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.

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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.