Christian Counseling Certification Article on Meditation Is More Than Health

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.

 

Christian meditation is about a closer union with God. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

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.”

To read the entire article, please click here

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.

Meditation with St. Teresa of Avila

Meditation for Spiritual Union with God

Mystical Marriage of the soul and Christ
Mystical Marriage of the soul and Christ
If anyone spiritual is seeking union with God from a Christian perspective, then one should look no farther than the meditations of St. Teresa of Avila.  Her meditative classic, “The Interior Castle” supplies the reader with numerous ideas and spiritual advice.
Her first and foremost fundamental principle is that if one wishes to enter into union with God, they must seek God through prayer and meditation.  She emphasizes that meditation is important because one must focus upon the words of any prayer.  Through prayer and meditation, a person can begin to experience the joys of God.
St. Teresa, however, understands the fallen nature of man.  She also understands the traps and deceptions of the evil one.  As one enters into the first “mansions” of the castle or soul, they are besought with conflicts to do good or evil.  While the spirituality of the first mansions deal with prayer, good works and contemplation, the spiritual traveler must fight off the evil one and submit one’s will to God.
The final mansions involve the courtship of the soul with God.  The soul falls in love with God via romantic analogy and eventually finds mystical marriage and union.  In this union, God stays with the soul and sustains it with his intimate presence.  Both the will of creator and creation share the same goals.
St. Teresa finds the mystical marriage with the Lord to be the greatest gift the soul can be given by God in this temporal reality.  In it, the soul has purged itself from temporal gains and has submitted its will to God’s will.  The soul is filled with a burning love and basks in the love of God.  While in earlier states, the soul does experience occasional illuminations, esctasies and visions, this final state rises the soul to a more secure and consistent union with the Lord that also allows the soul to carry on with its daily duties.
If you are interested in learning more about Christian meditation or other topics, review our program and also review the “Interior Castle”.
 
Mark Moran, MA