onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Many people aren't aware that the Christianity has a long tradition of the kind of introspective spirituality more usually associated with buddhism and eastern religions.



Personally I feel that an emphasis on this form of practice is a way forward for Christianity as a whole, as it focuses on finding inner peace (in the christian perspective 'knowing God') and self-improvement; rather than the outward directed finding-fault-in and redeeming-others, which seems to have caused so much damage to the church.



I recently acquired a small book by John Main (now deceased) who was one of the main people responsible for spreading the idea and practice of christian meditation.



The book is called 'Word into Silence' and I was impressed by the very short and consise meditation instructions on the first page.



I'm sure John Main won't mind me quoting them here, for the benefit of anyone (christian or not) who may want to give meditation a try.



Written by: from 'Word into Silence' by John Main OSB




HOW TO MEDITATE



Sit down. Sit still and upright.Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer-phrase 'maranatha'. Recite it as four syllables of equal lengh. Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything- spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts and images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning to simply saying the word. Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes.







"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:I did christian meditation when I was a teenager and doing confirmation training. Ironically it was the same training that that really made me question christianity and eventually give it the boot, but having since practiced various buddhist meditations the concept is pretty similar.

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Of course, the simple mantra form of meditation is what's been taught in corporate transcendental meditation since the early 60s (or so my Grandad said, when he taught me it wink ) to Christian business-types.
EDITED_BY: nearly_all_gone (1116257693)


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dave, I havent read the book. Do you mean introspective spirituality as a form of prayer and retreat? And yes, perhaps we should all pray more, but Christianity seems to be heading in the direction of evangelical bliss smile

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Some elements of Christianity strongly criticise any meditation that uses imagery. The mantra.word based meditations have a fairly long tradition though.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:one of my old flatmates, with whom i had many interesting discussions, was quite into the christian meditation thing.

but i realised there was a fundamental difference in what we did - and this was related in a large part to our different perceptions of the world.

i meditate upon the depth of my own mind - explore analyse - distance myself to give an objective look at myself from an independant perspective.

my flatmate meditated upon the word of christ. in his mind - he didnt need to meditate upon his interactions and his inner peace with the universe - he had accepted christ as his saviour and was going to heaven - then as a result had no need to meditate and look within.
indeed, he even found this idea as a sin, as the meditative principles of inward analysis did not originate from the word of his god, but another religion - therefore that the path of questing for peace and happiness through YOUR mind would ultimately lead away from Christ.
this was consistent with much of his character - although the guy meant well - i found him quite selfish in his understanding other, and a relative inability to analyse his words or actions and their affect on those around him - if you know your going to heaven - why do you really need to care about anything else?

but hey - thats only one introduction ive had to the world of christian meditation [apologies to all the nice and self analytical christians out there] - quite possibly he was an isolated case - but i still believe to look within yourself you need to distance yourself from some of the things that are closest to you.


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:I guess this sort of thing depends upon your definition of meditation, at the end of the day. What Dentrassi's describing as Christian Meditation is not my conception of meditation, which involves introspection through observing the mind, and attempting to realise stillness... then go from there into something I wouldn't normally be able to access..

This whole idea of meditating soley upon something which is external is difficult for me to think of as meditation, perhaps more as deep thought once having attained a meditative state, which would obviously elevate the power of such thought..

But then I probably don't understand Christianity well enough to form a reasonable opinion of this concept.. smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I've always felt that prayer and meditation had some kind of common ground... What exactly are the claims about "Christian Meditation" in this book? Like what are the goals, etc.? Is it considered a form of prayer?

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:It's from a christian perspective so the ultimate aim is to move closer to God.

The sub-aims are pretty much the same as those of meditation in Eastern philosophy traditions ie to move beyond discursive reason and venture into the silence that lays below the flurry of thoughts and emotions that make up the conscious mind.

