|Meditation: For God or the devil?|
|Saturday, 25 June 2011 02:00|
By Monica Cheru-Mpambawashe
At any given point there are always rumours of one church or the other being Satanist and rewarding its followers with untold wealth after the performing of some eerie rituals.
There are some church leaders who are actively preaching against the practice saying that it is tantamount to devil worship. Yet others say that meditation is an essential part of being a true Christian.
A reverend with a pentecostal church that does not encourage meditation says that people who dabble in such activities will end up with their souls lost for eternity.
"If you look at meditation it smacks strongly of other devilish practices like seances, hypnosis and the consultations of mediums. Praying and fasting are good enough for communicating with God."
"The problem is that people rush to make judgments on matters that they do not understand. Meditation is not about taking some other religions into Christianity.
"Jesus warned that there would be many preachers calling his name in vain. With so many churches sprouting it is hard for one to be sure that they are following the true way.
A young woman in her twenties says that she joined a church were meditation was actively encouraged and for a while she felt that she had found the true religion.
"We were told what one should experience and it was only later that I realised what was happening. The church had begun to influence what I ate, how I dressed, how I related to my parents and even my career path.
"I started getting some weird dreams and I became sacred that maybe I was going down the wrong path. It was then that I left the church and returned to my old one and the nightmares disappeared."
A strong believer in Christian meditation, Saint Padre Pio, stated: "Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him."
The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari which means to concentrate.
Christian meditation contrasts with cosmic styles of eastern meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with discussions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings.
Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture.
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 Aspects of Christian meditation, the Catholic Church warned of potential incompatibilities in mixing Christian and Eastern styles of meditation.
Christian meditation is sometimes taken to mean the middle level in a broad three stage characterisation of prayer: it then involves more reflection than first level vocal prayer, but is more structured than the multiple layers of contemplation in Christianity.
Since the 1960s, meditation has been the focus of increasing scientific research of uneven rigor and quality. In over 1 000 published research studies, various methods of meditation have been linked to changes in metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation and other bodily processes.
Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction.
Scholars have noted that "the term ‘meditation' as it has entered contemporary usage" is parallel to the term "contemplation" in Christianity. - wikipedia