The psychiatric world defines meditation as the various techniques used to achieve an enhanced level of consciousness leading to enlightenment and inner peace. The enlightenment and peace achieved through this type of meditation are entirely subjective, based on experiences rather than reason. Some techniques are religious (Zen Buddhism, yoga, etc.), others are secular (biofeedback, sensory deprivation, hallucinogens), and others are secularized religious techniques (transcendental meditation). None have any correlation to meditation encouraged in the Bible.
The psychiatric world goes on to say that though the meditative systems vary, they all seek total relaxation of the body, minimized sensory input to the brain, and cessation of conscious thought. By emptying the mind of distractions, the meditator seeks to open his mind to greater consciousness of the life force of the universe. The goal is an experience of oneness with the force which produces rest, refreshment, and inner peace.
Psychotherapists who use these techniques claim that their patients are more able to handle the stress of daily living if they stop to meditate at least twice each day. Research has shown no benefits of meditation which are not also gained by simply resting.
Unlike psychiatric meditation Biblical meditation:
#1 Is rooted in faith in God’s Word. Rather than mystic experience, Biblical meditation focuses on the objective truth of the Bible. Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2.
#2 Seeks to strongly engage the mind in understanding and applying God’s Word to everyday life. Joshua 1:8
#3 Seeks personal change into Christ-likeness through accountability, reproof, conviction, and repentance rather than acceptance of status quo. II Timothy 3: 16-17
#4 Seeks to respond as an obedient child of the true and personal God rather than experiential union with an impersonal force.
Meditation on God’s Word renews the mind that we might please Him in all things. Romans 12: 1-2.
Believers are commanded to meditate on God’s Word. Meditation on God’s Word is a distinguishing mark of a blessed man. Psalm 1
Meditation on God’s Word involves:
#1 Understanding the meaning of the passage in context. Ask, “What does God mean in this passage?” Psalm 49:3.
#2 Memorizing the passage. Psalm 119:11
#3 Thinking carefully about each word and phrase. Ask, “What are the implications of these words?”
#4 Asking, “How do I need to change? What can I do that will please the Lord? What have I learned for which I can praise and worship him?”
Meditating on the Word of God and allowing our meditations to become a part of our daily life will make us successful and prosperous Christians according to Joshua 1:8.