My mum revealed some details of my birth that I hadn't known until this day. For a while it had seemed that my heart was beating less but for some reason God wanted to save me. Ten years later God saved me also from the eye of storm that could have killed me and the rest of our small family. He saved me once again for some reason. Also there was to be the third incident that might have endangered my ability to breath... I have realized that I might have some difficulty with it as I breath heavily. I chose a couple of pictures of rainforest for this post as they're the lungs of Earth and in my today's subject, Christian meditation, breathing is the central point.
But to continue about my breathing it's like I haven't lived fully until this day and as if my struggle of existence would be a metaphor of that. Now that I've explored some Christian meditation from books and Internet and started practicing it daily, it has opened my eyes to see my existence from a renewed ankle. It's a lot more than about breathing. It's true that my life is now happier, fuller and more balanced than ever before, because I've found love and I'm convinced that it fills me - but still there's something missing. My dreams are just about to be realized, but despite all this mercy and love I've forgotten to love myself. I've given up some things, because others have told me that I couldn't or shouldn't do them. They have told me that I shouldn't dream of translator's job, because I couldn't cope with my Maths learning difficulty in university. They have told me that I wouldn't be a true Christian if I practiced yoga - I gave it up 1,5 years ago though it helped me and I read that during positions I could meditate on my personal manifestation of God which is Jesus. I'm now 20-years-old and I'm convinced that this is the best time of my life to use all my potential. So why wouldn't I use it? Despite others' narrow-minded beliefs I'm working so hard to graduate, because even if I failed I could be at least proud of myself because I didn't give up without trying. During these past years I've learned that I'm blessed in my struggle, because it draws me closer to God. Wonders of Jesus told in New Testament show how God can turn impossible into possible: those before blind see and the crippled walk etc. Isn't it time to follow our calling forgetting all doubts set on us and just lean on God? Will you join me with this new possibility of being closer to God and starting to live fully with all of your breathing capacity?
It is believed that Jesus and John the Baptist practiced meditation and here are some Bible references that let us know meditation is accepted for Christians:
Psalms chapter 46:10 tells "us to be still and know that I am God".
Psalms 63:6 ask us to spend hours in grateful meditation if we're sleepless at night.
I'll ponder all the things God has accomplished, and give a long, loving look at His acts. -Psalms 77:12
Joshua chapter 1 verse 8, admonishes us to meditate on God's word day and night.
Psalms chapter 4:4 persuades us "When you are in your beds serach your hearts and be silent"
David desired in Psalms 104:34, that his meditations be pleasing to the Lord.
Isaiah declared in Chapter 50:4, "He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."
Moses spent 40 days on the mountain abiding and learning from God (Exodus 34-35)
Paul received revelation and saw visions from heaven (2 Corinthians 12). John wrote visions that are recorded in the book of Revelations.
The Bible says even Jesus spent hours alone with God (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35)
How to do Christian meditation?
Meditating with a mantra or a Bible phrase
This can be accomplished each day by carving out time each day to sit quietly before the God where you are free from distractions. The ocean or secluded areas of nature are great places to meditate, but a quiet area at your home works just as well. Initially, meditating on Lord by abiding may be difficult because our mind tends to be restless and wander but with consistency you'll gain more and more control over your thoughts. Many meditators choose a biblical passage or word to focus on and anchor their attention, often called a mantra. Your mantra or biblical phrase could be "the Lord is my Shepherd", "I walk by faith", "the joy of the Lord is my strength", "I cast my cares upon the Lord" or "peace be still". You can also say "Come Lord Jesus" which is suggested because of its relevance in scriptures and its lack of an emotional or mental references, which inhibits our minds from creating a mental attachment to the word.
Meditating with a Sacred word or Scripture passage
You can also select a sacred word like "Jesus" or "Jehovah" to meditate on. Meditate in silence or recorded music playing in the background. It's best to time the music or use a timer so that you're not worried about being late for work or missing an appointment. As you meditate, become fully present by paying attention to your breathing and your sacred. As you breath in and out, think about the breathe of life entering your lungs and penetrating every cell of your body. In Genesis, it says that God breathed the breath of life into Adam. Visualize God's breathe entering your lungs and filling you with heath, energy and life. You can silently repeat your sacred word in alignment with your breathing or anytime your mind begins to wander off. You can also create a mental picture in your mind to focus on like sitting at the foot of Jesus or touching his garment. AS you practice being still and calming your thoughts you'll sense a greater feeling of God's presence and a greater sensitivity to hearing his voice.
