Do #Christians #Meditate, or is #Meditation, #Buddhist?

buddha-and-jesus1
Q: As a Christian person, prayer and meditation have been part of my religious practice but I have found that many protestants think that meditation is something practised by followers of other beliefs.

A: I also live in a Protestant Christian neighbourhood, and so have had a few talks on this topic and done some research. When I ask religious Christians about it, they typically tell me that they meditate on the “word of god”.  When I asked them which word that is, they said the bible. Essentially in Christianity there is meditation, it is however called “contemplative prayer”[1].

There is also a World Community of Christian Meditation[2], they meditate by the mantra “maranatha” which is the last word in Aramaic from the new testament, meaning either “come lord!” or “the lord has come.” They recommend 30 minutes in morning and 30 minutes in evening.

Also vanilla Buddhism is in fact completely compatible with other faiths, because it does not have any deities (Buddha is a historical figure and a non-entity, since he’s dissolved into emptiness (nirvana)). So for instance in China often people follow traditional Chinese religion which has deities, and also Buddhism, which does not. Or in Japan they are Shinto Buddhists, and even in Tibet, some have adopted Bon or Tantric deities — though admittedly with a different relationship than in western faiths[3].

So one could easily be a Christian Buddhist, or a Buddhist Christian. For instance one could do meditation and pray to Jesus or whomever it is appropriate to pray to in your flavour of Christianity.

Ultimately though meditation can be considered a secular practice. Science goes to show that meditation has a lot of benefits, over a 100,000 articles on the topic on google scholar [4].

References

[1] Christian contemplation meditation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_contemplation#Christian_meditation_and_contemplation
[2] World Community of Christian Meditation http://wccm.org/
[3] Yidam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yidam
[4] “Benefits of Meditation” on Google Scholar https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?hl=en&q=benefits+of+meditation&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=

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