I sometimes think of meditation / contemplative prayer as a kind of time travel–leaving the hustle and madness of the 21st century, and going back to the origin, back to when God walked with man in the Garden of the heart. But of course, it’s not going “back” at all, but rather stopping time in a sense–not in the external world of course, but as we listen to God in the deep silence at the center of the soul, time stops internally. In that freedom from time, we meet God, who is eternal, outside of time.
So from the noise of our minds we go back to stillness, and from the noise of our wants, anxieties and ideas, we sink into that stillness, and there, just rest and “be still, and know God.”
It’s strange that practicing this rest for our souls is so difficult. Our bodies demand this deep rest, without thought, emotion, or worry. Any more than a few days without sleep can kill.
Similarly, our spirits suffer just as much without consciously resting in this stillness in which God calls us to meet him. But we can survive (so it seems) without it, so we ignore it.