Monday, October 19, 2009

becoming sharper at study via Christian meditation

Meditation and Study

Many, many years ago, I remember having a friendly argument with a student about "meditation". I was in a neo-conservative-christian-bible-believing phase (one of my many phases) and I understood all meditation to be 'evil' and 'opening yourself up to demons' etc. His argument was that it is scientific also and is a proven way of relaxing and gaining concentration. Well in hindsight, I guess I have to say I was wrong.

When I first went to Bible College, I had an opportunity to do a major study on "Christian Meditation" as a project. So, I immersed myself in many books and lectures old and new and made an amazing discovery = we meditate already, it is natural.

Daydreaming is meditation, thinking about your next holidays is meditation, worrying is a negative form of meditation. We do it anyway.

So what's all this hocus pocus stuff about meditation? And what does it have to do with study?

When you study you need to be in a state of mind to concentrate and not be stressed out of your head - meditation techniques can calm you down and help your mind be in a better place of concentration

Here are the methods common to all sorts of meditation in a nutshell. They come from (gasp!) a non-Christian site Psyblog:
(1)Relax the body and the mind: through controlled breathing, posture, relaxing muscles
(2)Be mindful: don't pass judgement on your thoughts let em go gently pulling em back
(3)Concentrate on something: Often meditators concentrate on their breath
(4)Concentrate on nothing: Most say this can't be achieved without a lot of practice, so I'll say no more about it here. Master the basics first
(5) Zzzzz Zzzzz: That's not meditating, that's sleeping.

But, seeing I'm a Christian - this is where the difference is:
the point of concentration is on Jesus or a Bible truth or Christian prayer.

I'm not a super meditator but usually make time for it when things are getting heavy and full on.
I always ask the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts at the beginning (because I don't trust my human nature or anything else floating out there) - and when unrelated thoughts or 'things I have to do' pop up in my head, I don't shoo them away - but pray about them because I believe God may be bringing them to my mind to get dealt with.

Also, years ago I gave up the hope of seeing 'rainbow ponys' in the sky or 'streams of light' flooding my soul. It's actually quite lame really. However, I've found that after taking time out to pray and meditate that I often feel better and more focussed to deal with whatever is at hand.
So, if you are stressed out with study - make sure you fit in some time (20 minutes possibly) to get in a better state of mind and body...and spiritually. Then you can say "bring it on!"

Let me know your thoughts on this.

*Here's more about Christian Meditaion:

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