Millions of people practice meditation daily. The word “meditation” means “to think” or “reflect”, especially in a calm and deliberate manner. It also means to plan in the mind; to design; to plan by revolving in the mind; to weigh; to resolve; intend.
To keep the mind in a state of contemplation; to dwell on anything in thought…” (Webster’s 1913 Dictionary).
According to the Bible, meditation means “…to ponder, imagine, meditate, converse with oneself, declare to oneself, to separate or distinguish mentally…”
Meditation practice is not for daydreaming or thinking about things that come into mind. It is used for concentration on the object, a scripture or God’s message. Meditation is helpful to calm racing thoughts. When the mind is quiet, our concentration is improved making the meditation experience better.
Meditation was conceptualized as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory strategies developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance.
In the old days, people meditated all the time:
[The righteous man’s] delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2).
Some view meditation as a religious obligation, while others meditate to balance emotions and relax. Meditation can be practiced by people of different religions and by those who are not religious at all.
Types of Meditation and Meditative Prayer
There are many types of meditation for practice. The basic types are called focused attention meditation, open-monitoring meditation, silent mind meditation, guided visualization, and spirit-led meditation. Below you will find a list of 4 meditation types, along with a short description.
Focused Attention Meditation
This type of meditation helps to focus attention on a specific object. An individual focuses on his breath, part of the body, a prayer, a scripture, or some other object. With more practice, the focus and attention become longer with less distraction. Over time, the concentration develops more depth and steadiness.
Open monitoring Meditation
Open monitoring meditation helps to observe all aspects of our experience without any thoughts, judgment or attachment. All perceptions such as thoughts, feelings, and memory are recognized and seen for what they are. This type of meditation allows monitoring our experience from the moment to moment without any reaction. The open-monitoring meditation allows us to understand more of our personal motives behind certain behavior. It helps us to understand better the root cause of any emotional imbalances such as depression, panic attacks or anxiety.
Silent Mind Meditation
All typical techniques of meditation teach us to focus and train the mind. During the silent mind meditation, the mind is not focused on anything particular. This type of meditation teaches how to view the individual’s thoughts separated from the mind. Over time, the person is learning to allow or reject the thoughts that come to his mind.
Visualization is helpful for stress relief, emotional healing, or personal development. During this meditation, an individual learns to concentrate on one thing at a time instead of holding different thoughts and ideas at once. Any place, object or situation that is visualized and processed helps the mind to relax, heal and bring positive experience.
Guided Meditation (Spirit-led)
Guided or Spirit-Led meditation falls into a category of religious experience but can practice by anyone. In the Bible, God instructs his believers to think and calls it the greatest form of meditation. Guided or Spirit-led meditation is one of the most powerful types of meditation. It is especially helpful in receiving guidance. When your mind is quiet, simply ask God or the Holy Spirit to be your guide and help with the meditation process. The Holy Spirit is the purest spirit in the Universe that is not only guides but also heals, purifies and transforms each person’s energy.
Benefits of Meditation
Many scientific and medical types of research prove that meditation is beneficial for health. The regular meditation practice reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases brain performance, improves concentration, helps with insomnia, helps to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, and much more.
Besides the health benefits, meditation improves intuition, mindfulness, and sense of self. Regular practice helps to receive spiritual guidance and a better understanding of things.
From my experience, Spirit-led meditation is one of the most powerful methods that can benefit people the most. I have read numerous feedback from the people who benefited greatly from this type of meditation when accepting the Holy Spirit as their guide.
It is especially beneficial for those who need protection from negative energies. Some believe that if you are going through a bad experience, it means there is something wrong with you. In reality, when the person receives the call of duty from God, he or she will pray and meditate more often. As a result, the brightness of their soul increases and it may attract all types of negative energy to it.
If you have questions about the events in your life, ask God for guidance while meditating. Meditation is helpful to receive messages of comfort, strength, or a warning. When we meditate on God’s Word and follow His directions, success and prosperity follow.
God provides us with understanding and opens our eyes to His truth. Without meditation or thinking about God’s way, we wouldn’t understand His will for us. Without the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it is hard to understand God’s Word, the way God thinks or why He does what He does.
How, When and Where to Meditate?
