My sister posted a link to a post over at Momastery’s Facebook wall. [Dear reader: What I write below will make a lot more sense if you read her post first; I can’t succinctly summarize. But in short, she’s been accused of being un-Christian by doing meditation.]
Here is my two cents that I’d like to contribute to the gentle conversation. (I love how Glennon invites us to “gently discuss” this.)
I actually can understand why people feel this way (that meditation is “not Christian”). I personally don’t think it’s all about a fear of quiet (although I’m sure in today’s hurry-scurry-worry-socialmediaflurry world, heaven knows we could all use a little more quiet).
Truth be told, there can be and are things in the world of yoga/meditation that have the potential to run against Christian concepts. When you are chanting something in another language that translates into something that doesn’t invoke the name of Jesus (which is pretty important in Christian prayer/connection with heaven), that has at least the potential to feel wrong in some way.
Tonight, in fact, I did my third session of yoga, and I felt that sense of “this is not familiar.” I even felt a twinge of “is this ok?”
I suspect that perhaps it’s the unfamiliar that people often fear. Perhaps we fear the thought that our own religious/spiritual rituals may not be the only place He can be found. (This can be especially jolting if your belief system is a “one true way” kind of belief system. I have felt that…it can feel confusing.)
But no. It’s amazing that God can be found in so many places.
Could I even go so far as to say that it’s incredibly Christian to believe that God can be found in many different places, to believe that He speaks to people in a language they can understand, and that He wants all of His children to feel a connection with Him, no matter where they are, no matter where they live, no matter what their spiritual tradition may be?
I’ve used this scripture before, but I will share it again.
For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding. -2 Nephi 31:3
We worship a God of abundance. Coming to know and feel that universal love — even as I also believe in the rightness and truth of my faith and its rituals (which, not surprisingly, are all about His universal love) — has not diminished my faith but has, in fact, increased it.
I feel safer in God’s care knowing that I can find Him in so many places, not just within the bounds of my faith tradition.
I stand even more amazed at Who He is when I see how He works in so many people’s lives, in so many different ways.
I feel joy and gratitude when I can feel connect with the very real threads of truth that can show up nearly anywhere — which means I have more potential to feel more connection with more of His children everywhere.
I see Him in self-help and business programs, in other faith and non-faith spirituality, in people’s passion for and connection with nature.
I see Him in my decision to try yoga. I see Him in the way my instructor is responding to her own personal inspiration as she chooses what we focus on each week.
And I’m so grateful.
God is everywhere. I love seeing Him at work in others’ lives, and I love learning from others — as He guides me to others — many ways I can better see and connect with Him.
[Thanks for the link that was shared. It didn’t show up in the original comment]
I practice Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, and am a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Meditating has been a wonderful, meaningful and treasured addition to my daily worship. It has benefitted my life in myriad ways and will continue to do so, I am sure. I love that we believe in an abundant God, who loves all of His children and wants to communicate to us all. I love that we believe in personal revelation and that I am just as able to receive it as the Prophet. I love the scriptures, that admonish us to meditate and ponder on the words of Christ. I love the example of Jesus Christ, who surely went off to meditate on his own several times during his ministry. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and know it is true!