Discipline in your faith Part 13 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 6


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline”) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige paar inskrywings het ons gekyk na die misverstande aangaande meditasie. Vandag gaan ek net die misverstande wat genoem is, opsom.

The first on the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation. (All quotes are taken from his book). In the previous few blogs, we looked at a few misconceptions regarding meditation. Today I will list the misconceptions in short.

  1. Meditation belongs only to Eastern religions, and has no place in Christianity.
  2. Christian meditation is the same thing as Eastern meditation, and thus very dangerous.

We saw that the aim of Christian meditation is to fill a person’s mind, and that the aim of Eastern meditation is to empty the person’s mind. Thus it is not even closely the same thing. Another aim of Eastern meditation is the detachment from the world, as well as to lose the person’s individuality. Christian meditation teaches a detachment from the confusion around us so that we can have a deeper attachment to God. Christian meditation helps us to achieve inner wholeness, which is necessary to give ourselves freely to God.

3. Meditation is too difficult and/or too complicated.

Meditation is, in fact, very easy, and needs no special abilities, gifts, powers or techniques.

4. Meditation (contemplation) is impractical, because it puts the person who practice it out of touch of the “real world”.

Meditation is the one thing that can redirect our lives in such a way that we can deal with human life successfully. It’s even said that meditation has no point and no reality unless it is rooted in life.

5. Meditation is a religious form of psychological manipulation.

Meditation is actually not about us. It is all about our encounter with God. It is all about resting in the One who has found us in the first place, who loves us, who is near to us, who comes to us to draw us to Him.

  1. Meditasie hoort by Oosterse godsdienste, en het geen plek in Christenskap nie.
  2. Christelike meditasie is dieselfde ding as Oosterse meditasie, en dus baie gevaarlik.

Ons het gesien dat die doel van Christelike meditasie is om die persoon se gedagtes te vul, terwyl die doel van Oosterse meditasie is om die persoon se gedagtes leeg te maak. ‘n Verdere doel van Oosterse meditasie is die losmaking van die wêreld, asook dat die persoon sy/haar individuliteit sal verloor. Christelike meditasie leer ‘n losmaking van die deurmekaar wêreld om ons, soda tons ‘n dieper verbintenis met God kan hê. Christelike meditasie help ons om innerlike heelheid te ervaar, wat nodig is om onsself vrylik aan God oor te gee.

3. Meditasie is te moeilik en/of te ingewikkeld.

Meditasie is in der waarheid baie maklik, en vereis geen spesiale kwaliteite, gawes, krag of tegnieke nie.

4. Meditasie (kontemplasie/oordenking) is onprakties, omdat dit die persoon wat dit toepas uit pas uit haal met die “regte wêreld”.

Meditasie is die een ding wat ons lewens op so ‘n manier kan rig dat ons suksesvol met die lewe kan omgaan. Daar word selfs gesê dat meditasie geen punt en geen realiteit het as dit nie gewortel is in die lewe nie.

5. Meditasie is ‘n godsdienstige vorm van fisiologiese manipulasie.

Meditasie gaan egter nie oor ons nie. Dit gaan alles oor ons ontmoeting met God. Dit gaan oor die rus in Hom wat ons in die eerste plek gevind het, wat ons lief het, wat naby aan ons is, wat naby aan ons is om ons na Hom toe te trek.

Discipline in your faith Part 12 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 5


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline”) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ons gekyk na hoe baie mense glo dat meditasie daartoe lei dat mense kontak en medelye verloor met die alledaagse, gewone lewe. Ons het egter gesien dat meditasie mens juis help om die “alledaagse lewe” beter te hanteer. Vandag kyk ons na miskien die grootste misverstand aangaande meditasie: om meditasie as godsdienstige vorm te sien as sielkundige manipulasie.

The first on the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation. (All quotes are taken from his book). In the previous blog we talked about the misconception that people have, in that they believe that meditation leads people to loose contact and compassion with the everyday, normal life. We saw, though, that meditation can help people to handle the “everyday life” much better. Today we will look as perhaps the most common misconception regarding meditation: to view meditation as a religious form of psychological manipulation.

 

Meditation may be valuable in that it helps to get our blood pressure down on to relieve our tension. It may even help us with meaningful insights by helping us get in touch with our subconscious mind. “If you feel that we live in a purely physical universe, you will view meditation as a good way to obtain a constant alpha brain-wave pattern.”

