While mindfulness meditation techniques are generally associated with the East, there has been a long tradition of Christian meditations.
"When you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent."--Psalms 4:4
I did not grow up as a Christian, and so I did not know anything about Christian meditation until much later in my life. My mother was a Protestant and never went to church; my father was an ex-Roman Catholic. When I heard the word, Jesus, I would shudder as I associated his name with the evil done in his name over the centuries. However, the statues of Saint Francis and the Holy Mother had prominent places at our home; she on the inside and he outside. I especially liked to look at Saint Francis as the birds flocked around him, both the statuary kind and the real ones, for we always had food for our winged sisters. Meditating on him, I wanted to have that love for all creatures, and they for me.
It wasn't until my epiphany in the Himalayas, when my vocation became serving and finding God, that I had a dream with Jesus, that I began to be open to him as a divine influence. And then I came across him on the altar of the Ananda Church, next to Krishna and the other masters of their lineage, and then I was no longer afraid of his name. In fact, he became a powerful influence in my life.
Several influential traditional Christian personalities led me close to him: Saint Francis, the Holy Mother, Meister Eckhart, Thomas a Kempis, Thomas Merton, Matthew Fox, and Bernadette Roberts. And then there were the non-traditional teachings of the Impersonal Life, and, especially, A Course in Miracles.
Perhaps Jesus spent his lost years in India and other places in the East. There was a Saint Issa who traveled India and Tibet at the time of Jesus's life. Issa's journey (See the book, Lost Years of Jesus was well-documented.) was well documented. (A side note: The Urantia Book says otherwise, showing he went around much of the Mediterranean, including Rome, but he traveled with travelers from India) If that were so, he would have most likely practiced meditation. Even if he did not, going out alone in the desert as he did became a tradition for many Christian monks, nuns, and contemplatives over the centuries. The Desert Fathers were a group of Christian ascetics in the early part of Christianity who spent their time in contemplation of Jesus and God, who became the founders of future monasticism.
The following are a couple of meditations or reflections from The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis
"The fact that God is our all can never be repeated enough. If we possess Him, we possess all. Without Him, everything is vanity, an illusion, nothing. God must be the sole object of our desires and our hope."
"We must examine ourselves in the presence of God and see if we possess divine love. If we find that our heart is inflamed by this love, let us give thanks to God for this great gift. If, on the other hand, we find that our heart is lacking in love, let us humbly beg God to fill our heart with divine love, and work to merit this gift."
Any saint could have easily said both of these meditations from any religious tradition. It is the path of devotion that leads the mind to be one-pointed upon the Divine. And when the mind gets so absorbed in God, where does the individual exist. There is only God. Words, when you are in the ecstasy of love with God, become meaningless.
The Christian meditations you will find on the links of this page down below will be of basically two types. There are the meditations where you contemplate about what is written and those that are experiential. Both are important. Enjoy.
Any comments about anything you've just read? Share your ideas so that others may benefit. Did you find anything helpful? Any opposite views? All views are welcome in a respectful manner.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...