A short guide to Christian meditation

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10

I want this to be easily actionable. Meditation is popular right now and with good reason. Meditation comes with an almost laughable list of mental and physiological health benefits. Transcendental meditation (TM) is one of the main methods lauded by the rich and famous as a useful practice. This practice is a formalized version of mantra meditation that you can learn online without spending the $1000 to learn TM specifically. I find that I can get many more of the benefits that I’m looking for from meditation using a mantra rather than a mindfulness practice, although both are undoubtedly beneficial. You can do mantra mediation by repeating a word, or mantra, over and over again in your mind. I find this method makes me feel peace and stillness that other methods do not. However, most of these come from non-Christian traditions, so I wanted to do this practice in a way that worked with my Christian faith. There are plenty of options that exist for a “mantra” that is scriptural. Here are a few:

  1. Jesus
  2. Maranatha (an Aramaic word meaning “come Lord”)
  3. Selah (A musical direction found in Psalm)
  4. Shalom (peace)

Pick one of these, sit for a moment, and become aware of your breath. Think of the first syllable on the in-breath and the second on the out-breath, and so on. Set a timer and do this for 10-20 minutes. Take some time away from the hustle and bustle of your day to day and rest with God.

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