Meditation

Is meditation something that is frowned on by the Church? I’m talking about sitting with your legs crossed, clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing. I can’t see that it could be bad in and of itself, it would be the meaning you attach to it.

I think it’s bad since it seems to have originated with Buddhism, which is a polytheistic attempt to climb 32 levels of enlightenment.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology

Meditation is a Hindu/Buddhist practice. Don’t do it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation#History

PluniaZ is completely wrong.

The Rosary is a Catholic meditation and the simple breathing technique you describe is simply that and nothing more. Pregnant women use something similar to ease anxiety and keep control during childbirth and martial artist like myself use it to take control of emotions and tensions in training in order to maintain focus and control no matter what.

Catholicism is fraught with meditations and by carrying out what you have described you may well find yourself better able to focus on your prayers, the Mass, or scripture readings and studies.

It is nothing more than a correct way to breathe so that you body relaxes and functions better because it properly fills your lungs and helps your mind and body function as God intended for them to. :thumbsup:

No, OP said, “***I’m talking about sitting with your legs crossed, clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing.***” That is a Buddhist practice where you try to reach the state of “enlightenment” where you realize that you don’t have an immortal soul.

Nothing could be more anti-Catholic.

But Plunia you said,

You can’t lump up all meditation into the Hundu/Buddhist thing, although I admit that the OP talking about the position for meditation would lead you to think that’s where it’s leading.

Meditation and meditative prayer (reflective prayer) in my experience are interchangeable terms when we talk about Catholics meditating. Meditative prayer is very important as part of your prayer life. There is no particular position other than to be comfortable and it’s not about emptying your mind and just letting anything in.

Guide to Catholic Meditation from CNS

Church Militant is right.

For starteres there are many catholic meditations such as the rosary as mentioned.

Plunia is wrongly associating meditation with buddhism/hinduism. meditation is much more universal than that.

I would agree that if someone catholic is practicing buddhism through meditation that would be wrong, but meditation in of itself can be very healthful for a cathlolic to practice.

I am pretty sure there a loads of things that are more anti catholic:shrug: I hope this was a exaggeration.

Thanks for highlighting that.

Let’s break that down, shall we?
-Sitting cross leg: Bad for your circulation. Plus it’s different from kneeling.
-Clearing your mind: No. Just no. There are Christian mediation that is close, but never “clear your mind.”
-Focusing on your breathing: Depend on the context.

There is a few Catholic and Orthodox practice that are similar, but distinctive to the Eastern Prayer. The main thing is that it never is about clearing your mind. It’s always with God’s words in mind.

We already had mentioned Rosary. Of course, you have chaplet of Divine Mercy.

There are meditation that start to veer into what on its surface are “oriental mediation”. The most famous one is the Lectio Divino. There is the carmelite spirutality (which i have no clue of) There is also The Prayer rule of St Pachomius, taken up by the Eastern Brethen; a link to one from a Byzantine Catholic church: stmaryhillsboroughnj.org/files/Prayer/BeginningPrayersPrayerToSanticyTheHours.pdf Lastly, you have the centering prayer, which Pope Francis had kinda praise, but controversial regardless.

The keypoint is always have the Word (note the capital) in mind.

The only place I would differ is that their is nothing prohibiting a Catholic from clearing his mind to find some inner peace.???

As long as that person has the intent to not be “enlightened” and they aren’t trying to mimic Hinduism or Buddhism, I believe (although I could be wrong) it’s fine.

"No that is just a posture that allows proper breathing and relaxation and nothing more. It can and is done in all manner of other postures including kneeling, standing, and even moving from posture to posture and technique to technique in martial arts training.

That is a Buddhist practice where you try to reach the state of “enlightenment” where you realize that you don’t have an immortal soul.

You obviously don’t really know what you are talking about. Buddhism is not, repeat not, a religion, but just a system of oriental philosophy that is secular and even somewhat agnostic but it certainly allows for belief in any religion that a student might wish to follow. It was embraced by Japanese Samurai for it’s simplicity and asceticism, but there were indeed Samurai who were devout Catholics. and the church even canonized one recently as a martyr.

Nothing could be more anti-Catholic.

A ridiculous statement based on gross ignorance. Buddhism has no position for or against Catholicism at all. It is nothing but a system of philosophy and they revere Buddha in a way somewhat similar to the way we do the Blessed Virgin, but they do not deify him.

Thanks for the information, I never knew much about buddhism, and the part about the canonized Samurai is fascinating and I intend to research more about them.

Oh and most people I know cannot even begin to sit in a lotus position and in fact most Japanese and especially martial artists prefer the seiza sitting posture which is more kneeling than sitting though it serves the same purpose in traditional Japanese circles…

Buddhists to my knowledge to not use a lotus posture…and as I said the posture is of minimal importance and one can use that calming breathing technique (and it does indeed work!) while walking down the street or running a marathon.

Clearing one’s mind is never a bad thing and there is no reason at all that any Catholic could not or should not do that before prayer, reading scripture, or before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration, especially since it will assist with focusing upon the Real Presence of Our Lord there before us.

Ignorance can be an extreme thing…

No problem. :slight_smile:
Dom Justo Takayama

Here is some guidance from the Catholic Church:

Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation (1989)

It is rather lengthy. By that, I don’t mean it is needlessly verbose. Rather, it succinctly covers a lot of ground. It considers many details and aspects.

To briefly answer your question, no, the Church does not frown upon meditation. The letter discusses certain erroneous or harmful meditation practices (see, for example, paragraphs 10, 12, and 19). It says many good things about meditation and even about other religions (for example, in the first part of paragraph 16). Therefore be informed and proceed with caution.

It would be good for your mental and physical health. It shouldn’t be a problem unless you start delving into Buddhist spirituality. Such a situation would be against your Catholic faith.

There is a strong and increasingly popular Catholic form of such meditation now.
“Centring Prayer” is a common name for this style of Catholic meditation.
Its leaders (monks) say it is in fact a rediscovery of ancient Eastern Christian techniques.

The main names are Thomas Merton (Trappist) , John Main (Benedictine) and Thomas Keating (Trappist)

johnmain.org/
contemplativeoutreach.org/fr-thomas-keating
contemplativeprayer.net/

Look for these names on youtube also.

Good luck.

My husband does mindfulness meditation as part of his treatment for depression. His spiritual advisor, the Abbot at our local monastery, said it was fine.

Thank you for your responses

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