Meditation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Meditation (the mental discipline) is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.

The English meditation is derived from the Latinmeditatio, from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".
 
In the late 19th century, Theosophists adopted the word "meditation" to refer to various spiritual practices drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism and other Indian religions. The term "meditation" in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism, or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. Scholars have noted that "the term 'meditation' as it has entered contemporary usage" is parallel to the term "contemplation" in Christianity.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports) that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy (chi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration single-pointed analysis, meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

From the point of view of psychology and physiology, meditation can induce an altered state of consciousness. Such altered states of consciousness may correspond to altered neuro-physiologic states.

History

Even in prehistoric times civilizations used repetitive, rhythmic chants and offerings to appease the gods. Some of the earliest references to meditation are found in the HinduVedas. Around the 6th to 5th centuries BCE, other forms of meditation developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India.

In the west, by 20 BCE Philo of Alexandria had written on some form of "spiritual exercises" involving attention and concentration and by the 3rd century the Greek philosopher Plotinus had developed meditative techniques.

Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina, i.e. divine reading. Its four formal steps as a "ladder" were defined by the monk Guigo II in the 12th century with the Latin terms lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio (i.e. read, ponder, pray, contemplate).

In the Western Church, during the 15th century, reforms of the clergy and monastic settings were undertaken by the two Venetians, Lorenzo Giustiniani and Louis Barbo. Barbo described three types of prayer; vocal prayer, best suited for beginners; meditation, oriented towards those who are more advanced; and contemplation as the highest form of prayer, only obtainable after the meditation stage. Based on the request of Pope Eugene IV, Barbo introduced these methods to Valladolid, Spain and by the end of the 15th century they were being used at the abbey of Montserrat. These methods then influenced Garcias de Cisneros, who in turn influenced Ignatius of Loyola. Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.

Secular forms of meditation were introduced in India in the 1950s as a Westernized form of Hindu meditative techniques and arrived in the United States and Europe in the 1960s. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement.

During the 1960s, both eastern meditation traditions and psychedelics, such as LSD, became popular in America, and it was suggested that LSD use and meditation were both means to the same spiritual/existential end. Many practictioners of eastern traditions rejected this idea, including many who had tried LSD themselves. In The Master Game, Robert S de Ropp writes that the "door to full consciousness" can be glimpsed with the aid of substances, but to "pass beyond the door" requires yoga and meditation.

Christian meditation

Christian Meditation is a term for form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (e.g. a biblical scene involving Jesus and the Virgin Mary) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.

Unlike eastern meditations, most styles of Christian meditations do not rely on the repeated use of mantras, but are intended to stimulate thought and deepen meaning. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion.

In Aspects of Christian meditation, the Catholic Church warned of potential incompatibilities in mixing Christian and eastern styles of meditation. In 2003, in A Christian reflection on the New Age the Vatican announced that the "Church avoids any concept that is close to those of the New Age".

Christian meditation is sometimes taken to mean the middle level in a broad three stage characterization of prayer: it then involves more reflection than first level vocal prayer, but is more structured than the multiple layers of contemplation in Christianity.

John Main and the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM)

Catholic Encyclopedia: Methods of meditation


E-mail:
mailto@sayyesor.no


In Western World, meditation means to think deeply about something, turning it over slowly and carefyully in Your mind. In the mystical East of Hinduism and Buddhism it means to empty the mind in order to open it to the spirit world, leading to mystical experiences - supposedly even With God himself.

Meditation in the Bible

Silence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Silence" in spirituality is often a metaphor for inner stillness. A silent mind, freed from the onslaught of thoughts and thought patterns, is both a goal and an important step in spiritual development. Such "inner silence" is not about the absence of sound; instead, it is understood to bring one in contact with the divine, the ultimate reality, or one's own true self, one's divine nature. Many religious traditions imply the importance of being quiet and still in mind and spirit for transformative and integral spiritual growth to occur. In Christianity, there is the silence of contemplative prayer such as centering prayer and Christian meditation; in Islam, there are the wisdom writings of the Sufis who insist on the importance of finding silence within. In Buddhism, the descriptions of silence and allowing the mind to become silent are implied as a feature of spiritual enlightenment. In Hinduism, including the teachings of Advaita Vedanta and the many paths of yoga, teachers insist on the importance of silence, Mauna, for inner growth. Perkey Avot, the Jewish Sages guide for living, states that, "Tradition is a safety fence to Torah, tithing a safety fence to wealth, vows a safety fence for abstinence; a safety fence for wisdom..... is silence." In some traditions of Quakerism, silence is an actual part of worship services and a time to allow the divine to speak in the heart and mind.


  • Carol and Rick Weber in Journeying Together, p. 1: I experienced a shift deep within me, a calmness I never knew possible. I was so graced with a sense of "oneness" with nature around me and with everyone else in the human family. It was strangely wonderful to experience God in silence, no-thingness.
  • William Johnston, Jesuit priest and Zen Buddhist master in Letters to Contemplatives, p. 13: When one enters the deeper layers av Contemplative Prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness ... the profound mystical silence ... an absence of thought.

