Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo, South Africa
There is a widespread resurgence of Eastern meditation among nominal Christians in the West. In many churches and other Christian circles, prayer is increasingly replaced by meditation, which is also described as contemplation, centring prayers, or quiet prayers. Meditation is often accompanied by Yoga relaxation exercises and relaxed breathing in order to promote a mental shift from the rational left brain to the intuitive right brain.
The basic objective with meditation – whether it be Hindu-based Transcendental Meditation (TM), Buddhist, Islamic or ‘Christian’ meditation – is to acquire a situation of complete rest in your body, soul and spirit, thereby eliminating stress and facilitating contact with deeper, more creative levels of your consciousness. Rational thinking is intentionally suppressed and switched off while you transcend to mystical spheres to make contact with your deeper self. According to Naomi Humphrey (Meditation – the inner way) meditation helps to deliver you from spiritual and mental bondage, and also from fear, by enabling you to transcend to a new perception of reality. The result is a holistic way of life in which spirit and matter become integrated.