Meditation is an important tool for religious reflection
Meditation has gotten a bad reputation in certain Christian circles. The belief is that meditation is too tied to eastern mysticism and the fact that it focuses too much on the self, rather than the individual as a creation of God and His divine being.
This is an interesting contrast to passages in the Bible that seem to support meditation. Paul inspires Christians to “let our minds dwell on…true…pure.” There are numerous other passages in the Bible that support the idea of thinking about the spiritual doctrine and works of God.
The key difference between Eastern and Christian meditation is the goal. Christian meditation is about filling oneself with scripture and God’s teaching, while Eastern emphasizes emptiness. But both focus on intense concentration on the immediate.
While the degree of stress that Americans feel has decreased over the last decade, it still remains at a 5 out of 10. Stress has terrible effects on one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. While stress has been decreasing, so too as the number of individuals who pray. Only 29 percent of Americans now say that they use prayer to deal with stress.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to relieve stress, promote happiness, and increase concentration. In fact, there is a meditation practice that has existed for hundreds of years. It is called Lectio Divina, which means sacred reading. It involves the deliberate reading of a section of the Bible and asking God for assistance in understanding the meaning.
This matches what most Christian proponents of meditation advocate. They suggest taking scriptures and taking a part of each day to think about what it means and how it relates to yourself. A popular phrase to use for the practice is “pray, personalize, praise, and practice.”
Since it helps Christians practicing their faith and helps their physical lives, meditation should be practiced by every Christian.