What "They" Say:


Introduction to the cosmic universe and the purpose of meditation:

Spiritual Reality - journey within på YouTube. This is an animated movie to promote meditation.

    Chapters:

  • Part 1:
    • 00:00 Intro
    • 05:15 Meditation
    • 13:00 Etheric body
    • 18:15 Pyramid and Pyramid Power
  • Part 2:
    • 26:00 Intro
    • 27:30 Knowledge
    • 29:30 Third Eye
    • 36:45 Astral Body and Astral Travel
    • 43:45 Nirvana
    • 47:10 Life after Life

"Sleep is unconscious meditation - Meditation is conscious sleep."


Jon L. Dybdahl in Hunger,

  • p. 52: Since most religious traditions practice it (breath prayer), can we consider it Christian? Yes, if the content and context are Christian.

  • p. 61: we will notice occasional similarities between Eastern and Western meditation. Some postures or actions can benefit both types. ... the philisophical basis, subject of meditation, and the final aim of the practice will remain different

Dybdahl's explanation of the differences between Eastern and Christian meditation (his matrix p. 62 + body text on p. 61):

Eastern Meditation Christian Meditation
Presuopposes impersonal pantheistic Cosmic Consciousness. Presupposes personal God.
God is present in everything.

God enters and fills us at our invitation.

Aim to escape thought. Begins with thought.
Desires to find self and Cosmic Consciousness inside. Wants to meet God in personal realtionship.
No Bible. Bible central.

Dybdahl's matrix doesn't seem quite right.  It should look more like this::

Eastern Meditation

Christian Meditation
No Bible. God is present in everything.

Supposes God enters and fills us at our invitation.  Though it is not a biblical teaching that we can use a technique to make God visit us at our own demand. (That is in fact magic.)

The mantras focus on the One reality. Uses Bible text as mantra.
Aim to escape thought by focusing on the mantra Begins with focus on the repeating Bible text ("mantra")
Meditation involves mantra and breathing Meditation involves "mantra" and breathing
The meditation takes you to "the Silence". The meditation takes you to "the Silence".
Desires to find self and Cosmic Consciousness inside Desires to meet the invited God in the heart.
In the Silence you experience the impersonal pantheistic Cosmic Consciousness, plus love and oneness. In the Silence you experience a personal God (mysticism) and an impersonal feeling of love and oneness.
Evolves a belief that everything is connected and everything is God (pantheism) and yourself are God. Evolves a belief that you have personal experiences with God and that those experiences are more authorative than the Bible. (You have got the knowledge of good and evil.) God is in everything (panentheism).


Brainwaves and their characteristics

  • Gamma (>40 Hz): Always supported by other waves. bursts of insight and high-level information processing.
  • Beta (14-40 Hz): wakeful consciousness
  • Alpha (7.5-14 Hz): light meditation.  This is not unique for meditation, but appears also with certain kinds of relaxations.
  • Theta (4-7.5 Hz): Stage 1 sleep. Theta gives a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe, exceptional insight. Unlike your other brain waves, the elusive voice of Theta is a silent voice.
  • Delta (0.5-4 Hz): Deep dreamless sleep. Delta is the realm of your unconscious mind, and the gateway to the universal mind and the collective unconscious, where information received is otherwise unavailable at the conscious level.


Theosophy (Lucis Trust, originally Lucifer Trust)

http://lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/meditation/the_science_of_meditation

"Meditation is practiced by those who recognise that divinity--the "Kingdom of God"--is within, and that God-realisation is a natural process. The disciplined use of the mind, combined with service to others, is the means for attaining that realisation. "Christ in you, the hope of glory," is a reality to the meditator."

Lucis Trust claims there are essentially two types of meditation–mystical and occult. And both of these differentiate into various meditation techniques.

Mystical forms of meditation depend largely upon an active feeling nature and an intense desire for spiritual union; or for some personal spiritual experience. This type of meditation tends to be introspective and self-centred. Occult meditation, on the other hand, builds upon whatever mystical experience may have occurred, taking the whole idea of meditation a step further. The goal is no longer personal illumination and inspiration, but the right use of the meditative technique to serve in the upliftment and the transformation of the human kingdom and the world in which we live. Occult meditation is a method of cooperating with the process of planetary evolution and planetary redemption.

Occultism is the science of energy flow and energy relationships. Occult meditation is a means of consciously and purposefully directing energy from a recognised source to the creation of some specific effect.  The most effective type of occult meditation is called Raja Yoga

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

OM OM OM

Alice Bailey in From Intellect to Intuition, p. 242: It is essential that we realize that meditation can be very dangerous work and may land a man in serious difficulty. It can be destructive and disrupting; it can do more harm than good and lead a man towards catastrophe if he enters upon the Way of the Knower without a proper understanding of what he is doing and where it will lead him.


Suggested resource:


http://www.meditation-mindyourbrain.com/ :
MEDITATION - neuroscience,... spirituality, facts & myths

Pages directing here: