Meditation is a cultural buzz word these days. I hear it everywhere from Dr. Oz to Julia Roberts. It seems as if this word is thrown around like a Frisbee to anyone who wants to play! And I know that I’m stepping into controversial waters with some, but I just have to say . . .
I don’t believe that Christian meditation and eastern meditation (or perhaps more appropriately, “popular meditation”) are the same thing.
Eastern mediation involves emptying your mind. Your only focus—if any—should be on your breathing. The goal is to reach the state of “No Mind,” which is praised in Zen literature.
In contrast, Christian meditation is about filling your mind with God’s truth, His Word and listening for His still small voice. Instead of pursuing “No Mind,” it is taking on the “Mind of Christ.”
First of All
I think many are being duped into thinking that one is as good as the other. In my opinion, there is no comparison. One may bring calmness, but the other brings truth and life. I also believe that although eastern meditation may bring a sense of calmness, it’s a dangerous practice that leaves you open and vulnerable to spiritual influences. Remember, you are to . . .
“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” Proverbs 4:23 (CEV)
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 (NLT)
Second of All
Even though “meditation” has become popular in our culture, for Christians, it is an often neglected yet important spiritual practice. Just as our gas tanks run empty, so do our spiritual tanks. We need to “fill ‘er up” so to speak and here are some ways to do so with meditation . . .
Ways to Meditate
- Memorize a Bible verse and meditate on it when you’re facing a stressful, tempting or painful moment.
- Pray a Bible verse, using your name or personal pronouns where appropriate.
- Read over a special verse, stopping and focusing on the first word to really absorb its meaning. Then reread the verse focusing on the second word this time. Repeat until each word has been given special focus. Consider if the verse has taken on a new meaning to you.
- Envision a Bible passage, such as the 23rd Psalm. Imagine a scene with Christ, as your Shepherd, leading you beside still waters, etc. What does it feel like? Look like? Smell like?
These are just a sampling of ways. It certainly is not an exhaustive list.
Do you have some ways that you meditate on God and His Word? If so, share your ideas with us!
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2 (NLT)