Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Push Towards Meditation and What It Means for Christians

Everywhere, ok not exactly "EVERYWHERE", but in a Big way,the modern push towards meditation and "mindfulness" has quickened.

As a christian this change in society has been both inspiring and alarming, comforting and disturbing.

When I go to a local gym, there are "Yoga" classes teaching meditation.
Even in the public school system, some of the teachers are taking the time to teach the class room of vulnerable minds, how to meditate and practice their own version of "mindfulness".

What Encourage me is the following:

1/ I am encouraged that society has become self aware of the need for stress reduction strategies in the classroom and the work place. We can't control stress, but we certainly can learn how to deal more constructively with it in our daily lives. We CAN control how we react to stress.
2/ There is a spiritual quality to meditation which has been touted by such business leaders such as
Ariana Huffington and others. Ariana Huffington gives credit to the Biblical applications of meditation as described in the Bible, for the promotion of interaction with God and listening for His impressions.
3/ It is always a healthy sign when leaders in society allow and even encourage their workers to
take "meditation" breaks during the work day. This practice allows a christian to spend time with God in the practice of prayer, scripture study, and meditation in the scriptures and prayer.
4/ Meditation and rest are cousins. Those who promote meditation promote rest and usually are peace loving folks. Who doesn't like a peaceful person?

What Concerns me about meditation and mindfulness training:

1/ I don't want my children to be taught spiritual principles outside of the teachings of the Bible. Although
I want my children to learn how to "self calm" via deep breathing and focusing on God and His word, I am concerned that some of the modern bents of meditation training does not respect a traditional understanding of christianity or the Bible, but has assimilated a few concepts from many of the major religious groups of the world and mixed them into some kind of strange new unscriptural religion.

2/ Some meditation techniques involve "emptying" the mind, which is not what the Bible teaches. The bible teaches us to renew our minds by filling it with God's Word, as revealed to humanity in the Holy Bible.

3/ What precisely is "mindfulness"? Is is being aware of what we are thinking constantly? Is it obsessing over
ourselves and making us into even yet more self centered humans?
Not to be too simple minded....but what should our "minds" be full of???
According to some gurus, our minds should be blank slates? But who are we clearing our minds for?
For God to write on? Yes, that would be great. But what if we are being encouraged to empty and clear our minds in order for some false religion to start to fill our minds with their priorities?

I don't know about you, but the only "being" or "person" who is permitted to write His thoughts onto my mind, is God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit. I know that narrows down my options, but that is a choice I have made in calling myself a Christian. Christian IS a narrow road, and does not embrace any and all religions. To pretend that Christianity embraces any and all religious teachings is simply wrong and inaccurate.

So how about you, my friend in Cyberspace? Does modern meditation comfort you? Or does it set off warning bells in your heart?
Looking forward to reading your comments,