Meditation

Meditation is a word that makes people think about Bhuddist monks sitting chanting or Asian mystics sitting in weird poses for days. Currently the most common meaning for meditation invokes an image of emptying your mind or focusing on a sound or single point, losing yourself in mindlessness, thinking about nothing, emptying yourself.

So what is Christian meditation? Is it Biblical? How can you do it? Does God want us to empty our minds and become one with the universe or does it mean something else?

Let’s start with what the Bible says about meditation.

In the Old Testament the word meditate is found over 18 times in the NIV version of the Bible. The word meditate is translated from a Hebrew word that is also translated as  ; to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication, to ponder:—imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, sore, speak, study, talk, utter. The verses it is found in are shown here: Meditate

In the New Testament the word meditate is not found as often.

In 1 Tim 4:15 we are told to consider / meditate on God’s word so our progress will be evident to all. Timothy is also encourage by
Paul to  continue practicing the things he has learned – to continuously continue in his study of God’s word.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul also wrote, to think about things that are honourable, praiseworthy and virtuous.

So how does Christian meditation and Eastern Meditation compare to each other.

Eastern Christian
Empty your mind FILL your mind with good things
Focus on one word of phrase (mantra) Focus on God / Scripture / Virtuous things
Sitting Still No posture or position required
Lose yourself / deny yourself Grow, mature, strengthen
Special times / places Any time / all the time
Cultivate detachment from the world Become attached to God
Become nothing Become all God created you to be
Inward focus Outward focus

To sum up.

Christian meditation is the practice of thinking about, talking about, studying God’s word and God himself. It involves reading the Bible, thinking about God, God’s people and even the world God has created in order to build a better relationship with God and grow as a Christian to be a better human being.

Christian meditation can be silent but we are encouraged to mutter, speak, sing, think, write and talk as part of our meditations.

Christian meditation can be done anywhere, at any time but we are also encouraged to set aside special time to meditate, as well as casual meditation during the day.

So how do we do Christian meditation?

I’ve listed some techniques here – try a few and see how they go.

 

WHO – How To Identify People In A Story

Read the story straight through

Read it again underlining or making notes on Names and Groups who are mentioned in the story.

Consider who may be affected by this story but aren’t specifically mentioned

For each person or group mentioned consider

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Position in society
  • Job
  • Family  / Cultural ties
  • Beliefs
  • Language
  • Physical Location and how it affects them
  • Physical / mental / emotional state
  • Their relationship with God
  • Their relationship with others in the story
  • Their relationship with those outside of the story
  • Actions they take, or fail to take