I’ve always been drawn to and scared of by the idea of meditation.  There is something profound and true about the idea, but it is equally daunting.  Perhaps it is so frightening because it is unknown, like death.  It’s easy to get the idea that you never know what you might find staring back at you when you enter in.  Some say it is the secret to a spiritual life.  Others decry it as a gateway to demon possession or eastern mysticism.

Let’s be clear.  Jesus meditated.  The Psalms implore us to meditate.  The prophets no doubt spent countless hours in meditation.  What then is the big deal?  The problem is that our modern concept of meditation is distorted by the New Age worldview.  It is seen as psychedelic and mushy.  Our concept is also shaped by the Eastern concept that nothingness and everything are one and the same.  The goal of meditation in that culture is to empty the mind and to become one with the cosmic forces.  Richard foster shares, “Detachment is the final goal of Eastern religion.  Christian meditation goes far beyond the notion of detachment. […]  No, detachment is not enough; we must go on to attachment.”  We clear out the rustling around us and in our minds so that we can give ourselves to God freely.

For a follower of Christ, meditation is crucial.  It is not psychological manipulation.  It is not simply a means to conquering fear or centering one’s thoughts.  It is time focused on God and God alone.  It creates space for God to shape us.  Have you experienced this kind of meditation?  What was it like in practice?


~ by Joshua Long on August 13, 2009.

One Response to “Meditation”

  1. Preach it, brother.

    Meditation ebbs and flows for me. Right now I don’t find much time for it but I have in the past. Any time I spend focused on God is always beneficial.

    In fact, I wrote a blog post about meditation as well (available at the link below).

    I’ve used a number of techniques, but have found “Centering Prayer” by M. Basil Pennington to be an excellent resource on meditation. Additionally, I have found “Feeding Your Soul” by Jean Fleming to be an excellent resource on the related topic of quiet (devotional) time.

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