Meditative prayer

Discussion in 'Personal Advice, Care & Prayers' started by Achilles Smith, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Achilles Smith

    Achilles Smith Member Anglican

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    I was recently introduced to this type of prayer and I can say, it's awesome! I really feel like this type of prayer is very overlooked in the Christian community and I wanted to make a thread dedicated to meditative prayer.

    Here is a link that explains meditative prayer: http://anglicanpastor.com/meditative-prayer/

    I recommend going into a quiet space and sit up in a chair and focus on your breathing for about 10 seconds and start letting thoughts flow. I like to meditate about the Lord's prayer and on the BCP. Feel free to list your thoughts on meditative prayer, tips for concentration, and what you meditate on.
     
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  2. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Christian meditation is uplifting, spiritual , mystical and mysterious. However other types of meditation can provide an opening for evil forces.
     
  3. Achilles Smith

    Achilles Smith Member Anglican

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    Yes, Christian meditation is the meditation I am referring to and the only meditation where you can receive grace.
     
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  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am a fan of the Orthodox Jesus Prayer in a meditative setting.
     
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  5. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    As am i
     
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  6. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    The Jesus Prayer was given to me before the most difficult days of my life. I try to share with everyone I meet.
     
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  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Since meditation is much in vogue these days I feel like Anglicans should produce more prayers that fit the mold of meditation. Everyone is stressed out, people need peace and quiet, and a communion with God is the best way to do that!
     
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  8. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    The Rosary is excellent meditation, just one of its many qualities
     
  9. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I tried pointing out to a priest that contemplative instruction and meetings outside the church might be an excellent way to evangelize the "spiritual but not religious" crowd. Many people are attracted to contemplative practice don't know it is available in the West and turn to Eastern religions to learn meditation for stress reduction. Christian prayer and meditation is ancient and very accessible, no need to leave the Christian faith for mindfulness!

    The priest, however, didn't seem to understand the idea of holding a meeting outside the church walls, so not much came of it. I think the church really needs to dig deep into these practices to attract seeking persons- many people my age want to experience what they read about and not just passively accept doctrine. I think Christian meditation crosses many of the bridges.
     
  10. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Yoga and other eastern practice , eg reiki , should be eschewed as they are non Christian and may even leave practitioners open to spiritual attack!
     
  11. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    This is a bit off topic but....

    It's actually quite a mis-nomer that Yoga is strictly Eastern and Hindu. On the contrary, the majority of the practices used & taught today were imported from Western nations. There are very few poses which are clearly identified in the Yoga Sutras of Patnajali, it mainly focuses on pramayama which are breathing techniques. A large amount of the focus on stretching and bodily health is hugely influence by the wellness trends of the late 1800's- think Kellogs for example.

    More on that here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07flbst

    I've been to India- yoga centers there mostly cater to Westerners- you won't see too many Sadhus running around doing "yoga sets" and drinking smoothies. The mendicant path is to overcome the body, not improve it with exercise. Like, taking on ridiculous practices of holding one's arm continually in the air until it withers away is seen as a Yoga- a method of devotion to whichever God the Sadhu serves.

    Additionally, the focus of Buddhist silent meditation practice of vipassana and shamatha techniques were rarely explored in their home countries until the colonial periods in Asia. Buddhists in Asia, generally, do not meditate. It's partially a development as a response to colonial and protestant influence that the return to "pure" methods of meditation from the Theravadan tradition where rediscovered in the 19th century. This can be seen in Sri Lanka and Burma as it became the homes of intense scholarly study and revitalization of meditation practices. I believe this is an influence of the scholastic nature of the British. The Western exploration of perceived purity of Buddhist meditation has had a major influence on its teaching and application in Asia and the West.

    I think that many of the ways the church has shot itself in the foot (Catholic, Anglican, etc..) is thinking that people don't want these meditative practices. There has been so much focus on logical, intellectual arguments for the tradition that the experience has been completely bypassed. Many people do want to grow closer to God and have sort of created a strange pocket of Western/Eastern hybrid religion to meet their needs. This is kept in place by creating an entire mythology around Eastern Asian traditions that they are somehow more "pure" and know more about "consciousness" than the Christian faith.

    I'm not arguing for Eastern meditation practices at all. I just think it's important to be aware that what we often think of purely Eastern practices are actually rather modern products of cultural adaption and, partly, export & commercialization.
     
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  12. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"? That one?

    I like it as well, though I prefer the, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me" form for its Scriptural connotations. I actually just got a 103 bead chotki to pray it all the time.
     
  13. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    I have to agree. If done merely for the physical benefits, it's fine, but I would swap it out for Pilates if possible. I'm uneasy about yoga, mostly because of the "New Age" business.
     
  14. neminem

    neminem Member

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    I like to meditate on the Truth (Word of God). Often I may have a bible verse to meditate on. My favourite is to meditate on one single word.

    When I do this, I sit with the verse or word for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes longer if I feel that there is more to be discerned.

    Truth is usually under many levels, as described in
    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.​

    However, there is one part of us that an innate fear of the Truth, and that is our ego-self. It fears it's own truth as a fabricated story that the mind created to make sense of itself. The mind knows it is false, but to admit it fully is to lose its identity. It fears losing its mind (so to speak). That is why the ego-mind is always seeking validation ("look what I know"..."I know better"...etc). So when we start seeking Truths, our ego starts to get worried. The deeper we go the harder the ego tries to divert our meditation. ("This is boring"..."You know the answer already"..."Give up, or you might go crazy"...etc).

    Meditating on a single word can easily bring up this sort of ego-mind games. I simply ignore all the definitions (of the word) the ego first presents. After a while, in many minutes of mental silence, a deeper definition arises. Usually it becomes a revelation of a Truth never seen or understood before. For example, many years ago I was meditating on the word 'anger'. I wanted to know what it was and where it came from. I discovered it is a form of fear. Fear of not going the way we want it to. It comes from a lack of faith that we are okay, regardless. In other words, an angry person is actually a fearful person. To deal with an angry person is to deal with their fear. Instead of shouting back, we stay calm, gentle, listen, discern what they fear, and reassure them that they will be okay.

    All my meditations are to do with the Truth.
     
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  15. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    The Rosary and the Chotki keep me going. The wonders and favours that I have received from praying the rosary count amongst my greatest graces. The founding bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada actually advocates it in some of the sermons I have heard him give.
     
  16. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    I like to meditate also on the words in Common Prayer. In my signature is "in the midst of life we are in death." That is powerful and striking and I often just think of these words and beseech God to have mercy on me and to pardon every sin that anyone has committed against His Divine Majesty.
     
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What a powerful reflection, I had no idea about any of this, especially the connection of modern yoga being an essentially Western phenomenon! Indeed when you think of dystrophied Indian slums, or even Moghul royalty, or the caste system, you don't imagine people caring much about being flexible or having a well-toned under-arm...

    The questions which yoga answers are so clearly just 'first world' concerns, and no wonder that having been generated in India for westerners, and among westerners, it was amenable to the Western mindset when it immigrated here as a 'pure' Eastern art which (miraculously) seems to be so interested in Western issues like having a six-pack or looking attractive in your yoga pants
     
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  18. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Most days the yoga I see is hot yoga - yoga done in a steamy room, half nude. A mate of mine asked me to go with him once because it was totally cool duuuude, but I abrasively declined and told him to get a life. The other yoga I see advertised is designed to allow moderns to be able to exist without their smartphone for 10 minutes without a narcolepsy attack.

    The real yoga is fascinating, however.
     
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