Meditation is mentioned several times in the Bible. Did Jesus practice a similar kind of spirituality as Yoga?
Firstly, to answer this question, we need to know what yoga meditation is about.
There are 4 main components to meditation:
* finding a quiet place
* quieting the mind
* reducing words
* profound prayer to God
Now consider the following teachings of Jesus. He said:
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. [Matthew 6:58, New International Version (NIV)]
Jesus advised 3 components of prayer:
* pray in solitude
* reduce words to a minimum
* keep faith in God
But this does not mean Jesus advised short prayers.
In many of the scriptures of the world, one sometimes see things written that don’t seem to make sense.
What should one do, when a teacher’s teachings seem ‘off’?
Look closely at their lives. What did they do personally? How did they live?
Let us take a look at Jesus’s own prayers.
How did he live and pray? For how long did he pray?
When we look at the Gospels, this is what we discover:
* Jesus spent entire nights praying. (Luke 6:1213)
* He would arise before his disciples and find a quiet place to pray. (Mark 1:35)
* Famously, he went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to fast and pray. (Luke 4.12)
Moses did the same. (Exodus 24:18)
If Jesus advocated short prayers, why would he pray for hours and months in seclusion and in the wilderness?
It is apparent that Jesus was not praying in the usual babbly sense. It was almost a wordless prayer.
Even if there were many words, they were not asking God for material or worldly things.
Jesus would ask for spiritual things. Take for instance the Lord’s Prayer.
So asking for spiritual blessings such as “help me be compassionate to all living beings”, “help me forgive those who have hurt me”, “help me understand your works” – these are some examples of a more profound dimension of prayer.
Prayer is a profound meditation for spiritual self-development.
Jesus simply sat in the presence of the Lord and basked in his grace.
The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10 (NIV)]