Christian Meditation is a form of meditation commonly practiced by Christian followers. It has been proven to create calmness, reduce stress and achieve inner peace. Moreover, it is also believed to prevent and cure symptoms of different illnesses. Given these reasons, Christian meditation therefore should be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
What is Christian Meditation?
Christian meditation originated from the Bible. In Joshua 1:8, God said to His people to meditate His words daily – day and night, for them to obey Him. Another passage referring to Christian meditation says, “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and His law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2). As a matter of fact, the Bible cited the word “meditate” for at least 20 times.
The word meditation is derived from 2 primary Hebrew word: haga, which means ponder and Sihach, meaning contemplate or rehearse in one’s mind. Thus, the word meditate is the process of focusing specific thoughts and pondering its meaning in the context of God’s love.
Christian Meditation Methods
Relaxation Methods. Also known as recollection, these are the primary means of preparing yourself for Christian meditation.
- Focusing on a fixed sound or object. Focus you mind on something that is outside of you like wind, sound of water, traffic, icon, painting, trees, sky, etc.
- Relax in tranquil environment. Choose a place away from distraction, preferably a spot where you can admire the setting. You may want to have it on the beach, a peaceful park, church, waterfall or any other tranquil environment. Take time to appreciate the serene sight, smell and sound.
- Environmental scan. Observe your environment: I see this. I smell this. I feel this. Etc.
- Body scan. Take note of each of your body sensations. I feel this. My heart feels like this. My chest feels, etc.
- Conscious breathing. Be conscious on how you breathe. Take note of the air coming in and out of your nostrils while feeling on the rise and the fall of your chest and abdomen. If you choose a place that’s really quiet, you may be able to hear your own heart beat as well.
- Progressive relaxation. This Christian Meditation is done by progressively relaxing and tensing a group of muscle in your body.
Using Music. Most of us do not think music as a Christian meditation method. However, it can be a powerful way to set your thoughts to the presence of God.
Listening to Meditative Music. Listening to a relaxing music is an excellent way to prepare yourself for deep meditation.
Imagination Methods. This combines the focusing techniques described above for the initial part then provide the mediator a deeper kind of experience from God. This includes direct message and love of God and the feeling of touching another in the communion of saints.
Visualization Methods. Imagination is important in Christian meditation in order to achieve the desired spiritual experience. Some of the most common practices you can try are the following:
- Imagining yourself in a serene place.
- Imagining that you are a part of a story in the gospel.
- Imagining and feeling other people’s agony.
- Imagining yourself as a small stone and dropping into the water.
- Imagining that you are with God.
Kything. Also knows as the “art of spiritual presence”, it is a form of Christian meditation wherein the mediator can experience spiritual connection with God, the saints, your friends and others. There are times that mental conversation is possible. In order to do this, you have to do these 3 steps:
- Focus on God.
- Focus on someone or something that you want to be kythe with.
- Use your imagination to communicate with it.
Traditional Methods of Christian Meditation
Repetitive Methods. These are Christian meditation techniques that are relatively simple and easy. The calm repetition of a words or sounds allows a person to calm his or her mind in preparation for a deeper spiritual experience.
- Say your prayers.
- Doing mantra.
- The Jesus Prayer.
- The Rosary Prayer.
Contemplative Methods Christian Meditation
Literally means “time together”, contemplation techniques require peaceful areas in order to contemplate and connect with God.
Slow prayer. For example, pray the Lord’s player. However, do it for at least one hour. As you pray, focus on the words and contemplate with it. This will help you feel the prayer in your heart.
Contemplation prayer. This is probably the most difficult type of contemplative method in Christian meditation. This is because you are not seeking experience through your feelings and thoughts. Contemplation also refers to “being alone with God”.
Centering Prayer. Commonly practiced by various Catholic circles, centering prayer is a specific contemplative technique that uses short words as prayers like “Jesus”, “Spirit”, “love” and “God” in order to put the mind away from distractions. In Christian meditation, another way to do it is to use mental images as “prayers”.
Lectio Divina. Known as the “spiritual reading”, lectio divina is done by reading the scriptures or any other spiritual writings. It is followed by prayer, visualization and contemplation to complete the Christian meditation.