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As Eastern and Western religions begin to exchange lifestyles and practices, more and more Christians are participating in mindful meditation practices such as Zazen. When I refer to "mindfulness", I mean inner body awareness. This means you are both aware of your mental and physical state, therefor you are living and rooted in the present moment. Christian psych clinics are beginning to wonder if mindful meditation should be incorporated into their practices. My question is, can mindful meditation and living be consistent with biblical teachings? Are there any reformed theologians who support this view, and how do they defend it?

closed as off-topic by curiousdannii, ThaddeusB, Mr. Bultitude, Flimzy, Nathaniel Oct 14 '15 at 10:44

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  • Could you put what you consider to be the definition of "mindful meditation" in your question? We can't really answer your question if we don't thoroughly understand your perspective. – RJ Navarrete Oct 14 '15 at 0:38
  • I added the change, thanks for letting me know :) – Theo Christos Oct 14 '15 at 0:47
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    Asking whether something "is Biblical" is usually pretty vague, too. It's not mentioned explicitly in the Bible, so in that sense it's not Biblical. Whether it's consistent with the Bible is another question (more likely what you're asking), and is opinion based, as (obviously, from your question) some Christians think it's acceptable, and likely others do not. So you'll need to specify a faith tradition to make this question on-topic here. – Flimzy Oct 14 '15 at 6:17
  • You can also ask if this practice has any support from theologians of a particular denomination/tradition, and how they defend it. – Nathaniel Oct 14 '15 at 10:43
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Zazen, based on the definition in Wikipedia, is not a biblical practice. With biblical meditation, we ponder God's word and works to get full and true insights into this life. We might look within in order to see what our desires are, but then we interpret those desires and feelings according to the word of God. Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to lean to our own understanding; Romans 7:18 tells us that there isn't anything good in the flesh, yet Zazen and different forms of Eastern meditation (of which I am a former practitioner) tell us to look within ourselves for answers.

Examples of biblical meditation:

Joshua 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalms 1:2

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalms 143:5

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

1 Timothy 4:15

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Regarding living in the present moment, the accepted practice is to "remain in Him," to "pray always," to "walk circumspectly." In other words, live as though Christ was with you at all times. So the mindfulness of yourself is to keep your bodily desires under control and "keep yourselves in the love of God." Tow books promoting this view would be Present Perfect by Gregory A Boyd and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

  • That does answer my question about meditation, but my other question was about living in the present moment. – Theo Christos Oct 14 '15 at 0:54

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