Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chapter 2-The Discipline of Meditation

"Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God's voice and obey his word. It is that simple."

I have taught my way through this book several times.  Invariably there is at least one person in every group who decides that it is entirely too mystical because Foster begins the segment on the Inward Disciplines with meditation.  I can't tell you how many people have yelled, screamed, and whined about the inappropriate content of this book based on some imagined connection to Buddhism or some other eastern religion.  Has the notion of Christian meditation become so lost that we see it as taboo?

Hearing and obeying is the simple way that Foster describes Chrstian meditation.  "It is this continual focus upon obedience and faithfulness that most clearly distinguishes Christian meditation from its Eastern and secular counterparts."  Perhaps our modern notion of a workless, grace-only faith has left little room for a discipline that calls us to obedience and faithfulness.  Modern American ideas of faith often have a noetic quality that dissects faith from faithfulness.  With little attention paid to faithfulness, meditation certainly becomes a strange practice indeed. 

The inward disciplines cry out for a physical manifestation of our inward condition.  Meditation takes the information  in our heads and the movements of our hearts and brings them into alignment like the sprockets of a watch.  Head and heart running without synchronicity make for an unusable whole like that broken watch in my dresser.  Meditation attempts to bring head, heart and hands into a working union.  My head knows; my heart decides; and my hands work.  I work, neither to earn nor impress, but to simply reflect my inner truth. 

This weekend I will be setting aside some time to meditate.  I will let you know my schedule later so you can join me if you would like.  I will continue with "The Purpose of Meditation" tomorrow.  See you then.

1 comment:

  1. Buddha or not, the stillness of silent meditation has wonderful physical effects for me. You've encouraged me to do it more.