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Posted on March 7, by Lou In an earlier piece, I explored a basic process for meditation for those who are starting a meditation practice. Of course, each great religious tradition maintains a tradition of meditation.
However, my personal study has primarily been in these two traditions. Within the Christian tradition, meditation falls under the broader category of contemplative prayer.
There are practices specific to contemplation, discursive meditation which engages imagery and mental dialogue in a meditative processand other practice like sacred reading known in Latin as lectio divina. A Christian approach to contemplative prayer is based on the understanding that each person is created in the image and likeness of God.
Within each person is found something of the Divine essence. Contemplative prayer, in all of its forms, is a process of going inward to be present to the essence of Divinity that is at the heart of each person. Many great spiritual writers throughout the history of Christianity have explored various aspects of what it means to go inward and be present to God in an intimate way.
Spanish writer Teresa of Avila understood the process of going inward as moving further into an interior castle. Syrian writer John Climacus used the metaphor of a ladder to describe this inner journey to union with God.
Through contemplative prayer, one moves toward a deeper union or communion with God while laying aside those things that limit such a deep connection.
Unlike religions of the West Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Buddhism does not hold a belief in a deity or personal God. At the same time, individual Buddhists may have a belief in a divine being. While the Buddha was very clear in stating that he was not a god, some Buddhists attribute god-like qualities or characteristics to him.
Buddhism does hold beliefs about karma and reincarnation.
Based on these beliefs, it is important for each person to strive to be the best person possible and to achieve enlightenment.
Therefore, meditation is understood from the perspective of self-improvement and personal growth. In North America today, two forms of Buddhist meditation are commonly found: Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment.
At the same time, any activity can be done mindfully: Mindfulness can be considered the basic form of Buddhist meditation. Compassion meditation is a practice found in Tibetan Buddhism.
There are several dimensions of compassion meditation. Beyond mind-training are particular meditation practices, like the Four Immeasurables, in which a person focuses the mind on compassion and happiness for self, a loved one, those with whom a person has difficult relationships, and ultimately the world.
Without it, there is no compassion for others. Both Christianity and Buddhism have long histories. Within each religion, there are many different forms of meditation. These brief paragraphs are meant only to provide a context for considering some fundamental perspectives of two traditions.
Based on these brief summaries, you may find yourself more drawn to one tradition than another. For both traditions, there are many books and media resources available to help you learn more about specific practices. Of course, finding an experienced teacher is always helpful when starting a meditation practice.Journey to the Heart offers novice and expert alike a deep and rich experience of the tradition and practice of Christian contemplation.
Kim Nataraja is international school coordinator for the World Community for Christian Meditation founded by John Main, a worldwide spiritual family linked by the practice of daily prayer.
Abe, Masao and Christopher Ives. Divine Emptiness and Historical Fullness: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation With Masao tranceformingnlp.comy Press International, theory [Theory] Christian Contemplative Map of the Spiritual Journey (tranceformingnlp.comentry) submitted 11 months ago by airbenderaang The Mind Illuminated I came across this lovely video of Father Thomas Keating talking about the Spiritual Journey from a Christian contemplative perspective.
by Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, David Frenette, Thomas Ward and others. Sprituality, Contemplation & Transformation is of interest to anyone involved with contemporary Christian life, these essays, originally published in the Sewanee Theological Review, contribute to the growing number of books on centering prayer--its practice, theory, and applications--and offer valuable entry points.
The Christian Contemplative Journey: Essays on the Path - Kindle edition by Bernadette Roberts. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Christian Contemplative Journey: Essays on the tranceformingnlp.coms: 1.
The Christian Contemplative Journey: Essays on the Path Now available in paper-back and Kindle format on Amazon, published by Contemplative Christians. To order go to tranceformingnlp.com