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Christian Meditation: Experiencing the…

Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God

by James Finley

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This is an interesting book and I did learn from it some things about meditation – what it is like and the how of it. But there are two big reservations that I have about it: First, it tends to focus on self. Secondly, the essence of what's advocated is called "centering prayer". “Centering Prayer” advocates that one empty his or her mind to gain spiritual peace and growth. This practice of ‘emptying of the mind’ can be dangerous. Even as one does it, there is this slight sense or intuition within indicating that it just isn’t right, something is amiss. At least part of the reason for this unsettled sense is that one is trying to abandon healthy safeguards that are there to protect and safeguard the soul. It is likely the Spirit of God speaking subtlety through our spirit within us urging us not to make ourselves vulnerable to spiritual adversaries to our soul. The opposite of peace (confusion and turmoil) have often occurred for those who have been successful in emptying their minds. There are numerous accounts of this – testimonies, if you will, that bear this out. “Centering prayer” is often advocated by the Trappist monks. However, this in no way means that ‘meditation’ in general is bad. In fact good and healthy meditation is vital to spiritual growth and to having peace. However it must have its object; for the Christian, it is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If one reads this book with this premise, he/she can avoid its pitfalls and gain some good nuggets concerning meditation. ( )
  allenkeith | Jul 26, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060591927, Hardcover)

Discover the practices and insights at the heart of Christianity’s own meditation tradition with this enriching "retreat" on audio. Looking back to his monastic life at the Abbey of Gethsemani, where he studied with Thomas Merton, author James Finley shares uniquely Christian teachings for cultivating awareness of the interconnection of all life. Mining Christianity’s own lineage of contemplatives and mystics, such as the Desert Fathers and Meister Eckhart, Finley guides us through an unmatched eight-hour course of original meditations and other practices, fully illuminating this 2,000-year-old path to inner transformation and unity with the divine.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:28 -0400)

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Christian Meditation introduces an ancient practice to a contemporary audience. James Finley, a well-known spiritual counselor and speaker, presents the fundamentals of both understanding and practicing Christian meditation. A former monk and student of Thomas Merton, Finley teaches readers to expand (or begin) their meditation practices in concert with their faith and guides them to discover that divine moments of awakened consciousness can lead to a deeper connection with Christ. He explains how meditation can enrich our daily lives by connecting us not only with the present moment, but also with the eternal now that is beyond time. Finley provides simple, helpful instructions on the practicalities so essential to true meditation - focusing one's attention, sitting, breathing, orienting one's eyes, walking, and maintaining a compassionate, forgiving attitude. Above all, he makes clear that the aim of meditation is to allow us to experience divine contemplation, the presence of God.… (more)

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