Many people like the idea of meditation, but don’t have time to do it due to the busy family life, work or housework. Meditation time depends on your schedule. Try to change your schedule if you are unable to find time to meditate.
Meditation requires daily practice, for at least 15 minutes of time per day. The best results are achieved when meditating for at least one hour per day. Dedicate an extra hour in the morning or in the evening to this process.
Find a comfortable position where you can sit and hold your back straight. You can also meditate in a lying position, but it can make you fall asleep. The place for meditation should be quiet, without distractions. If it’s too noisy in your house, visit a local park or do a nature walk. It is not recommended to eat heavy meals before meditation as it can make you sleepy or lethargic.
Meditation will bring better results while fasting and praying, combined with the study of the scriptures. In addition, it will bring peace and relaxation, while your mind stays alert and conscious. A heightened sense of awareness will bring a positive feeling and make your work more productive.
What to Meditate On
While meditating, practice quieting your mind, emotions, and feelings of anxiety. Silent meditation helps to receive answers or guidance from Divine Providence. It also improves intuition.
Do not be discouraged if you can’t make your mind silent right away. It takes time and practice. Eventually, the mind will learn to quiet thoughts naturally.
When praying or meditating, many people feel like they are “channel surfing.” Fill your mind with positive thoughts and try to get rid of the negative ones. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Don’t waste your energy on unimportant and irrelevant things. Think about what is the most important thing for you, then allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your thoughts.
In a Holy Spirit-led meditation, it is essential to discern the spirit that visits you. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of truth that generally brings feelings of purification, love, and peace. The Spirit of truth feels as taking a spiritual bath and cleansing your soul and mind from all unclean things and blockages. The Holy Spirit meditation is very emotional and sometimes can bring tears of joy. You will feel lighter and happier after it, feeling a complete unity with God.
However, if there is a warning message from God concerning certain things, you may experience a nagging feeling. For example, if there is a need to relocate to another place due to the earthquake, the Holy Spirit message may feel different in your heart.
In general, if the spirit you have encountered brings negativity, fear or anger – it may be an unclean or familiar spirit. Some people are deliberately contacting familiar spirits to get the information they need. However, the information received from the unclean spirits is false or partially mixed with some truth. The Holy Spirit is the only spirit that provides 100% truth.
If you have never experienced the Holy Spirit personally and would like to know what it feels like, visit the specialized Liturgy services provided by your local church (not all churches are equally good). Liturgy is public worship that is performed by a group of priests on a daily basis and it is open to the public. The Divine Liturgy can be a powerful experience as the energy is very pure because of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Here is also a good scripture to stay in tune with a spirit of truth:
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Phil. 4:8-9).
The Benefits of Meditation From The Biblical Perspective
According to the Old and New Testament, people used to meditate days and nights:
O how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. (Psalm 119:97) (Psalm 1:2; Gen. 24:63; Joshua 1:8; Psalms 19:14; 49:3; 63:6-8; 77:12; 104:34; 119:15; 119:23-24; 119:97; 148:5)
Meditation Brings Prosperity and Success
…For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success” (Josh. 1:8).” “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper (Psa. 1:3).
Meditation Brings Hope and Happiness
Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood, and the gall…This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope…They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness (Lam. 3:19, 21, 23). My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord (104:34).
Meditation Brings Strength, Wisdom, and Understanding
Princes also did sit and speak against me: but Your servant did meditate in Your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors (119:23-24). You through Your commandments have made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psa. 119:98-99).
Meditation Leads to Eternal Life
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:6).
Meditate on Answered Prayers
Sometimes people expect immediate or dramatic answers to their questions. God is answering prayers or questions in His own way. While some answers are immediate, others take some time to manifest.
God hears every petition of his child, but not every child is able to establish instant communication with Heavenly Father. His response will take time to manifest. There will be signs that the person needs to learn.
Meditation helps to concentrate on God’s word and messages. Meditate on the personal message received. Take time to listen and process any messages you hear.
Analyze and review each day’s events and draw a conclusion. Meditate on the Biblical scriptures for a better understanding and give thanks when your prayer was answered.
Daily focused attention meditation, open-monitoring meditation, silent mind meditation, guided visualization help with spiritual transformation. The spirit-led meditation helps to align your energy with God’s energy. After your mind and energy are transformed, there will be a better understanding of the Divine will for you.