“But if you believe that we live in a universe created by the infinite-personal God who delights in our communion with him, you will see meditation as communication between the Lover and the one beloved.”

Meditasie kan dalk handig wees omdat dit help om ons bloeddruk te laat daal of om spanning te verlig. Dit kan ons selfs help om betekenisvolle insigte te bekom, deurdat dit help om ons in kontak te bring met ons onderbewussyn. Indien jy voel dat ons in ‘n suiwer fisiese heelal lewe, sal jy selfs glo dat meditasie ‘n goeie manier is om ‘n konstante gelyke golflengte vir jou brein te kry.

Maar indien jy glo in ‘n heelal wat geskep is deur ‘n ewig-persoonlike God wie gemeenskap verlang met ons, sal jy meditasie sien as kommunikasie tussen die “Lover of our souls” (Liefhebber) en die een wat geliefd is.

These two concepts of meditation are complete opposites.

  • On the one hand, we are confined to a totally human experience. It talks about the exploration of the subconscious.
  • On the other hand, we are catapulted into a divine-human encounter. It talks about us resting in him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, and who comes to us to draw us to himself.

Both may sound religious and can even use all sorts of religious words, but the first one can ultimately find no place for spiritual reality.

Hierdie twee konsepte van meditasie is totale teenoorstaande konsepte.

  • Aan die een kant word ons vasgevang in ‘n totale menslike belewenis. Dit praat van die ontdekking van die onderbewussyn.
  • Aan die ander kant word ons opgehef tot ‘n goddelik-menslike ontmoeting. Dit praat van ons wat in Hom wat deur ons gevind is rus, Hom wat ons lief het, Hy wat naby ons is, en Hy wat na ons toe kom om ons na Hom toe te trek.

Beide klink baie godsdienstige en kan selfs allerhande godsdienstige woorde bevat, maar die eerste een kan uiteindelik geen plek vind vir geestelike realiteit nie.

In the next blog, we will look at another concept relating to meditation, and that is to desire the living voice of God.

In the meantime, I leave you with a challenge, witch Richard Foster also gives:

Take an experiential attitude towards spiritual realities. Like any other (scientific) endeavour, we form a hypothesis and experiment with it to see if it is true or not. If our first experiment fails, we don’t suddenly label it as fraudulent; we re-examine our procedure, maybe adjust our hypothesis, and try again. We should at least have the honesty to persevere in this work to the same degree we would in any other field of science.

The fact that so many are unwilling to do so, might be more indicative of their prejudice, and not of their intelligence.

In die volgende skrywe sal ons kyk na ‘n ander konsep wat verband hou met meditasie, en dit is om die lewende stem van God te begeer.

Intussen wil ek jou uitdaag met dieselfde uitdaging wat Richard Foster gee”

Neem ‘n wetenskaplike uitgangspunt tot die geestelike realiteite. Soos enige ander (wetenskaplike) onderneming, vorm ons sekere veronderstellings en dan eksperimenteer ons daarmee om te sien of dit waar is of nie. Indien ons eerste eksperiment nie slaag nie, merk ons dit nie onmiddelik as vals nie, maar herevalueer die prosedure, pas dalk die veronderstellings aan, en probeer weer. Ons moet ten minste eerlik wees en die werk tot ‘n mate behou, soos in enige ander wetenskaplike veld.

Die feit dat so baie onwillig is om so te maak, wys dalk eerder na hulle voorveronderstellings, en nie na hulle intelligensie nie.

Discipline in your faith Part 11 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 4


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline“) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ons gekyk na hoe baie mense glo dat meditasie lei daartoe dat mense kontak meditasie nie gesien mag word as iets klein en onbenullig nie. Ons het ook gesien dat, hoe meer ons geoefen raak daarin, hoe meer raak ons daarmee vertroud, en hoe “makliker“ raak dit. Vandag bespreek ons die misverstand van mense wat glo dat meditasie (oordenking) onprakties en verouderd is.

The first of the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation.(All quotes are taken from his book.) In the previous blog we saw that meditation may not and cannot be seen as something small and insignificant. We also saw that, the more we practice it, the “better” we get at it and the “easier” it gets. Today we look at the misconception that people have that meditation (contemplation) is impractical and outdated.

 

“Many people believe that at its very best meditation leads to an unhealthy otherworldliness that keeps us immune to the suffering of humanity.”

Baie mense dink dat meditasie, op sy beste, lei tot ‘n ongesonde ander-wêreldse orientasie, wat hulle imuun maak teen die leiding van die mensdom.

