Fr. Thomas Keating, who in the 1980s articulated contemporary Christian meditation known as Centering Prayer, suggests we chose a sacred word or symbol (such as Om, love, peace) to return to when a thought comes into mind.. “The primary function of the sacred word is not to push thoughts away or to thin them out. It is rather to express our intention to love God, to be in God’s presence, and to submit to the Spirit’s action during the time of prayer.”
I find a sacred word too distracting. Like many other meditation practices, I choose to return to my breath, which is always with me. My breath is in my body, whereas a word is in my mind where my thoughts are. And thoughts are the very thing I’m trying to let go of during this time.
Sacred word, breath, choose the one that eases you back to faith and love toward God.