Eastern Meditation stripped of its religious connotations has numerous health benefits but to substitute this type of meditation for Christian meditation in regards to spiritual life is an error. For purposes of physical health, breathing and various positions void of religious intent have health benefits, but for spiritual benefits, one must turn to the classical Christian meditation that looks not for relaxation but spiritual connection with God through the Scripture and Christ.
Christian meditation is Christo-centric and finds its basis in God’s presence through the quiet of Scripture and Christ. Christ leads one to the Father and helps one reflect on one’s spiritual life with God. Deeper contemplation can lead to deeper unions with God but all leads one back to the current world and its current situation instead of attempting to escape it.
Meditation is prayer and it is important that Christians remember this and not allow secular definitions of it to water its true nature down. The purpose is not to merely refresh the mind, de-stress, or find calm, but to connect with God.
The article, “Meditation Isn’t Mere Therapy — It’s a Living Relationship With Almighty God” by Anna Abbott reminds us of the true spiritual and prayerful nature of meditation. She states,
“In the case of Christian meditation, it is an active quest to live the life of Christ, which was anything but passive. Our Lord sought baptism from his cousin to begin his life of teaching. He called the Twelve Apostles. He actively healed, preached and performed miracles. He repeatedly told Sts. Peter, James and John that the endpoint of his mission was crucifixion, death and resurrection. He endured heroically, not passively. His mission is the foundational “quest.”
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Going beyond this secular definition of meditation and realizing this active quest to find God is key in Christian meditation. Christian meditation is not to escape the world but to understand it with all its suffering and distraught but to Christianize it. Meditation brings the Christian closer to God to deal with the issues of the world. In this way, Christian meditation is far more different than secular notions of meditation that find there roots in Eastern themes.
While these techniques have physical health value they cannot replace spiritual meditation. Also bear in mind as Christians, these techniques themselves need to be utilized carefully since their ultimate design is based to create mental states that are associated with Eastern theology which is far from Christian. The ultimate end of Christian meditation is union with God, not to become a god.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches one’s academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.