This is actually a rather baseless thought. Meditation could be the one thing that can redirect our lives so that we can effectively deal with human life successfully.

Hierdie is egter ‘n redelike ongegronde gedagte. Meditasie kan die een ding wee swat ons lewens beïnvloed, sodat ons die menslike lewe meer effektief kan hanteer.

Thomas Merton writes that meditation has no point and no reality unless it is firmly rooted in life.

Thomas Merton skryf dat meditasie geen punt het en geen realiteit het as dit nie stewig in die lewe gewortel is nie.

In history, the Quakers have stresses the need to enter into the listening silences perhaps the most. The result has been a vital social impact far in excess of their numbers. William Penn wrote that true godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in the world and helps them to mend the world.

In die geskiedenis het die “Quakers” die nodigheid van die luisterende stiltes waarskynlik die meeste beklemtoon. Die resultaat was ‘n groot sosiale impak, wat hulle getalle by verre oortref. William Penn het geskryf dat ware goddelikheid mens nie weg draai uit die wêreld uit nie, maar hulle juis bemagtig om beter te lewe in die wêreld en hulle help om die wêreld te verbeter.

Meditation will often yield insights that are deeply practical. It is most common that meditation gives guidance in dealing with ordinary human problems. Meditation sends us into our ordinary worlds with greater perspective and balance.

Meditasie sal baiekeer insigte gee in praktiese dele van ons lewens. Dit is mees algemeen dat dit leiding gee in hoe om die “gewone” menslike probleme te hanteer. Meditasie stuur ons in ons wêrelde in met groter perspektief en balans.

In the next blog, we will look at the most common misconception regarding meditation.

In die volgende inskrywing sal ons kyk na die mees algemene misverstand aangaande meditasie.

Discipline in your faith Part 10 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 3


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline“) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ek gekyk na enkele verskille tussen Oosterse en Christelike meditasie. Vandag gaan ons kyk na ‘n verdere rede waarom mense bang is vir meditasie: vrees dat dit te moeilik is.

The first of the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation.(All quotes are taken from his book.) In the previous blog I gave a few differences between Eastern and Christian meditation. Today we will look at another reason why people fear meditation: they fear that it is to difficult.

 

“Some shy away from meditation out of fear that it is too difficult, to complicated. Perhaps it is best left to the professional who has more time to explore the inner regions.”

Sommige dink dat meditasie te moeilik is. Hulle glo dan dat dit eerder net gedoen moet word deur die sogenaamde professionele mense wat meer tyd het om die innerlike ruimtes te ontdek.

The so called “acknowledged experts“ in the area of meditation says that it is not just for a select few, or the spiritual giants. They feel that they are doing a normal part of human activity. They feel that it is natural and as important as breathing. We do not need any special gifts or psychic powers. We just need to discipline and train latent faculties within us. Anyone who have imagination, can meditate.

Die sogenaamde “erkende kundiges” in die area van meditasie sê dat dit nie net vir ‘n paar uitgekose mense of geestelike reuse is nie. Hulle voel dat dit ‘n normale deel van ons menslike bestaan is. Hulle voel dat dit natuurlik is – so natuurlik soos om asem te haa.. Ons het nie spesiale gawes of een of ander bo-natuurlike krag nodig nie. Ons het net nodig om seker onderliggende moontlikhede te dissiplineer en te onderrig. Almal wat verbeelding het, kan mediteer.

We should beware, though, that meditation is not some “small thing“ we do. It is serious business. We should put in our best thought and energies. No one should undertake meditation just for diversion or because others are doing it. Those who meditate half-heartedly, will certainly fail. For meditation to succeed, the one that meditate should be convinced of its importance.

Ons moet waak teen die gedagte dat meditasie een of ander “klein ding” is wat ons doen.Dit is ernstige besigheid. Ons moet ons beste gedagtes en kragte daarin sit. Niemand moet meditasie onderneem as een of ander afleiding of omdat ander dit doen nie. Diegene wat half-hartig mediteer, sal beslis nie slaag nie. Vir meditasie of suksesvol te wees, moet die een wat mediteer oortuig wees van die belangrikheid daarvan.

We should also realize that when we get skilled in meditation, it will become part of our ingrained habitual patterns. When we start with practicing meditation, we will not get it right from the start. But if we keep on practicing it, it becomes natural to us.

