A Guided Communion Meditation
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
A couple years ago, I attended a lengthy, all-day church visioning workshop. Maybe you’ve been to something like this. The topic was vague and a little boring, and ideas were either from left-field or non-existent. Enthusiasm was waning, and by the end of the first hour, I started questioning the spiritual productivity of our gathering. Looking around as the day went on, I could tell a lot of other people felt the same way. Then, our leader did something strange.
In the middle of this meeting, he decided to hold the eucharist. That’s right. He decided we all needed to have holy communion. I looked at my empty plate and everyone else’s. We’d already eaten our catered lunch of deli sandwiches and chips. Most of us had already eaten some of the homemade dessert a volunteer brought. The plate of those leftover brownies was still on the food table. He grabbed it and said, “This will work. We’re sharing a meal together. A brownie can be a meal. Everybody take a piece of brownie. Use whatever drink you have.”
I personally thought he’d lost his mind. But then he started talking and reminded us about the Lord’s supper, the words Jesus spoke, the concept of breaking bread—oops, “breaking brownie” together as a group of like-minded believers. By the time we got to “…this we do in remembrance of Him,” it actually seemed okay. Don’t get me wrong, it was weird, but the Spirit was there. The essence. The meaning and power behind the ritual. It somehow worked.
The whole scene made me think about eating in general, with regard to our “communion with the Divine,” which is what the communion sacrament is. Could we use our regular old daily food as our own communion-style ritual? Could eating a meal while thinking about our connection to God become a spiritual practice, a method, a way to “commune” with him? Was it really that much different than saying grace, blessing our meal, or giving thanks for our food?
So I gave it a try, and guess what? It was strange, but it worked. So, if you have an open mind, I created this Personal Guided Communion Meditation for you to try. You can certainly try this when you’re eating alone, but there’s really something to be said for families and friends gathered around a table trying this together. It can be really effective if someone else reads it out loud.
Step 1: Breathe
When your meal is prepared and ready before you, take a moment to get comfortable in your seat. Close your eyes. Pay attention to your breathing for a few seconds. Just notice it. Take a nice deep breath in. Maybe hold it for a few seconds, then exhale and let that out. For right now, make your breath just a little bit deeper than normal. Do that a few times and then let your breathing return to normal. Relax. Enjoy a moment of gratitude for your lungs doing the job they do, breathing for you.
Step 2: Your Health
Put your hand on heart. Have gratitude for your heart beating without you having to think about it. Imagine it glowing and spreading good energy through your body with perfect health, moving positive healing energy to all your body systems, all your organs, to every cell in your body. Consider all the healthy decisions you make for your body. Think of the healthy choices you make with the food and drink that you put in your body for nourishment. Rest in that for a moment, the amazing way your body works--the way you are able to take in food and drink for nourishment of your perfect, functioning body.
Step 3 The Metaphor
Jesus used the concept of nourishment at the last supper. He used food and drink, the bread and the wine, as the metaphor for us to remember him by, to remember not only his presence, but his teachings which were based on love and unity. In the same way as the holy communion ritual, you are able to take in food and drink to nourish your own physical body today. With the same reverence, respect, and contemplation, you can take in the food and drink before you to nourish your spirit, your true essence beyond your physical body…your soul.
Step 4: Receive.
Rest your hands in your lap a moment, with the palms facing up, in a position of acceptance, in a position of receiving. This is not church communion with the bread and the cup. This is your conscious communion with your Divine Source. Let that fill you. Let that nourish you. Let that radiate through your soul. Receive and accept this love, this connection with God, your Divine Source.
In the same way you imagined your body glowing with radiant health, imagine your entire soul aglow with this nourishing gift. And when you do this, think of all the other souls who participate in the communion ritual, whether in a church, spiritual center, or at a table in their homes. Celebrate your unity and oneness with them.
Please note: this unique, progressive, spiritual practice exercise was in no way intended to belittle, change, or disrespect the Eucharist, Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. I appreciate the open mind of my readers and their willingness to explore new ways to practice their faith. As an interfaith minister, I love learning about all kinds of different spiritual practices and rituals. What works for one of us, may not work for all of us, and that is always OKAY!