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Thread: Meditation

  1. #1

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    Default Meditation

    I have been reading about meditation. I've never really done it before because I thought it was about not thinking about anything, and I find that EXTREMELY difficult. Then I was reading about Christian meditation, where you kind of just think about certain things or parts of the bible. And obviously I like to ponder these things coz I keep posting threads in here, rofl, so I think this might work for me. Does anyone take time out to do this? How long have you been doing it for? And how do you feel you've benefitted from it? When do you do it and for how long? Do you have any tips? A lot of questions. Here's some info I was reading if anyone's interested:

    Christian Meditation: Is it Christian to Meditate?
    Christian meditation is rooted in the Bible. In fact, the Bible commands us to meditate. In Joshua 1:8, God says to meditate on His word day and night so we will obey it. The psalmist says "his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). Actually, the Bible mentions meditate or meditation 20 times.

    In the Old Testament there are two primary Hebrew words for meditation: Haga, which means to utter, groan, meditate, or ponder; and Sihach, which means to muse, rehearse in one's mind, or contemplate. These words can also be translated as dwell, diligently consider, and heed.

    Christian Meditation: A History
    One form of Christian meditation that has been used by believers since at least the fourth century AD is the lectio divina. It has been traditionally used in monastic religious orders and is enjoying a resurgence today. Lectio divina means "sacred reading" and has four stages: lectio (reading), meditatio (discursive meditation), oratio (affective prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). In the lectio (reading) stage, one finds a passage and reads it deliberately. The next stage, meditatio (discursive meditation), is where one ponders the text. In the oratio (affective prayer) stage, one talks to God about the reading, asking Him to reveal the truth. In the final, contemplatio (contemplation) stage, one simply rests in the Lord's presence.

    Today, meditation is generally seen as a practice of the New Age movement. This comes primarily from its association with Transcendental Meditation. Transcendental Meditation (TM) was developed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Hindu religion and is steeped in Hindu philosophy. The "yogi" in the TM founder's name indicates his status in Hinduism. Courts in the US have ruled that TM is not a secular discipline; it is Hindu religion (US District Court, Newark, NJ, on October 29, 1977 and the US Court of Appeals, Philadelphia, PA February 2, 1979).

    Christian Meditation: What do Christian Leaders Say?
    One important thing the Bible tells us to do is to think about God's Word. Our thoughts determine our behavior and so what we think about is very important. That is why God wants us to think about His Word, or meditate on it. Jim Downing in Meditation (NavPress) says God considers meditation a "vital exercise of the minds of His children."

    Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan), describes meditation this way: "Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind...if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate" (190). Warren goes on to say, "No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture…If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day" (190).

    In Satisfy Your Soul (NavPress), Dr. Bruce Demarest writes, "A quieted heart is our best preparation for all this work of God … Meditation refocuses us from ourselves and from the world so that we reflect on God's Word, His nature, His abilities, and His works … So we prayerfully ponder, muse, and 'chew' the words of Scripture. …The goal is simply to permit the Holy Spirit to activate the life-giving Word of God" (133).

    Christian Meditation: How do we do it?
    There are three times during the day we can actively turn our minds over to God's Word in Christian Meditation. Just before we fall asleep, we can have God's Word be the last thing that occupies our mind. Upon awaking, we can have God's Word be the first thing to fill our minds to start the day. Finally, we need a specific time each day to be in God's Word so it can speak to us throughout out day.

    What should we focus on in Christian meditation? "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8, NASB).



  2. #2

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    I am always very cautious around the issue of Christian meditation. I just have an uneasy feeling that there is a fine line of separation. With that said, Yesterday at church a comment was made that is hard to argue with. I believe the person was reference a piece of scripture all though i am not sure and it probably does not matter. This person has a daily prayer regiment that she goes through with the ending being a period of time to just be silent. To be silent and hear his soft still voice if you will. I am not sure that "isn't" meditation. I am also not sure that meditating over scripture is bad either. I guess I draw the line on chanting.

  3. #3

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    Ok, I just looked up what it says about it in the bible, and here is some of it:

    Joshua 1:8
    8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

    Psalm 1:2
    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

    Psalm 19:14
    14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

    Psalm 39:3
    3 My heart grew hot within me,
    and as I meditated, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

    Genesis 24:63
    63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
    Last edited by Heaven; November 19th, 2007 at 07:08 AM.

  4. #4

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    I think term 'meditate' has picked up some new age connotations over the years which for some Christians is not something that they feel they want to do. In the true sense of the word, meditate is to "engage in thought, contemplation, reflect" as seen in the scriptures you have found. I think meditation is an important part of Christianity, just taking that quiet time to reflect on what you have read in the bible, to contemplate the awesomeness of God, and to think about the ways you can live a better life.

    I'm not sure if I'm making any sense -way too sleep deprived ! Might come back later and see if I can clarify!

  5. #5

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    No, that made sense Tan. I agree with you, meditation is associated with hippies and chanting now, lol.
    I'll be interested to see if people are doing it and how they feel it helps them.

  6. #6

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    I would say I meditate, but I don't say 'righto, headed out to meditate in the hammock now' (no, meditate isn't a word I use for sleep ). I'll head outside, read my bible and then when I'm done, swaying in the breeze, I'll start thinking...thinking about what I've just read, about who God is, all sorts of stuff...I don't think you need to get too caught up in 'am I meditating right', some people have a formula, which will work for some people.

    I'm reminded of Psalm 46, 'Be still, and know that I am God', and also Philippians 4:8 'Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.'

    I think just to spend time with God is nice...like you'd have quality time with a friend, spouse or child. Just hanging out, learning more about each other. You can tell God things you'd like to share, and he reveals things to you...you realise things, or you find peace, or come to a decision. Doesn't need to be anything formal or dramatic. I know I can be guilty of doing all the talking in many of my friendships, and my friendship from God isn't exempt from that...I try though...to listen.

    Well, I think I'm on the verge (if I haven't already crossed over!) of rambling.

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