The Purpose Of Christian Meditation

Marilylle4

What is the purpose of Christian meditation? Have you ever wondered if it is even a viable option for Christians to meditate? Many people look towards meditation in different ways and for different reasons. For example some people look toward meditation as a form of stress relief. While others want to train the mind to become more focused.  Meditation does offer these benefits but it offers something even more for those who have a relationship with God.  When we meditate, our focus turns inward.  We observe our breathing and/or manta if we use one and we become still.  Inevitably, with a bit of practice, we begin to experience ourselves through our own spirit.  Our mind and body temporarily seizes to be  obstacles.  We no longer see and experience things so acutely on a conscious level through or mind and ego but through our spirit (our real self).  In other words, we cease to see our spirit as a third person but instead we experience consciousness through our spirit.  John Mains says that our spirit is “our life-line with the spirit of God.” From the seat of our spirit, we are brought into the presence of God where there is joy and bliss.  We experience God’s love directed towards us, filling all the empty regions of our being and at times, if we allow it, filling us to over-flowing so that we have no choice but to go out in love.  We become vessels of love.  We become more joyful givers.  We become…light-bearers. The more we discipline ourselves to meditate regularly, the more we grow into our real selves and into love. We become more aware of ourselves as spirit and wherever we go, we feel the spirit of God’s love with us and encouraging us to love those we  come into contact with. This is our deepest calling.  To love God and to love others the way God loves us (to the extent we are able to); to become more and more one with God; to grow into a being of love.

Many Christians get stuck in love’s polar opposite which is fear.  It is because of fear that many Christians decide not to meditate.  They feel meditation is either a new-age practice or a practice stemming from Eastern religion.  Yet for centuries, many Christians have practised meditation as a discipline for growth and to become closer to God.  Still other Christians mistake meditation for contemplation or biblical contemplation.  Contemplation is another important discipline altogether, one which I highly recommend.  If time is available, it would be invaluable to have a combined session of meditation and contemplation where either one proceeds the other.  In the bible we read, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Without the practice of stillness before God, it is difficult to grow in the fruits of the spirit which are love, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience and self-control. You would only be going in your own strength. Yet with God, all things are possible. (Matt: 19:26) Have you ever tried to love others only to have your ego get in the way? However, when you are filled with love because you have been spending time in the presence of God, loving others becomes an effortless joy. It is love for Love’s sake alone.  no strings attached.  God is Love. Meditation is the way we begin to abide in Him. We become more attune to His voice. We gain more clarity of His purpose for us.  He embraces us and points the way. With practice, we find that even when we are not meditating at that moment, we are aware of Him.  Our attention is on Him throughout the day.  We are aware of His presence and we feel Him leading us in love and joy.

 

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9 thoughts on “The Purpose Of Christian Meditation

      • There’s a universality about this kind of insight, I’m a Buddhist and interested also in some aspects of Hinduism. I see a clear parallel between the Christian God and Brahman in Advaita Vedanta. People are naturally curious about this kind of thing. A long time ago I wrote a post about it, ‘Jesus and Advaita Vedanta’ and surprised to discover WordPress stats in the New Year show it’s the most frequently viewed post in my blog: https://dhammafootsteps.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/jesus-was-advaitist/

        • Interesting…the terminologies are new to me but I understand the concept. To be honest, I know almost nothing about Buddhism (although I have always felt a sort of spiritual resonance with it). I know less about Hinduism. Yet, the more I grow spiritually …that is to say the closer I get to God and pursue spiritual growth and the more I read the writings of mystics of various religions be it Christian or Sufi or Buddhism or whatever, I begin to see more and more commonality. Christian beliefs are diverse and I don’t just mean denominations. Christian beliefs are as diverse as the individual Christian. Are Buddhists like this? Sometimes, my husband and I will tell each other that we are Christians but with blurring around the edges. Many Christians would find fault with this but we think this is really really good. 🙂 It isn’t that my faith is weaker or that I believe less of Christian teachings but in fact that I believe more and more in a loving God and what Jesus was really trying to convey.

          • This is it, all religions are talking about the same thing. Buddhism emerged from what we call Hinduism, the Vedas and Upanishads, more of a kind of analytical instruction/contemplation, thousands of years old. It’s quite possible that the Jesus Teachings had their origin here too. As in Christianity, there’s a diversity in Buddhist thought and your phrase ‘blurring around the edges’ applies here in the same way. One thing all are agreed about is no-self (not necessarily no-soul). ‘Self’ is a construct. This insight shakes up everything we learned in the West as children. It’s impossible to contemplate God due to the limitations of the body/mind sensory mechanism which interprets sensory data to suit what’s required. In confusion, most people have the idea that the Buddha/Jesus is there to somehow do it on their behalf, but that’s not it, of course, we awaken ourselves – it’s a DIY project, you need to have the right tools for the job; the hands-on investigatory function of mind in Vipassana meditation and a way of life based on Integrity/Focus/Wisdom and the Four Noble Truths leads to insight and the ability to properly understand just the ordinary things; no more than that, what life is about, and how it works…

            • I agree with what you are saying although I like to think of it as a partnership. ..us and God. Enlightenment takes time and discipline but a relationship with God can begin at the beginning. The relationship encourages us to further growth. I think if a person has an experience with God and doesn’t try to get to know him further through the discipline of meditation, Contemplation and abiding (being in His presence, seeking answers from Him directly) in Him then so often this is how fundamentalism can set in. The bible and other religious books are useful tools but it can be detrimental to our spiritual growth if reading books is all we ever do.

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