You'll begin to sense the yearning of the Holy Spirit as he drops words or impressions on your heart. As you practice this form of meditation you'll find old weights and worries seem to disappear. No evil thing can stand in God's presence.
Using Guided Christian Meditations
Guided meditations are another method hat can help you to meditate on Christ. Guided meditations are usually on CD, MP3 or cassette. Guided Christian Meditations are great for beginning meditators and are a good transition to learning to meditating by abiding or with a mantra. Some people need the added stability and structure of being guided through their meditation experience. Most guided meditation CDs begin with relaxation exercises followed by a scriptural narrative. Some are filled with biblical stories; others are more visual or interactive like taking you on a walk through nature or nailing your cares to the cross. Guided Christian meditations can also cover a wide variety of topics that help you trust God for healing, to control negative thoughts, or to release painful memories of the past.
Meditate on God's Word
Another popular and more historical way of meditating is what the Christian's monks called contemplative prayer. This form of meditating involved selecting a short scripture or biblical passage and then reflecting on it for the entire day. During their reflections, the monks would think about how these particular scriptures were relevant to their lives. They took ownership of the scriptures by making them their own. They measured their behavior by them and contemplated what changes they needed to make so that their life personally reflected the passages. You can add this form of meditating to your daily devotion, by selecting and writing down a particular passage and then ask God to make this passage real to you. Interestingly, the passage will seem to take on a life of its own. Scripture says that God's word is like a two edge sword, it is alive and it quickens us (Hebrews 4:12). We are changed by the word; but the word has to get into our heart and our spirit and not just our minds. Meditating on the word by taking small bites and then chewy them slowly is transformative and much more effective than just reading whole chapters of scriptures.
Join a Christian Meditation Group
Lastly, consider joining a Christian Meditation Group. Through the World Community for Christian Meditation WEbsite (WCCM) (http://www.wccm.org/) or Contemplative Outreach (http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/) you may be able to locate a group in your area. If no groups are available, consider starting your own. The organization provides resources on how to start and maintain a Christian Meditation Group. By joining a group you can receive instruction on meditating as well as benefit from the knowledge of some veteran meditators. Just like corporate church worship can be uplifting, energizing, and unifying, meditating on God collectively also ushers in the sweet spirit and presence of God. Groups usually meet once or twice a week and are free of charge. During the meeting, a short teaching relating to meditation or spiritual growth is shared by the facilitator. THis is followed by a time of meditation which last for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, there may be a shared a discussion or believers may be asked to leave quietly as to not to disturb those still waiting on the Lord.
Try Christian meditation right now!
Some phrases you can try to meditate on that have especially helped me: 1. God has blessed the works of my hands 2. With my faith and patience, I receive all God has promised 3. Nothing is Impossible to him who believes 4. I receive whatever I believe. I also have a Christian Morning Meditation in my mp3 player (of course recorded by Rhonda Jones) and I find it a true blessing to be able to begin my day like this :). According to my experience Christian meditation purifies your mind for a moment from stress and worries and it blesses your life with new ankles to it.
You can meditate on any phrase or passage by using this simple form:
1. Read the phrase or passage 3 times aloud. Each time you read it, place emphasize on a different word.
2. Take a deep breath in... exhale. Repeat.
3. Close your eyes and silently repeat the meditation 3 times in alignment with your breathing.
4. Take in another cleansing breath and and exhale.
5. Spend a few more moments enjoying the silence.
6. Open your eyes.
7. Ask God to make these words alive in you today.
8. Ponder the meditation throughout the day.
9. Thank God for His divine love, guidance and protection.
All the credits and rights of this information I shared about Christian meditation in this post belong to Rhonda Jones (picture above) and they're based on my FREE daily Christian meditations and lessons on the subject that I receive from her through e-mail. Got interested? Please visit Rhonda Jones's website http://www.thechristianmeditator.com/ for more information and Guided Christian Meditations on CD and MP3 to be purchased. Also the instructions that I presented in this post for doing Christian meditation were provided by Rhonda Jones's e-mails that anybody can receive for FREE by subscribing in her website. Find "The Christian Meditator" also in Youtube.