Christian meditation is a form of prayer which has been structured for one to become more aware of God while reflecting on His nature. The word meditation itself comes from meditari, a Latin word which has several different meanings such as to study, reflect, ponder, or to practice skill of rumination.
There are many different forms of Christian meditation with long and enduring history, but two stand out as the most authoritative and helpful.
The contemplative prayer exercise is a simple but very effective meditative practice that deepens our spiritual connection with God. The main premise of the contemplative prayer mediation is the repetition of a prayer mantra or scripture mantra.
With this practice it is important to choose a short sacred word or phrase. The most common word to concentrate on is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians may also ponder on the name of angels, or saints. The most important aspect of any sacred mantra is the psychological role it plays in our faith. A name or short phase that represents God's power is most ideal when attempting high unification with God.
This technique requires the participant to repeat the sacred word 10-30 times. It should be repeated without and emotional attachment. The purpose of repeating the mantra without emotion or thought is to allow God's manifestation. Having emotions or thought will inevitably become a barrier between you and God. The success of this practice comes from the relinquishment of the mind to the willful and rhythmic repetition.
If thoughts or emotions enter your mind, you must simply view them as a fleeting moment in the time and space of your mind and bring the mind back to the scared holy word. Eventually, your mind will give up and God will become the center of your attention.
Eastern Orthodox Prayer
Another form of contemplative prayer with roots in Orthodoxy is Hesychasm, also referred to as the Jesus Prayer. This is one of the most popular and widely practiced Christian meditation prayers. This mystical tradition of prayer has adherents repeat the Jesus Prayer. There are two forms of the prayer that disciples may choose from. The form of the Jesus Prayer is, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” The short for of the prayer is, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me” or simply, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.”
This prayer can be repeated mentally or verbally. Staunch monastic life requires the repetition of this prayer from several minutes to as much as eight hours a day. The purpose of such rigorous training is keep the in a constant state of prayer as described in the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
To begin your experience in the Orthodox tradition you select a place where you can be undisturbed for 10-30 minutes. Next get comfortable sitting or kneeling. Then wholeheartedly commit your heart, soul, and mind to God, and repeating either the long or short form of the Jesus prayer. Be vigilant over your mind. If thoughts pop-up, simply acknowledge them and concentrate on the verbal repetition. Every repetition should feel like a prayer in devotion to God.
The next step is to synchronize the breathing. As you inhale make sure you say “Lord Jesus, Christ, Son of God”, and as you exhale say, “have mercy on me, sinner”. This will further solidify your concentration on God. Some even visualize God entering their and washing away sin as they chant. Lastly, you should pray without ceasing. Try to maintain a steady repetition of the prayer for 20 minutes or more. Try it for an hour. Then try it everyday. Daily continuous prayer will train your mind to remain in a state of constant prayer even if you are indulged in other activities.
Meditation And Your Health
Christian meditation has two well documented benefits. While meditation has a positive influence on the mind and body if you want to find peace, it has enormous effects on health. Meditation helps regulate and stabilize food consumption and calms the internal chaos that can lead to mental health issues and even drug addictions.
The Power Of Meditation Over Your Diet
What we eat and how we eat can be largely controlled by mediation. When we are mentally or emotionally out of balance, we tend to over eat and eat unhealthy foods. Mindless eating is more likely to happen when you are out of balance with God. Christian mediators tend to remain at peace all day, and a peaceful state of mind will usually lead to healthy eating choices. Meditation is all about being aware of God in the present moment. Using the meditation techniques described above will help you have contact with God, and meaningful contact with God will always guide you with healthy habits. Don't be surprised if start losing weight.
The Power Of Meditation Over Your Mind
Anxiety, fear and depression are all signs that one is not at peace with God or the world. Meditation reduces these effects because the peace experienced during meditation affects the mind and body. For decades its been scientifically proven that the lack of meditation and exercise people turn to drugs and alcohol in order to relieve pain, stress, fears, and depression. Christian meditation can undoubtedly help you be free from the burdens that occupy the mind and burden you. Once you live in the light of God only good thoughts will keep you moving in the right direction. A deep contemplative life will improve your outlook, increase your concentration, and enlighten your creativity.
Christian meditation can be prayer that brings you closer to God which can dramatically change your life from the inside, where it counts. Along the way you will naturally tens to healthy foods, behavior, and habits. God is with you. Stay on your journey, and never give up. I'm praying for you.
Do you have any stories about your meditation with Christ? We want to hear about it. Publish your story below in the comment section.
We love you and we're praying for you.
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