Trained In Buddhist Meditation, She Converted To a Church.
Stéphanie Halverson, author of “Meditation with her heart and her five senses” (EdB). Without denying the contribution of Buddhist meditation, Stéphanie Halperson testifies to her conversion and to the power of the Love of God, which came to fill her heart which had remained thirsty for years.
Conversion at first glance is overwhelming. Only at first glance, because with hindsight, Stéphanie Halperson realizes that “all these hours of learning to be silent with a Buddhist master” prepared her “to receive the love of God in her.” With the paternal side of cousins
Aleteia: Your spiritual journey is not trivial. Can you outline it?
Stephanie Halperson: At the age of 20, overtaken by a feeling of inner emptiness, I had depression. It is from there that my spiritual journey begins. After having touched astrology, numerology, and divination and having gone into a sect, I began, around the age of 30, Buddhist meditation with my cousin monk Gérard Godet, patron of Tibetan Buddhism in France. I also practised mindfulness meditation with Christophe André. At the same time, I attend a prayer group initiated by Dominique Rey, then pastor of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris. Nothing fills me, and I can’t choose.
What ultimately makes you “choose”?
While practising silence, as my Buddhist master had taught me, at Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot church in Paris, I experienced the incredible power of Love. of God for me. I sat in front of a substantial golden stone Christ, staring at this welcoming, benevolent Christ with open palms. I felt a wave of love rise in me, which swept away everything in its path. There was a before and after this experience during which I felt in my whole being that God was Love!
At that time, the Buddha bores me, and Christ has not yet revealed himself to me.
I followed many Christian teachings: Béthasda course by Simone Pacot, training in the sacraments by Matthieu Rougé, body prayer taught by a Carmelite, Zacchaeus course, Christian meditation according to the tradition of the desert fathers, Alpha course, and of course the Spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius. We performed the Exercises for the first time about fifteen years ago, a retreat in life for a year with the Sisters of the Cenacle, then an initiation to the Exercises a few years later in Manrèse. They have just completed my fifth Exercise retreat. Each time, these are intense spiritual experiences, which have also partly inspired the meditations in my book.
How did you get the idea, the desire to write this book?
The idea came to me while in lockdown, listening to a conference on the mission. After this first experience of the Love of God twenty years ago, I have always sought this exchange of Love with the Lord in prayer. Since a sensitive faith, I have received a lot of Love and consolation in prayer, and I wanted to share this life of worship, all these fruits received. I thought it could be suitable for other people who may have difficulty praying or are looking for a new way to do it.
What does this method consist of? How do the five senses take place in prayer?
The method of Saint Ignatius appeals to the five senses as it offers an immersion in the Gospels. From a biblical passage, he invites us to enter the scene, imagine the place, watch what is happening, and listen to the exchanged words. As I have been writing novels for about thirty years, going through the imagination immediately attracted me.
By this method, there can be a real encounter with the Lord. The first time I did the Exercises, I always saw Jesus dressed in white. I was irresistibly drawn to the light he radiated, a light that delighted me nourished me, and soothed me.
To be satisfied with seeking to create a vacuum means to miss the encounter with God.
. They commit our whole being to meet the Lord, to live a moment of intimacy with him.
You have also created an application, MeditaCœur?
With the help of my daughter, a Mines / Telecom engineer, yes! The MeditaCoeur application offers to listen to the book’s meditations, said by brother Sébastien Marie or me. . New meditations are coming.
Looking back, you recognize the contribution that Buddhist meditation may have had in your life of faith. What exactly did she bring you?
. But today, it would be impossible for me to stick to this type of meditation.