If I asked you why you are interested in meditation, what would you say?
No seriously! I'd LOVE TO HEAR what you have to say in the comments below! I would be willing to bet that, although there is a global resurgence of interest in spiritual things, a lot of us are more interested in what meditation brings to our lives versus the act of meditating itself. Back when I first became intrigued by meditation, (remember my run-in with a new-age celebrity rapper at Barnes & Noble?) I was silently searching for something. Bono from U2 sings it best - "I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls...But I still haven't found what I'm looking for..."
I was searching for peace. You may use other words to describe it. But at the end of the day we all want PEACE - peace with God, peace in our bodies, peace in our homes, peace in our overwhelmingly busy minds, and so on. As I researched other kinds of meditation, their origins and their objectives, I realized that they all seek to give the meditator peace in their own ways.
But what I also know in my heart is that, while there may be some experienced benefits from those other types, ONLY JESUS GIVES TRUE PEACE. Furthermore, I believe we can EXPERIENCE THE FULLNESS OF HIS PEACE in Christ-centered meditation that carries throughout our everyday lives.
Can I be so bold as to ask you to grab my hand...(yes, my metaphorical-internet-hand) and let me walk alongside you on this journey? The way is always easier with a friend. This is some of what God has been speaking to me over the last year about meditation...
5 Ways to Stay on Your Simple Path to TRUE PEACE
#1 Choose With Eyes Wide Open
My husband says that no one will read this chart because it has too many words! Please help me prove him wrong! I am so proud of my little colorful, compare-and-contrast chart. I condensed loads of internet and book information into this baby and cannot possibly think how I can remove any more words and still show you clearly the foundations of all the other types of meditation.
(After you've read it, please comment below with #TimmWasWrong #IReadTheChart)
#2 DON'T ASSUME that just because other Christians do it it's Christ-centered.
Our human nature tends to follow the crowd. But not everyone puts a ton of thought into the choices they make. We assume that if we see other Christians doing something, it must be ok. But the Bible warns that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". Find out for yourself! Does the meditation you do reflect your core values as a Follower of the Way?
Most practitioners of other forms of meditation will tell you that you don't have to be a certain religion to practice them and that they are for everyone no matter what you believe. But if you dig even a little further, you'll find that they ALL require faith of some sort, whether it's faith in your "highest self as god" or in another god all together. It also requires faith to believe that the kind of meditation you are doing will bring you to your desired goal - peace... insight... healing... fulfilling your potential, or whatever it is. Jesus says the peace He gives, is a gift the world cannot give (John 14:27).
#3 Keep GOD'S WORD as the foundation
As we behold (look at) the perfection of Jesus - His Spirit changes us to look more like Him (2 Cor 3:18). We go to the Bible as our foundation because ALL of Scripture points to Him somehow. It either:
#4 Rely on the HOLY SPIRIT to lead you
Ultimately, only YOU can prevent forest fires. Also, only YOU can determine what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. Trust that He is leading you because He calls you precious, and honored, and He loves you (Isaiah 43:4)! I do guarantee one thing: If you keep your eyes fixed on Him, He will lead you into PERFECT PEACE (Isaiah 26:3).
#5 CONNECT WITH OTHERS who are keeping it Christ-centered.
Let's just be honest - we all know that we are influenced by the company we keep. So, who is influencing you the most? That doesn't mean we need others' approval for what we do, nor does it mean that we shut people out that don't think like us. What it does mean is that, as best we can, we allow the people into our hearts who will nudge us forward in our core values and goals. And by the way, even well meaning Christians can be just as man-centered and self-reliant in their attempts to obtain peace as those who don't know God.
There is only one Hero. Only One who can give us the peace for which we are so desperately searching. And He is worthy of our heart's attention!