While Christianity primarily offers prayer as a way to “transcend,” Eastern spiritual traditions offer meditation. Both quiet the mind and expand it beyond everyday boundaries.
Christian theology also includes meditation as a form of contemplative prayer, reflecting on the revelations of God in the Bible.
Can Christians practice Eastern yoga and meditation to reap the physical benefits they provide, such as deep relaxation, better health and anti-aging, as well as spiritual growth?
Deepak Chopra offers sage advice on transforming your life, from a Christian perspective, in his novel “Jesus.” While many Christians may not agree with his fictional account of Jesus’ lost years before his ministry began, they can reap new insights from the book’s reader’s guide on “Jesus and the Path to Enlightenment.”
Chopra writes that Jesus was the product of transformation and that he wanted others to be transformed also, giving up unloving, violent, selfish and narrow-minded attitudes and offering only love and peace to the world. He describes how all Jesus’ teaching was in service of one objective: to find the way back home, to oneness with God. Not so different than chakra meditation practiced for over 5,000 years – moving from the material plane, starting with the root chakra, and working our way up to oneness by opening the crown chakra.
Deepak Chopra’s explanation is that Jesus was teaching how to find the source of all God’s qualities inside yourself and ultimately to embody them. Working on the chakras will help you to embody these qualities… which makes it in line with Christ consciousness.
Here’s a wonderful meditation on the heart chakra: Sit quietly and let your attention go to the center of your chest, focusing on your heart. Softly bring your attention back when emotions, sensations, feelings or images arise. Hidden memories will resurface; repressed emotions will flow. Soon the experience will shift as you contact the heart as a center of tenderness and love. As you move toward silence, the door will open to an invisible presence. The more you sit with it, the more it begins to express attributes of God, such as love and tenderness, power and strength.
For a guided meditation on all seven of the major chakras, or energy centers of the body, up to the spiritual or crown chakra, try this Chakra Meditation.