Passage Meditation 101 | Omega

If you love reading for inspiration, or you learn well verbally, try passage meditation to combine your love of words with spiritual practice. To find other meditation practices that match your needs and interests, see Which Type of Meditation Is Right for You?

What: Passage meditation is the act of sitting quietly and reading out loud or mentally repeating a passage from a spiritual book or text. It has been historically practiced in numerous world religions, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. 

Examples: The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola and passage meditation as conceptualized by Eknath Easwaran

Benefits: A 2006 pilot study suggested that Easwaran's passage meditation method reduces perceived stress among health professionals (such as doctors, nurses, and chaplains), while a follow-up study suggested it improves their "caregiving self-efficacy," which is measured by their ability to take time for self-care; respond to disruptive patient behaviors with equanimity; and control upsetting thoughts about caregiving when they arise. According to easwaran.org, passage meditation can also sharpen concentration, motivate a practitioner to embody the spiritual messages in the text, and provide "a deep sense of fulfillment."

Keywords: contemplative, thought-provoking, verbal

Try this: To practice Easwaran’s passage meditation, find a passage or poem from a spiritual text or book that is exceptionally meaningful to you—one that moves you or articulates your highest ideals. Memorize it so you can practice the meditation on a regular basis. Find a comfortable sitting posture on the floor or in a chair, relax, and let your head, neck, and trunk be naturally erect. Close your eyes and begin to slowly, mentally recite the passage. Do your best to pay close attention to each word. When your mind wanders, bring it back. Repeat the passage as many times as you like, and soak up its meaning.

 

© 2015 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Discover More