Prayer is talking to God, and meditation is listening for the response


I’ve heard it said that prayer is talking to God, and meditation is listening for the response. For me, that’s true–it’s also a way for me to align my heart, thoughts, and body. I find when I make the time to stop the wheels inside my head from turning–even if it’s only five minutes–my Savior can take the wheel and steer me in the right direction.

But what’s the best way to meditate, especially in a busy world? I polled some of my interfaith friends on their practices, and here are some highlights.

-To me, meditation is a higher spiritual awareness. I practice remember that every action I take can have a spiritual purpose.
-I go to a quiet place and repeat the words of my favorite prayer to myself in a gentle, calm voice.
-I need to get beyond my thoughts, so I concentrate on my breathing, counting from one to ten over again as I breathe in and out.
-I simply step back and watch my thoughts as if I were watching a play. I try to keep my attention only on today, leaving both the past and the future alone.
-I focus on a flame. When my thoughts stray, and they do, I accept that my mind is just doing its job–thinking–and then gently return to my subject.
-I sit calmly and in my mind, I picture my Savior’s hands. One by one, I place my worries, fears, gratitude and joy into those hands. And finally, I climb in, too.

What method works for you?

I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-day Saint.
I was raised in Idaho, and baptized into the Mormon Church when I was eight. I left the church for many years, due in large part to my parent’s divorce. In my mid-20s, I returned to the church of my own accord, knowing full well that I was gay, and that someday I would have to find a way to reconcile my sexual orientation with my faith.

For many years, I was fractured: I believed I was a man with a foot in two worlds, and that I belonged in neither. But as I’ve grown in my testimony of my Savior and my confidence in who I am, I’ve come to understand myself as a man with a foot in two worlds–who very much belongs in both. From August 2011 through November of 2013, I served as the executive secretary of the bishopric of the Bay Ward within the San Francisco Stake.

I currently remain an active, happy and whole gay Mormon–just the way I am.

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