What is Christian Meditation?

According to Wikipedia : “Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (such as a bible passage) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God. Both the Eastern and Western Christian churches have emphasised the use of Christian meditation as an element in increasing one’s knowledge of Christ.”

In Philippians 4:8; Paul suggests, “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” 

According to the Bible, meditation is about pondering God’s revealed truths and reflecting on how they pertain to us. In Psalm 119 David encourages his readers to meditate: “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Ps. 119:15-16).

Saint Teresa of Avila says about Christian meditation : “We begin by thinking of the favour which God bestowed upon us by giving us His only Son and we do not stop there but proceed to consider the mysteries of His whole glorious life.” and that « Christian meditation involves looking back on Jesus’ life, thanksgiving and adoration of God for his action in sending Jesus for human salvation.”

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What is written about Christian meditation today?

Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life, describes meditation as “focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind…if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate”. Warren also says, “No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture…If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will be amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day”.

In Satisfy Your Soul, Dr. Bruce Demarest writes, “A quieted heart is our best preparation for all this work of God…Meditation refocuses us from ourselves and from the world so that we reflect on God’s Word, His nature, His abilities, and His works…So we prayerfully ponder, muse, and ‘chew’ the words of Scripture….The goal is simply to permit the Holy Spirit to activate the life-giving Word of God.”

Christian meditation differs essentially from Eastern meditation (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism) in that eastern meditation is practised with the purpose of transcending the mind and attaining enlightenment. Christian meditation aims for a deeper understanding of the Bible and a closer intimacy with God.

I am a Christian and I practice Christian meditation – but I also practice mindfulness meditation. In my mind, Christian meditation and mindfulness meditation are two completely different activities – if confusion arises, it is because the same word – meditation – is used to describe both activities.

Our Mindfulness Meditation Workshops with Horses are based on mindfulness meditation as a stress management technique. Mindfulness meditation was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a biomedical scientist and founder of the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His method, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness through moment-to-moment awareness and is backed by a solid body of medical and scientific research.

It is my understanding that this technique is not associated with any specific religion and our retreats are non-denominational, people from all religious (or none) convictions are welcome.

If you would like to find out more about our Mindfulness Meditation Retreats with Horses, click on the link, write to us at welcome2gascony[g]mail.com or fill in the form below (your e-mail address is 100% spam-safe!):

dr_margaretha_montagu_v3I have written a book about the mindfulness and meditation techniques we introduce our workshop participants to here at Les Sources Sacrées. One of the chapters in my book is about Christian Meditation. Each chapter starts with a letter or an email from someone who would like to attend a workshop here, explaining why they are interested in our workshops. The book is called Mindfulness and Meditation in the South Of France: Staying focused in a fast-paced World. It differs from other books about mindfulness and meditation in five unique ways:

1. This book proposes a technique, in the form of a questionnaire, to help you choose the meditation method will work the best for you. Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. We are all different, we each have to find a meditation method that suits us, mentally and physically.

2. This book will help readers solve real-life problems. In each chapter, an everyday person with everyday challenges explains his/her problem. There is

  • someone who struggles to lose weight and keep it off,
  • someone with relationship problems,
  • someone who can not sleep,
  • someone with an overwhelmingly stressful job,
  • someone whose new business is faltering,
  • someone who is trying to make a long-treasured dream come true,
  • someone who wants to grow spiritually…

The rest of each chapter demonstrates how each of these people can solve their problem with mindfulness and meditation.

3. This book helps people who do not enjoy traditional sitting meditation to find a realistic alternative. Not everyone can sit still for 60, 30, 20 or even 10 minutes at a time.

4. This book is an interactive and practical aid – each chapter contains a selection of links to further resources, carefully chosen to help the reader discover and experience the various meditation methods presented. There are also links to scientific studies that back up the effectiveness of the methods described in the book.

5. This book exclusively contains a chapter about equine-guided meditation, one of the meditation methods we introduce our mindfulness meditation workshop participants to. This chapter includes instructions on how to practice equine-guided meditation in the absence of horses.

I have written this book because I believe that mindfulness and meditation are effective stress management strategies that can help practitioners avoid the physical and mental damage that stress can cause. That is why it is of primordial importance to me to help my readers find a meditation method that suits them, personally. A method that they will be able to incorporate into their daily lives without having to sacrifice too much of their precious time and that they will be able to continue practising daily, for the rest of their lives.

If you would like to find out more about mindfulness and meditation and how it can benefit you in a practical and sustainable way, this could be the book for you.

It is currently available on Amazon. Click Here to find out more.

Christian Meditation

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A Reformed MD, assisted by six talented Horses, hosts Workshops and writes Books in the south of France

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