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Christian Meditation is a form of meditation commonly practiced by Christian followers. It has been proven to create calmness, reduce stress and achieve inner peace. Moreover, it is also believed to prevent and cure symptoms of different illnesses. Given these reasons, Christian meditation therefore should be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Christian meditation originated from the Bible. In Joshua 1:8, God said to His people to meditate His words daily – day and night, for them to obey Him. Another passage referring to Christian meditation says, “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and His law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2). As a matter of fact, the Bible cited the word “meditate” for at least 20 times.
The word meditation is derived from 2 primary Hebrew word: haga, which means ponder and Sihach, meaning contemplate or rehearse in one’s mind. Thus, the word meditate is the process of focusing specific thoughts and pondering its meaning in the context of God’s love.
Christian Meditation Methods
Relaxation Methods. Also known as recollection, these are the primary means of preparing yourself for Christian meditation.
- Focusing on a fixed sound or object. Focus you mind on something that is outside of you like wind, sound of water, traffic, icon, painting, trees, sky, etc.
- Relax in tranquil environment. Choose a place away from distraction, preferably a spot where you can admire the setting. You may want to have it on the beach, a peaceful park, church, waterfall or any other tranquil environment. Take time to appreciate the serene sight, smell and sound.
- Environmental scan. Observe your environment: I see this. I smell this. I feel this. Etc.
- Body scan. Take note of each of your body sensations. I feel this. My heart feels like this. My chest feels, etc.
- Conscious breathing. Be conscious on how you breathe. Take note of the air coming in and out of your nostrils while feeling on the rise and the fall of your chest and abdomen. If you choose a place that’s really quiet, you may be able to hear your own heart beat as well.
- Progressive relaxation. This Christian Meditation is done by progressively relaxing and tensing a group of muscle in your body.
Using Music. Most of us do not think music as a Christian meditation method. However, it can be a powerful way to set your thoughts to the presence of God.
Listening to Meditative Music. Listening to a relaxing music is an excellent way to prepare yourself for deep meditation.
Imagination Methods. This combines the focusing techniques described above for the initial part then provide the mediator a deeper kind of experience from God. This includes direct message and love of God and the feeling of touching another in the communion of saints.
Visualization Methods. Imagination is important in Christian meditation in order to achieve the desired spiritual experience. Some of the most common practices you can try are the following:
- Imagining yourself in a serene place.
- Imagining that you are a part of a story in the gospel.
- Imagining and feeling other people’s agony.
- Imagining yourself as a small stone and dropping into the water.
- Imagining that you are with God.
Kything. Also knows as the “art of spiritual presence”, it is a form of Christian meditation wherein the mediator can experience spiritual connection with God, the saints, your friends and others. There are times that mental conversation is possible. In order to do this, you have to do these 3 steps:
- Focus on God.
- Focus on someone or something that you want to be kythe with.
- Use your imagination to communicate with it.
Traditional Methods of Christian Meditation
Repetitive Methods. These are Christian meditation techniques that are relatively simple and easy. The calm repetition of a words or sounds allows a person to calm his or her mind in preparation for a deeper spiritual experience.
- Say your prayers.
- Doing mantra.
- The Jesus Prayer.
- The Rosary Prayer.
Contemplative Methods Christian Meditation
Literally means “time together”, contemplation techniques require peaceful areas in order to contemplate and connect with God.
Slow prayer. For example, pray the Lord’s player. However, do it for at least one hour. As you pray, focus on the words and contemplate with it. This will help you feel the prayer in your heart.
Contemplation prayer. This is probably the most difficult type of contemplative method in Christian meditation . This is because you are not seeking experience through your feelings and thoughts. Contemplation also refers to “being alone with God”.
Centering Prayer. Commonly practiced by various Catholic circles, centering prayer is a specific contemplative technique that uses short words as prayers like “Jesus”, “Spirit”, “love” and “God” in order to put the mind away from distractions. In Christian meditation, another way to do it is to use mental images as “prayers”.
Lectio Divina. Known as the “spiritual reading”, lectio divina is done by reading the scriptures or any other spiritual writings. It is followed by prayer, visualization and contemplation to complete the Christian meditation.
Generally speaking, mindfulness is a technique of deliberately focusing your attention on the present. You don’t let yourself be distracted by other thoughts constantly running through your head; you clear “noise” from your mind.
Mindfulness (some use the word grounding) is characterized by meditation and relaxation techniques. The idea is to become more self-aware. You pay attention to thoughts, feelings, and sensations in that moment — without purposefully deciding whether they’re good or bad, and without becoming overwhelmed or overly reactive. In short, you tune in to what’s real right now.
Like anything, mindfulness can be misused. However, it doesn’t automatically contradict the Christian faith. We just need to make sure we approach it in a wise, biblical way.
History and use of mindfulness
The concept of “mindfulness” is rooted in Zen Buddhist meditation, although it would be a mistake to classify this as a strictly Buddhist discipline. As we’ll talk about shortly, there’s strong support within the Judeo-Christian tradition and the pages of Scripture for the practice of meditation in general. For their part, Buddhists believe that awareness gained through meditation is a “power” that helps them reach nirvana: a state of enlightenment, peace, and happiness.
In recent years, mindfulness has gained traction in the West as a counseling and psychotherapy tool. Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered to be a major influencer in Western adoption of the practice. He created a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Similar programs such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) treat depression and anxiety, and enhance mental health. Mindfulness is also used by employers and schools to handle stress and spark creativity.
