* quieting the mind
* relinquishing words
* residing in the divine
Meditation is mentioned several times in the Bible. But did Jesus practice and promote the kind of spirituality recommended in Yoga? Consider the following.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. [Matthew 6:5-8, New International Version (NIV)]
In this passage we can see that Jesus advised people to:
* pray in solitude
* reduce words to a minimum
* keep faith in God
Does this mean Jesus advocated quick prayers?
To find the answer, we might look at Jesus himself. How did he himself live and pray? For how long did he pray?
When we look at the Gospels, this is what we discover:
* Jesus spent entire nights praying. (Luke 6:12-13)
* He would also arise before his disciples and find a quiet place to pray. (Mark 1:35)
* Famously, he went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to fast and pray. (Luke 4.1-2) Moses did the same. (Exodus 24:18)
If Jesus taught people to keep their prayers short and not keep on babbling, why would he himself pray for hours and sometimes months in seclusion or in the wilderness?
It is apparent that Jesus was not praying in the usual babbly sense. It was a wordless prayer. Jesus was showing us how to simply sit in the presence of the Lord and to bask in his grace. In other words, Jesus meditated.*
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God."
[Psalm 46:10 (NIV)]
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* Always consult your doctor before practicing yoga or meditation