It is considered a form of prayer.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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ieuan
holy man
Location: Upstate, NY
Member Since: 17th Sep 2003
Total posts: 110
Posted:I am studing the Christian "mystics" and have found this idea of meditation to be very profitable. It is becoming more commonly known as "contemplative prayer". My current readings have included, St Theresa, St John of the Cross, St Ignatius, Thomas A Kempis, and a modern contemporary of the practice Jim Goll.

I have found, as Dave said, in essence it is the same as eastern practice, with the exception of scripture being your mantra instead of whatever it is they use. I'm rusty on my knowledge of eastern practice. Both go deep inside themsleves, and self evaluate, but Christians are trying to hear what God has to say and find the heart and mind of God in all things.

As a Christian who has been in the "church" for 25 years, I have found it to have become dull, lifeless, ridgid, and pharisaical. Not at all like it should be.

Through Christian meditation or contemplative prayer, I have found the love and compassion, and simplicity of the gospel in it's purest form. Loving one others as Christ has loved me.

Well, since I'm gettin' preachy, I'll step off my soap box. I can't help it, I'm studying to go into the ministry. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Peace to you-

J


Gather your harps from the willow trees, dust off the ancient strings. Call the bards and prophets, let them sing healing and freedom. Let light and love flow from the strings, colors of revelation.

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Trybal Wolf
Trybal Wolf

Wolf Furry
Location: Earth
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2012
Total posts: 517
Posted:I agree with you ieaun. Christian meditation is not a means of finding truth in ones self but of recieving truth from God. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. There is no truth to be found in ourselves. Eastern meditation stems off of the belief that inside of each and every one of us there is truth, locked away for us to discover. Christianity teaches that there is no such truth in us.

All truth comes from God who is truth. Jesus said in John 8:24
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:for he is a liar, and the father of it."

We are the children of the Devil. If there is no truth in our father, how can there be truth in us?
The Bible says in John 1:12-13:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. When we turn to God through the gift of Christ Jesus's sacrifice, we become sons (or daughters), of God. At that point we can find truth in God.

Christian Meditation is not finding truth hidden deep within ourselves. Instead it is a way of recieving truth from God, and of keeping yourself aware of his presence.

Peace and Love


I'd rather die on paws, than live on feet.

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beaniebob
casually noob tech poi spinrar
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010
Total posts: 155
Posted:Not that I meditate, understand meditation or have anything to add to this thread, but do you actually bother checking the dates of the last posts, LoneWolf?

"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

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Trybal Wolf
Trybal Wolf

Wolf Furry
Location: Earth
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2012
Total posts: 517
Posted:I only think, beaniebob, that if there is information that should be added to a thread, than it should. Regardless of the last post's date.

You'll notice that on the forums a thread will suddenly come have to life after several years just because someone had something new to say. What I did was hardly out of the ordinary.

By the way, in the future, if you don't appreciate seeing an old thread revived, than you might as well post on a more recent thread.


I'd rather die on paws, than live on feet.

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beaniebob
casually noob tech poi spinrar
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010
Total posts: 155
Posted:Hey no problems dude, I don't mind at all. Any activity on HoP is a good thing imo (so long as it ain't spam).

I was just wondering, was all smile


"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

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Trybal Wolf
Trybal Wolf

Wolf Furry
Location: Earth
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2012
Total posts: 517
Posted:OK cool, see you around the forums man. cool

One question though. What does your signature mean? Just curious that's all, I haven't seen one like it yet.


I'd rather die on paws, than live on feet.

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beaniebob
casually noob tech poi spinrar
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010
Total posts: 155
Posted:Haha it's a quote I read once. Put simply, if all of your efforts into achieving immortality fail, you can always live on in the collective memory of mankind as a person involved in a royal screw-up.

For example this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Little_Bighorn

Or this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade


"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

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Trybal Wolf
Trybal Wolf

Wolf Furry
Location: Earth
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2012
Total posts: 517
Posted:Cool. It's like what Tesla once said:

Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.

Very neat. We should probably let this thread get back on topic so I'll leave it at this:
There is a difference between Christian and eastern meditation.

Take care. Peace and Light.


I'd rather die on paws, than live on feet.

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