a peaceful withdrawal from hustle and bustle. It's not for everyone. Can you picture Trump in a lotus position uttering silent mantras and being still for more than no time at all? That would be my take. But let me offer a very different take on what meditation should be. To put it bluntly, meditation is not clearing your mind to arrive at some vaunted state of peace. That is a conventional understanding which smacks of new age hocus pocus. There is a much more practical and universal reason for taking some time to be with yourself regularly.

Meditation is about forgiveness

The most sage meditative text is the Lords Prayer. This is not because you should immediately become a Christian. That is very hard in a world where the general perception is that Christianity is about imposing rules. The center of the Lords Prayer consists of two lines that to me constitute the very purpose and heart of daily renewal, no matter what you call it. These lines say: "Forgive us as we forgive others." There are various versions but all of them involve asking for and receiving Forgiveness.

A mechanism that creates freedom

Forgiveness frees. It is like nothing else. It is a way of saying that we all universally exist in a contractual relationship with reality, whatever name we give it.

To be released from the burden of what we have done, we need to lift the burden from everyone else. The freedom of this one reciprocal action is palpable. It empowers. It literally makes the world go around.

And then a conversation

I am aware that I have probably lost readers for whom meditation is nothing like this. It is that centering attainment of stillness where the breath slows and becomes deep and regular.

After it is over you say "ha" and go back to whatever frenetic world you live in. So be it. That exercise seems to me clear and useful but it is mainly for when you need to be calm and centered. You need forgiveness daily at least. And you need to be aware of your inner power via conversation.

You are more than you

We are more than just us.

We are one with everyone just because we happen to be. And we are also one with ourselves which means we have a higher self or conscience or even a presence (friend, etc.) with whom we can open a dialog. Jesus called this prayer. The Lord's prayer is a dialog with the one he called Abba, which means dad, friend, father.

Such a conversation on a daily basis is the beginning of becoming a conscious actor in the world. Many have the sense of forgiveness and the sense of being connected. But many do not. Meditation or daily discipline can make the connection happen.