Meditating on a Stone
This needs at least half an hour. One hour would be better for groups that are used to silence. Pause for a few minutes at each new paragraph. At the * make the pauses longer.
You will need a pile of stones, a large glass bowl half full of water, a CD/cassette player, and CDs/tapes of ‘reflective music’.
Will you each pick up a stone from the pile. Any one will do. We are going to use them as the focus for our meditation. Hold your stone in your palm while you take time to relax in whatever way you are used to ... be specially careful to be aware of your breathing.
When you feel you have got out of your thinking into your feeling mode begin ‘to make friends with your stone’.
Under God your stone has things to tell you. Try to put yourself into an attitude of attentive listening.
Experience your stone - not as an isolated pebble but as part of creation. Engage with the time when it was an integral part of one of those great blocks which could have built homes and great halls.
It is a little brother of those blocks, but infinitely more experienced.
Enter imaginatively into its journey. Feel the splitting, and the pounding; the ice and the great flood, the churning and the polish, and the little ripples which also played their part in fashioning it.
And to what end? Discuss with your stone its possible future. Will it turn the ankle of a walker and cause an accident?
Or be thrown at a window by a violent teenager?
Or cobble a path?
Or be decorated and given as a present?
Or help someone's prayer?
Or might it stay stuck in an eddy for ever?
Now explore your stone for its own sake. It is unique. Feel it. Taste it. Smell it.
Are there rough places? Sharp angles? Unexpected smoothnesses? Interesting markings? Bits of quartzite? Colours? Beautiful lines? Uglinesses?
* Now in a longer silence, let the stone you have come to know so well speak to you about yourself.
About your own journey up to now.
About where you came from and where you are going.
About your own sharp corners and rough surfaces.
About your own beauty and colour.
And about your own potential for the future.... What are the options? What will you be doing with what you have?
When you are ready, become aware of your surroundings, and of your companions. Bring your stone and plunge it with the rest into the water.
Stay with it long enough to rejoice in the transformation and life water brings, even to the most beautiful stone.
Then spend some time blessing the Lord for your baptism and relishing the companionship of your fellow pilgrims.