More Mennonite Meditation Comparisons and Questions

Please use discernment while reading the following three meditations, and then compare them with the fourth one.

MEDITATION #1

Calming Minds [http://www.calmingminds.com] is a counseling practice in the UK that offers psychotherapy, Reiki, hypnotherapy, and spirituality. Their essence of spirituality is the search to ‘know our true selves,’ and to ‘discover the real nature of consciousness,’ the foundation of all great spiritual teachings, and goal of all great mystics being: “To know thy self, is to know the Divine.” At Calming Minds, the belief is that Divinity is the essence of every creature, and every person, hence the search to discover Divine truth in one’s own innermost essence. Since “Inner joy is your rightful state,” the website says, one can always trust one’s inner self and true inner guide. The following is one of the meditation methods from Calming Minds:

Autogenic relaxation
Autogenic means something that comes from within you. During this type of relaxation, you repeat words or suggestions in your mind to help you relax and reduce the tension in your muscles. Find a peaceful place where you’ll be free of interruptions. Then follow these steps:
1. Choose a focus word, mantra, or image you find relaxing. (Examples include ‘peace’ or “I am peaceful”.)
2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Relax your muscles, starting at your head, working down your body to your feet.
5. Breathe slowly and naturally, focusing on your word, phrase or image.
6. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently return your focus to your breathing and the word, mantra or image you selected.
7. After time is up, sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Open your eyes and sit in silence for a few more minutes.

SOURCE:
http://www.calmingminds.com/relaxation.html

MEDITATION #2

The Guided Meditation Site says Guided meditations help one “achieve a state of deep inner stillness, so that your mind can be cleared of clutter and unwanted thoughts, and then filled with vivid visualization experiences that effect positive personal changes.” Well crafted visualizations help one have an inner experience and realization of outer changes.

Why is this so important? Let’s allow The Buddha to answer that question for us:
“The mind is everything.
What you think you become.”

Easy Meditation Techniques
Create a space to meditate
Find a quiet place where you wont be disturbed for at least 20 minutes and make sure that you are … comfortable…
Take a seat
…Sit up, but make sure you are comfortable…
How long?
Take a few deep breaths while you settle and prepare to sit still for the next 20 minutes. If you are new to meditation, 20 minutes can seem like a long time, but make it your intention to stick with it, and promise yourself that you will continue to sit silently until the 20 minutes has passed.
Observe your breathing
Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. ..for the next 20 minutes – just sit quietly. Don’t try to stop your thoughts, just notice them, and then let go of them. It’s important that you keep this in mind while you learn how to do transcendental meditation, because it’s inevitable that your mind will entertain thoughts during your meditation. This is completely normal. Each time you notice that you are caught up in thinking, pause to let go of the thoughts and return your attention to your breathing. In and out, in and out.
Repeat a mantra
As an alternative to focusing on your breathing, you may choose to focus your attention on a “mantra” – a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself mentally. For example, you might choose to mentally repeat the word “relax” or the phrase “I am silent”. Think of something that you find easy to repeat and that feels soothing and natural to you. Repeat the mantra slowly and quietly in your mind and if you find that you have become distracted by other thoughts, just notice them and return to the mantra…
Integration time – ending a meditation
When your meditation is over, don’t get up immediately and start running around. Lie down for at least a few minutes afterwards to allow your body and mind to gradually return to a normal waking state before you get up and resume your normal activities.

SOURCE:
http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/easy-meditation-techniques.html

MEDITATION #3

How To Become A Witch
Why Meditation Is Your Key To Becoming A Witch (And How To Do It For Recharging Magick Energy)
Meditation is one of the most importance activities you can do to increase your focus and control of the energies around you – and most importanty – “become” a witch. You should always do some meditation as a daily devotional. (I’ll tell you all about the daily devotionals a bit later)
Meditation uses visualization, focus, belief, and will to heighten your awareness and connection with the Magick energies you were born with. It will also heighten your psychic awareness for help in the divinations you will be doing.
The key to using meditation to increase your overall Magick power is consistency. Work with it on a daily basis. And it is quite simple.
Here are some quick steps you can start with to try out some meditation – so you can begin your path of becoming a witch.
Step 1:
First, find a quiet place where you know you’ll have at least 15 – 20 minutes of time without any interruptions.
Step 2:
Get comfortable – whatever position is most comfortable for you. I like to sit on a cushion on the floor, with my back against a wall…Make sure you keep your spine straight throughout this process…
Step 3:
Close your eyes…Relax. Take a deep breath in, hold, and breath out.
Step 4:
Focus on your breathing…
Step 5:
Gradually slow your breathing down…Visualize breathing in light and love, and breathing out negativity and fear.

SOURCE:
http://www.askroseariadne.com/how-to-become-a-witch-2.html

Now compare these meditations with the following Silent Prayer method taught to Mennonite/Christian pastors, students and now even missionaries at the Mark Centre (retreat centre affiliated with the BC Mennonite Brethren Conference which is also promoted in the MB Herald):

MEDITATION #4

Practice

• Find a quiet place and sit comfortably.
• Review scriptures that invite you to silence before God.
• Choose a meaningful word/phrase that helps you focus on God. (For example, “ABBA Father” or “Creator”)
• Be absolutely still and quiet, focusing on the presence of God.
• As thoughts and concerns come to mind, let them go by mentally reciting your word/phrase.
• Perhaps picture the thoughts/concerns floating by like boats in a river. As they go by, you don’t stop them and analyze them, you simply release them to keep floating down the river.
• Continue this process for about 20 minutes. End with a prayer.

SOURCE: http://www.markcentre.org/ListeningTools/SilentPrayer.html

Now compare these four meditations, weighing these teachings with God’s Word to see if they measure up with what God says about meditation, prayer and hearing His voice. If you don’t know how to do that, the following guide may be helpful.

GUIDED QUESTIONS and HOMEWORK:

Can you see any similarities between the steps in these methods?
Can you find anywhere in the Bible where Christians are instructed to practice this method of guided mantra meditation and visualization?
Can you find anywhere in the Bible where Christians are instructed not to worship or pray repetitively like the pagans?
Are there any warnings in the Bible about participating in the ways of darkness?
Why is the BC MB Conference, and the MB Herald, condoning these practices which are similar, if not identical, to those used in New Age and eastern religions, Wicca, and Transcendental Meditation?
Is anyone else remotely concerned, besides a few ignored bloggers, that Mennonite Brethren pastors, students, church leaders and now even missionaries are being taught these methods of mantra repetition, relaxation, and visualization?
Is anyone concerned that these practices may be (and are being) taught in MB churches by Christian leaders who attend contemplative retreats?
Will anyone else ask these questions?
Will anyone answer these questions?

Note: Also helpful to use is a Bible search engine, such as this one, as a study aid (for example, type “repetition” into the search box and click on the “Search for keyword or phrase” button on the bottom of the page).

Also see:

Mennonite Meditation Comparison
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/meditation-comparison/

Why are Mennonite pastors, students and missionaries being taught to sit comfortably repeating a word quietly for 20 minutes?
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/why-are-mennonite-pastors-students-and-missionaries-being-taught-to-sit-comfortably-repeating-a-word-quietly-for-20-minutes/

MB Herald Promotes the Spread of Contemplative Spirituality through Missions
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/mb-herald-promotes-the-spread-of-contemplative-spirituality-through-missions/

Also see this well researched blog:

ARCHIVE OF MENNONITE BRETHREN CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY
http://mbcontemplativearchive.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s