Greetings everyone! For those of you, who have been here before, WELCOME BACK! For those of you who are new, ALL ARE WELCOME! I blog here from time to time. You can see from my past blogs that I randomly blog about many different topics. It just depends what mood I'm in at the time. This blog will focus on Christian meditation.
In meditation, one thinks deeply or focuses the mind for a period in silence, or with the aid of chanting for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation. Buddhists and Hindus have been practicing meditation for thousands of years. In the oldest texts from India, it was used to calm the mind. There are several different ways to achieve this state. It can be done through breathing techniques, concentrating on an object, or by chants. Sometimes people have experienced parts of their body vibrating during the process. Once the body is calm, the mind can investigate how things really are. This will lead to what Buddhist call insight. The ultimate form of insight is enlightenment. Christian meditation is different from Buddhist or Hindu meditation. Christian meditation requires one to focus on the word of God. The OT has several verses that specifically say the Written Law. Eastern meditation is more about clearing one's mind, while Christian is all about learning and gaining peace through awareness of God. Both can help one to achieve peace. In addition, clearer focus, and may lead to better health and relaxation.
Meditation verses from the OT include:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Meditation verses from the NT include:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) 34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Interestingly, science may have an explanation for the change in Jesus’ appearance in Luke 9:28-36, also known as the Transfiguration, after praying. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of meditation on the body and found some interesting results. By comparing blood samples of long-term meditators and a control group, the scientists found that the meditators had 2209 genes that were differentially expressed (switched on or off). Specifically, 1275 were up-regulated (their activity increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity decreased. Additionally, it was found that there were 1561 genes that expressed differently between a group of novice meditators who did eight weeks of meditation training and the control group. Specifically, 874 genes were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated. The research team concluded the following:
The RR (relaxation response) is clinically effective for ameliorating symptoms in a variety of stress-related disorders including cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other inflammatory conditions and pain. We hypothesize that RR elicitation is associated with systemic gene expression changes in cellular metabolism, oxidative phosphory-lation/generation of reactive oxygen species and response to oxidative stress and that these changes to some degree serve to ameliorate the negative impact of stress.
In short, they concluded that meditation changes your genes, and the more experience one has in meditation the more gene changes are possible. Some nurses even suggest meditation practice to ease patient suffering. Mary Grace Umlauf, PhD, RN, wrote a book titled Healing Meditation that explores this subject and suggests that nurses use meditation as part of their nursing practice.
In my book, The Essence of Perfection, I devote a chapter to the Resurrection. One possible explanation to this may also be linked or similar to a highly superior form of meditation. Of course, humans would have a difficult time replicating Jesus’ Resurrection. Over the next few weeks, I will be experimenting with podcasts. I hope to have something soon. Until next post, as always, GO WITH GOD!
1 Jeffery Dusek, et al., "Genomic Counter-Stress Changes Induced by the Relaxation Response," Plos ONE 3, no. 7 (July 2008): 1–8. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost.
2 Mary Grace Umlauf, Healing Meditation (Albany (NY): Delmar, 1997), 9.
15 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.