I am pretty much into meditation and have been since about 1973. I read about what it does in the brain, I have tried many different methods, and an article by a psychatrist was especially helpful in knowing the psychodynamics of it. I want to read more of this Dr. Mark Epstein. But right now I am in the midst of a James. H. Austin book. They are both Buddhists but that does not bother me.
You see, I think the Eastern religions have a lot to offer on the inner journey. They have road maps and terminology that the West does not have. When it comes to pure mental hygiene there is so much there we can benefit from. BUT it is pure mechanical, like learning and playing an instrument or something. To be complete I need to bring God into it. And I have studied the great Christian mystics but I find the approach through Zen and Yoga to be more instructive in how the brain and mind work.
So there is great psychological and physical benefit but in my view spiritually empty and impersonal. So most of my life has been exploring the questions of, “How does Christ fit into my meditation and how does meditation fit into my journey with Christ?”
St. John of the Cross and St Bonaventure have been my Christian companions but they can be pretty difficult to follow. And, meditation may not be for everyone because learning about our inner selves can be very rough going. When we sit and observe the inner processes it can be dark and deep. But it is what it is. We are who we are.
But meditation is not just about sitting in silence. All the rest of our life must be supportive, the work we do, our interaction with others, our prayer, our reading, every thing we do as disciples of Jesus, as followers of Christ, it all comes with us when we go deeply inward. I am 65. I have been on this journey with Christ as long as I can remember. It was Christ who led me to the interior work. In fact it is he who does the work. I just sit and watch. I would say it is a vocation. In the silence of my heart I sit and wait, “like a child at rest in its mother’s arms, even so my soul”. It takes patience and faith and discipline. I would be glad to message with others who share the inner interest.