Can Christians safely practice mindfulness?
As you’ve discovered, opinions about mindfulness and its impact vary in the Christian community.
Folks who are skeptical about it often point out its Eastern origins. They might say that mindfulness:
- Is based on an unhealthy degree of self-focus.
- Promotes a one-with-the-cosmos worldview.
- Supports emptying the mind (which can leave people exposed to demonic influences).
- Encourages escape from reality.
These concerns are valid. Secular mindfulness is horizontal. In other words, you pay attention only to yourself. However, that approach contradicts Scripture’s teaching to have the mind of Christ and evaluate everything in light of our vertical relationship with God and Jesus.
So, can mindfulness ever be a safe and positive option to manage stress and develop a healthier thought life? Yes!
Christians and many faith-based counselors use mindfulness in a Christ-integrated way as a therapy tool. They believe mindfulness can be compatible with a biblical worldview — as long as it’s rooted in Scripture and focuses on connecting with God.
And thankfully, the Bible has a lot to say about calming our minds and keeping a vertical focus on the One who lovingly created us and knows us intimately. For example:
- The apostle Paul reminds Christians that they’re called to be mindful and live with an awareness of the present (Philippians 2:1-5).
- Prayer is one very practical way Christians apply mindfulness to daily life (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Meditation appears in the Bible in the context of spending time studying the Word of God (Psalm 48:9; Psalm 63:6).
- We should look to Jesus and think about true, admirable things (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 4:8).
- Christians shouldn’t let themselves to be distracted by worry about the future (Matthew 6:25-34).
- Scripture teaches us to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Paul tells us to “be transformed” by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) and to practice God-honoring thoughts (Philippians 4:9).
Want to talk more?
In the end, you’ll need to prayerfully decide for yourself whether to engage in mindfulness as a spiritual discipline or incorporate it into a counseling plan. But we know it’s a complex topic. Would you let us come alongside you?
Call us for a free over-the-phone consultation. Our licensed or pastoral counselors will be glad to help in any way they can. They might also be able to suggest referrals to specialized organizations, support groups, and qualified counselors and Christian therapists in your area.
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Articles and Position Statements
Overstressed Americans are increasingly turning to various forms of Eastern meditation, particularly yoga, in search of relaxation and spirituality. Underlying these meditative practices, however, is a worldview in conflict with biblical spirituality—though many Christians are (unwisely) practicing yoga.
Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These worldviews advocate meditation and “higher forms of consciousness” as a way to discover a secret inner divinity.
Yoga, deeply rooted in Hinduism, essentially means to be “yoked” with the divine. Yogic postures, breathing, and chanting were originally designed not to bring better physical health and well-being (Western marketing to the contrary), but a sense of oneness with Brahman—the Hindu word for the absolute being that pervades all things. This is pantheism (all is divine), not Christianity.
Transcendental Meditation is a veiled form of Hindu yoga, though it claims to be a religiously neutral method of relaxation and rejuvenation. Initiates to TM receive a mantra (Hindu holy word) to repeat while sitting in yogic postures and engaging in yogic breathing. The goal is to find God within their own beings, since God (Brahman) and the self (Atman) are really one.
Differences in various forms of Eastern meditation aside, they all aim at a supposedly “higher” or “altered” state of consciousness. Meditation guides claim that normal consciousness obscures sacred realities. Therefore, meditation is practiced in order to suspend rational patterns of thought.
This helps explain why so many Eastern mystics claim that divine realities are utterly .
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Soultime Christian meditation app | soultime.com
Meditation has risen in popularity in the U.S. by threefold since 2012. The custom has been around for thousands of years and is observed in nearly every religion but not many people know which forms of meditation actually come from the Bible.
The Christian Post decided to take a closer look at the practice of Christian meditation and some of the latest apps for it, including Soultime and Abide. CP spoke with some of the apps’ creators as well as pastors who revealed how important it is for Christ followers to understand meditation while exposing some of the rituals that have nothing to do with Christianity.
Meditation practices can be found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Some people practice meditation independent of any religion but are likewise looking for a sense of peace and insightfulness offered through the religious practices.
Workplaces throughout the United States are providing meditative breaks for their employees to help them “de-stress” and more schools are incorporating it into their schedules for young students. Psychotherapeutic techniques provided by physicians also sometimes include meditation to help those suffering from mental illnesses.
There are several varieties of meditation. Here are the six majors ones:
Spiritual Meditation can be linked to Christianity because it involves prayer and reflection as one seeks a deeper connection with God
Mindfulness Meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and instructs participants to pay attention to their thoughts without judgment or engaging them
Focused Meditation involves one using any of their five senses to focus their attention on something internal.
Mantra Meditation is linked to Hindu and Buddhist traditions and involves using repetitive sounds, such as the popular “om” in hopes to clear the participant’s mind.
Transcendental Meditation is labeled one of the most popular forms of meditation. It was founded by an Indian guru and is reportedly the most studied type of meditation by scientists. Similar to mantra meditation but more specific, it’s based on different factors that can include someone’s birth year or gender.
Movement Meditation is linked to yoga. This practice can include walking, gardening, or other forms of lite motion in which the movement guides.
The following section will explore what Christian meditation is, what it’s not and some tools that were created to assist Christians in meditation.
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