Ons moet ook besef dat, soos wat ons geoefen raak in meditasie, sal dit deel word van ons lewenspatroon. As ons begin om meditasie te beoefen, gaan ons dit nie van die begin af regkry nie. Maar as ons aanhou om dit te beoefen, sal dit natuurlik raak vir ons.

Do you think meditation is important in your journey to become more intimate with God? Are you willing to start testing it out?

Dink jy meditasie is belangrik in ons reis om meer intiem met God te word? Is jy bereid om dit te begin uittoets?

Discipline in your faith Part 9 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 2


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline“) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ek begin skryf oor die misverstande in verband met meditasie. Ons het gesien dat meditasie nie vreemd was vir die Bybelse skrywers nie. Vandag gaan ons so bietjie dieper delf in verband met die misverstand dat meditasie (slegs) ‘n Oosterse prkatyk is.

The first of the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation.(All quotes are taken from his book.) In the previous blog I started to write about the misconceptions regarding meditation. We saw that meditation wasn’t a foreign concept for the Biblical writers. Today we will go deeper with regards to the misconception that meditation are (only) an Eastern practice.

 

There are many Christians who feel that the Christian idea of meditation are the same as the concept of meditation centered in Eastern religion. Christian meditation and Eastern meditation stands worlds apart though. Following, I will mention a few of the differences as mentioned by Foster.

Daar is baie Christene wat voel dat Christelike idée van meditasie dieselfde is as die gedagte (konsep) van meditasie wat sentraal is in Oosterse godsdienste. Christelike meditasie en Oosterse meditasie staan egter wêrelde apart. Vervolgens gaan ek net so paar verskille, volgens Foster, noem herhaal.

“Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind; Christian meditation is an attempt to empty the mind in order to fill it.”

Oosterse meditasie is ‘n poging om die gedagtes leeg te maak; Christelike meditasie is ‘n poging om die gedagtes leeg te maak om dit wee rte vul.

“All Eastern forms of meditation stress the need to become detached from the world. There is an emphasis upon losing personhood and individuality and merging with the Cosmic Mind. There is a longing to be released from the burdens and pains of this life and be caught up into the effortless, suspended bliss of Nirvana. Personal identity is lost in a pool of cosmic consciousness. Detachment is the final goal… There is no God to be attached to or to hear from.”

All vorme van Oosterse meditasie beklemtoon die behoefte om los te kom van die wêreld. Daar is ‘n beklemtoning daarop om die mensheid en individualiteit te verloor en met die sogenaamde Kosmiese Gedagte te verenig. Daar is die wens om vrygelaat te word van die laste en pyn van hierdie lewe en om in die sogenaamde Nirvana uit te kom. Persoonlike identiteit gaan verlore in die kosmiese denke. ‘n Bevryding (losmaking) is die finale doel; daar is geen God van wie gehoor kan word nie.

Christian meditation goes much further that this notion of detachment. Yes, there is a need for detachment. But we must go on to attachment. The detachment are from the confusion in the world, all around us, so that we can become attached to God and to other human beings. Christian meditation leads us to the inner wholeness which is necessary to give ourselves freely to God, and also the spiritual perception to attack social evils. (In this sense it is the most practical of all the Disciplines.

Christelike meditasie gaan veel verder as die gedagte van bevryding. Ja, daar bestaan die behoefte van bevryding. Maar die proses eindig nie daarby nie. Die bevyding is van die wêreld se deurmekaarheid, oral om ons, sodat ons verbind kan word aan God en aan ander mense. Christelike meditasie lei tot innerlike heelheid wat nodig is om onsself vrylik aan God oor te gee, en ook die geestelike onderskeiding om sosiale booshede te beveg. In hierdie opsig is meditasie dalk die mees praktiese van al die Dissiplines.

Discipline in your faith Part 2


Ek het vandag weer ‘n klein bietjie tyd gemaak om verder te lees aan Celebration of Discipline. Ek is in eksamentyd. Is dit nie vreemd hoe mens baie tyd het en dan skielik gebeur alles gelyk in ‘n kort tyd? Wel, hier is die volgende deel van die lees van hierdie boek.

Today I actually made some time to read on in Celebration of Discipline. I’ am in exam-time. Isn’t it strange how a person have much of time, and suddenly everything happens in a small space of time? Well, here are the next part of my reading of this book.

Ek haal aan uit hoofstuk 1 [I’m quoting from chapter 1]: The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to liberation.

“Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”

“The classical Disciplines of the spiritual life call us to move beyond surface living into the depths. They invite us to explore the inner caverns of the spiritual realm.”

