Sunday, 17 February 2013

Why Meditate?

A few days ago I attended a Buddhist meditation course and when I posted it on f*cebook, several of my conservative Christian friends made comments like: "what has spurred you to seek such things as this?" and "I am so sad that you are seeking other religions. Buddhism will not fulfill your deep longings." While I don't blame my friends for having questions regarding this, I found it interesting because meditation has strong roots in Christianity; and why wouldn't someone want to discover more about how to overcome anger and attachment? 
Interestingly, I received an email from one of my spiritual mentors (from Axiom Monastic Community - who I will be skyping with later with week, only a few hours after coming home from this mediation course; he sent me an article all about contemplative prayer and meditation from a Christian perspective. The timing was perfect and the excerpt highlights some of the reasons I have chosen to pursue a more monastic journey with Jesus.

The article was an excerpt from James W. Goll's book, Wasted on Jesus, and starts by saying: 


The excerpt is 7 pages long, but this is just a snapshot of what he discusses, and why Christians are often times turned off by the words meditation, contemplation, etc. He goes on to explore the meanings of these words, along with reflection and muse. Furthermore, Goll gives strong distinctions between New Testament Christianity and New Age core beliefs. He also explains some of the reasons why the experiences of mystics and contemplatives have been misunderstood, as follows: 

I find this to be so true, and perhaps has part to do with why I have been misunderstood in my attempts to live contemplatively. 

James Goll has had a very influential part in my spiritual development, and I remember picking up Wasted on Jesus when I was about 17 years old, craving something more from Christianity, spirituality and my journey with God in this life. I don't think I finished the book in that attempt to read it, but God has a way of bringing things back into view, and in the last year since joining Axiom's global community, this book has once again been influential in my questioning, searching, and re-centreing with God. 

If you are interested in reading the entire excerpt, please don't hesitate to email me and I'd be happy to send it on ( 

in this journey of discovery with you, 


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