Our secular culture, greatly influenced by Hollywood, which is, in turn, perversely captivated by the mystic religions of the East, often communicates huge misconceptions about the Classical Christian Discipline of meditation. As is embarrassingly common, the Church reacts not by learning the truth but by ignoring the discipline altogether. We settle instead for merely “going to church.”

Detachment is the final goal of Eastern religion: detach from the world, lose personhood, destroy individuality, and merge with the Cosmic Mind. There is a longing to be freed from the burdens and pains of this life and to be released into the impersonality and almost nothingness of Nirvana. Personal identity is lost and, in fact, personality is seen as the ultimate illusion. Detachment from this physical realm is the goal. Tragically, in this empty religious system there is no god to be attached to or to hear from.

Of course there is a need for us to detach from this evil world; however, Christian meditation goes far beyond the notion of detachment; we must go on to attachment. Practicing the Christian discipline of meditation allows us to detach from the confusion and noise around us for the specific purpose of attaining a richer attachment to our Creator God. Christian meditation leads us to the inner wholeness necessary for us to be able to give ourselves freely and totally to God. Christian meditation allows us to reenter that relationship of direct communion with God that was lost to us in the Garden.

Christian meditation, quite simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice with the determined purpose of obeying it. What happens when we meditate on God’s words is that we create the emotional and spiritual space which allows Christ to construct an inner sanctuary in our heart (inner being). He is standing at the door of our heart and knocking (Revelation 3:20); He and His Father both promise to come in and commune with us if we will but open the door.

Meditation is one of the disciplines that will train us to open the door. Once the door is open an inward fellowship (communion) follows. And in the presence of that fellowship our inner beings cannot help but be transformed into the image of Him for whom we long.