Meditation has gotten a bad rap among Christians, although I do see a changing trend. I can remember being critical of Yoga myself because of the “Eastern” philosophy connected with it. I practice Yoga myself every once in a while when I can’t work out due to my feet.
I may offend some Christians but if we don’t look at the issues that tickle our sensitivities, we’ll never understand our world. And when it comes to meditation, I wonder how it ever got such bad press anyway.
I wonder what people think Jesus was doing when He went off alone to pray? He was meditating. He might even have sat cross-legged. I mean, does anyone know? Really?
Of course, I would call this kind of meditation, Christian meditation. What is Christian meditation and how is it different from Eastern meditation?
Christian meditation is quite simply listening to God and obeying His word. There’s nothing mysterious about it. No mantras. No chants. No seeking a deeper consciousness. It’s filling our mind with Him.
Eastern meditation is all about emptying the mind and finding a “deeper level of consciousness through repetition, chants, body posture. Its ultimate goal is a sense of detachment from the world.
Christian meditation is not a religious manipulation to bring about psychological or physical changes.But any form of meditation, including Christian meditation can result in lower blood pressure. And that’s just an added benefit.
Very few Christians practice meditation. They pray, yes, but that’s something very different than meditation.
Meditation is a little scary. We are listening for God’s voice. Because meditation is silent, it’s scary.We’re so much better when we are busy talking.
Meditation is intimidating. We feel inadequate. How do we begin? How do we avoid distraction? There’s an old saying, “If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate.”
I do not admit to having all the answers. I’ve meditated for a few years now. Not every day, of course. Sometimes I sense I get it right. Other times, not so much.
But as with all things worth pursuing, I keep at it. This is one of those times where the process is also the result. Hope you followed that?
I would like to recommend two books if you are interested in the subject. This first book is considered a classic. It’s called Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster. The second book is one I’ve mentioned many times. It’s “Hearing God” by Dallas Willard. (I recommend all books by these two authors although be prepared. Dallas Willard’s books require a lot of thinking and re-reading. But I happen to love a challenge.)