Christian meditation: What practices are New Age and what is biblical?
Meditation has risen in popularity in the U.S. by threefold since 2012. The custom has been around for thousands of years and is observed in nearly every religion but not many people know which forms of meditation actually come from the Bible.
The Christian Post decided to take a closer look at the practice of Christian meditation and some of the latest apps for it, including Soultime and Abide. CP spoke with some of the apps' creators as well as pastors who revealed how important it is for Christ followers to understand meditation while exposing some of the rituals that have nothing to do with Christianity.
Meditation practices can be found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Some people practice meditation independent of any religion but are likewise looking for a sense of peace and insightfulness offered through the religious practices.
Workplaces throughout the United States are providing meditative breaks for their employees to help them “de-stress” and more schools are incorporating it into their schedules for young students. Psychotherapeutic techniques provided by physicians also sometimes include meditation to help those suffering from mental illnesses.
There are several varieties of meditation. Here are the six majors ones:
Spiritual Meditation can be linked to Christianity because it involves prayer and reflection as one seeks a deeper connection with God
Mindfulness Meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and instructs participants to pay attention to their thoughts without judgment or engaging them
Focused Meditation involves one using any of their five senses to focus their attention on something internal.
Mantra Meditation is linked to Hindu and Buddhist traditions and involves using repetitive sounds, such as the popular “om” in hopes to clear the participant's mind.
Transcendental Meditation is labeled one of the most popular forms of meditation. It was founded by an Indian guru and is reportedly the most studied type of meditation by scientists. Similar to mantra meditation but more specific, it’s based on different factors that can include someone’s birth year or gender.
Movement Meditation is linked to yoga. This practice can include walking, gardening, or other forms of lite motion in which the movement guides.
The following section will explore what Christian meditation is, what it’s not and some tools that were created to assist Christians in meditation.