Daar bestaan veral twee wanindrukke oor geestelike dissipines.

There are two misconceptions about spiritual disciplines.

  1. Die dissiplines is nie vir “geestelike reuse nie”. Dis ook nie vir een of ander geestelike leier eksklusief nie.

The disciplines are not for “spiritual giants”. It’s also not exclusively for some spiritual leader.

“God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings… If they are to have any transforming effect, the effect must be found in the ordinary junctures of human life.”

  1. Geestelike dissiplines moet ook nie gesien word as ‘n boring storie wat vreugde wil steel nie.

Spiritual disciplines shouldn’t be seen as a boring story that wants to take away happiness or laughter.

“Joy is the keystone of all the Disciplines. The purpose of the Disciplines is liberation from the stifling slavery to self-interest and fear… Singing, dancing, even shouting characterize the Disciplines of the spiritual life.”

Die geestelike dissiplines is, in ‘n sekere sin, glad nie moeilik nie (alhoewel dit in ‘n ander manier tog moeilik is). Die primêre vereiste is ‘n verlange na God. Kyk wat sê Dawid in Psalm 42:2-3: “Soos ‘n wildsbok smag na waterstrome, so smag ek na U, o God. Ek dors na God, na die lewende God. Wanneer kan ek gaan en voor God verskyn?”

The spiritual disciplines are, in a certain sense, not difficult (although it is difficult in another sense). The greatest requirement is a longing after God. Look what David says in Psalm 42:1-2: “As the dear pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Diegene wat daardie diepe roep al beleef het van ‘n smagte na God en ‘n dieper verhouding met God, sal veral twee moeilikhede beleef.

Those who has experienced the deep call to God and a deeper relationship with God, will experience two difficulties.

  1. Filosofies / Philosophic

Die materiaele basis van ons dag maak dit so maklik om te glo dat ons nie verder kan gaan as die fisiese wêreld nie. Meditasie, as voorbeeld, word nie gesien as ‘n kontak met die egte geestelike wêreld nie, maar word gesien as sielkundige manipulasie (as dit enigsins toegelaat word!).

The material basis of the day has made it so easy to believe that we can’t move beyond the physical world. Meditation, as an example, are not seen as a contact with the real spiritual world, but are seen as psychological manipulation (if it is allowed!).

“Usually people will tolerate a brief dabbling in the ‘inward journey’, but then it is time to get on with real business in the real world.”

Selfs die beste wetenskaplikes, volgens Foster, begin erken dat daar meer is die materiele wêreld [Ek wonder of daar wetenskaplikes is wat hieroor sal wil kommentaar lewer?].

Even the best scientists, according to Foster, are beginning to realize that there are more than the material world [I’m wondering if there are scientist who would like to comment on this?].

“In intellectual honesty, we should be willing to study and explore this other realm with the rigor and determination we would give to any field of research.”

  1. Prakties / Practical

Ons weet nie hoe om die innerlike lewe te ondersoek. Dit was nie altyd waar nie. In die eerste eeu, en vroeër, was dit nie nodig om onderrig te gee in geestelike dissiplines nie. Die Bybel het mense opgeroep tot dissiplines soos vas, meditasie, aanbidding en viering en het geen instruksies gegee oor hoe dit gedoen moet word nie.

We do not know how to go about exploring the inward life. It wasn’t always true. In the first century, and earlier, it wasn’t necessary to give instruction in spiritual disciplines. The Bible called people to disciplines such as fasting, meditation, worship and celebration, and gave no instruction on how it was to be done.

Hierdie dissiplines is so gereeld gedoen, dat dit nie nodig was om onderrig te gee in die “hoe” van die toepassing nie. Vandag moet daar instruksie gegee word in hoe om die dissiplines te doen, juis omdat dit nie meer gedoen word nie.

These disciplines were done so regularly, that it wasn’t necessary to give instruction in the “how to” of the actions. Today, instruction has to be giving in how to do the disciplines, precisely because it isn’t done that regularly anymore.

“One word of caution, however, must be given at the outset; to know the mechanics does not mean that we are practicing the discipline. The Spiritual Disciplines are an inward and spiritual reality and the inner attitude of the heart is far more crucial than the mechanics for coming into the reality of the spiritual life.”

Wat is jou indrukke oor geestelike dissiplines? Gee jou indrukke, sonder om iemand aan te val asseblief.

What are your conceptions / thoughts about spiritual disciplines?Give your thoughtsm but please, don’t attack other people.