There are four main techniques to Christian mediation, contemplative (prolonged deep study), music (praise and worship), stillness (edified by the word), and guided (Biblical or personal). Each of these techniques are described by the Bible to bring us into the presence of God who exists supernaturally.
Contemplative MeditationThe contemplative style is largely founded on investing long periods of time in the study and contemplation of scripture. This is particularly powerful when great effort is placed on understanding entire books of the Bible in their original language.
Often times the student may study for 2 to 8 hours per day. To the lay person this may seem completely out of reach and maybe even harsh, to the initiated and willing student they are moments of bliss with God.
Usually the light and voice God will grow gradually manifesting itself over the course of weeks maybe months. This result comes from continuous concentrated loving contemplative effort in understanding the ideas, thoughts, and concepts of God. Continuous loving effort cultivated the Word within in us until to becomes part of our being.
This kind of life changing meditation is spoken of by Jesus in John 14:21 and 23, in which He states that if anyone loves Him with enough intensity to cultivate His within until it becomes part of their being the presence of God will manifest to that person.
The result of rectifying our inner being with the word of God is spoken by Jesus throughout the gospels, but none is more poignant as this verse, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8.
This verse applies to those whom God considers pure in heart. Many Christians are not pure in heart. God can only consider Himself and His word be totally pure anything apart than that is distant from the purity of God. A person who meditates on His word for hundreds or even thousands of continuous of hours will become the product of what they study. They are the ones who "keep", they literally embody His word and it is to them who God is reveled.
Music MeditationNearly 50 million Christians practice music meditation every Sunday. Without knowing that they practice music meditation they sing or chant worship lyrics and dance until they experience God.
This kind of meditation dates back to the early days of Israel when God worship with musical instruments. Many of the Psalms authored by King David were written under the influence of musical worship and the evidence is located throughout David's Psalms as he describes musical instruments and the power of sound in worship.
Another vivid example of music meditation and how the presence of God can flow is located in 1 Samuel 10:5 - 6. In these verses King Saul is told that he will meet a group of musical prophets who prophesy by the presence of God. The Spirit of God is so strong on these prophets that the presence of falls on Saul too. Saul begins to prophesy and is never the same.
This Old Testament event is very similar to today's Christian worship. The Spirit of God can become very elevated during a particularly charge worship service. Anyone entering the church sanctuary will almost inevitably feel the presence of God, and when the presence is very elevated people begin to react. Some shake and cry, others dance, some speak in tongues, while others fall to the ground.
There is nothing wrong with this kind of meditation, keep in mind that God decreed angels to worship around the throne with music every minute of eternity. If you've ever experienced an uplifting during a spiritually charged worship, wait until you get to the kingdom!
Stillness MeditationThe "be still" meditation is commanded by God in Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know I am God." This command comes as prerequisite to knowing Him, and in 1 Kings 19:12 when God approaches Elijah His voice manifest in a quiet whisper.
Unfortunately, very little is know about the meditative practices of the prophets of old. All we have are hints left behind in the Bible and ancient rabbinical scrolls. What is known is that isolation from external stimulation and zeal for God played an important roll in the stillness meditation.
In 1 Kings 19:13 - 14 we are told that Elijah was in a cave and that he had a zeal for God. From this we can surmise that Elijah forsook external stimuli including contact with people. Void of distractions or concerns Elijah was probably able to abide in the commandment to be still. After he hears the voice of God he wraps his head and walks to the entrance of the cave.
Modern analysis of the stillness meditation has shown that a person living in modern society has a very time achieving stillness of mind to hear God. The cares of modern life are so numerous and so varied that it's virtually impossible for a person meditate on God without distracting thought.
Breathing exercises, change of diet, and continuous practice have yielded very good results, even for beginners. Because the stillness meditation commanded by God is difficult, the average person never the height of eternal peace where a person becomes fully aware of God.
Guided MeditationGuided Christian meditation can be extremely effective when accompanied by relaxation techniques, music, and influenced by the word of God. This particular meditation is relatively new and widely practiced by Christian counselors and therapists with very good results.
A milder form of this meditation is experienced when a preacher captivates the attention of his audience with an inspiring message. This becomes even more powerful when soft background music is introduced. This technique is often used in television broadcasts.
With the aid of technology a new modern version of the guided meditation has emerged. By introducing relaxing sounds, soft music, relaxation techniques, and Biblical affirmations people in the modern world are able to experience deep meditative moments with God. This alternative rapidly gaining acceptance in a society that is inundated with 24/7 media, work, and stress.
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