Christian Meditation

Friday, 9 October 2009

As an interesting aside: anti-mystical Christians who attack meditation often do so because of a groundless metaphysical argument: that if we “clear our mind” we are leaving ourselves open to demonic attack. This is ridiculous for two reasons: first, it is as impossible to clear one’s mind as it is to consciously stop one’s heart from beating: the point behind meditation is to relax and slow down the mind, so that we can become conscious of the luminous space between our thoughts. And secondly, as Evagrius makes it clear: if a demon is going to attack us, he’ll attack us through our thoughts, not through the silence between them. With that in mind, meditation, far from being a vulnerable practice, actually is a powerful tool that any spiritual warrior would want to use; for it enables us to calmly observe our thoughts, learn to practice non-attachment in relation to our thoughts, and — again, as Evagrius points out — empowers us to gently turn our thoughts over to Christ, for the purpose of discerning which thoughts are truly worthy to act on. Indeed, if more of us could learn to submit all our thoughts to the light of love, wouldn’t the world be a better place?

Succinct, McColman dude.

Funny how you start seeing a fourth century monk in one place, and suddenly up he pops all over the joint. Good to hear you speak more, Evagrius. You have much to say to us 1700 years down the line.

The luminous space between our thoughts.

May they grow ever bigger for all of us. I find there is sometimes so little space between my thoughts that they can spiral me down into a teary funk in the blink of an hour. This is why I need meditation and prayer. To remember me to the luminous space between my thoughts. Made out of clouds, or fabric softener, or kittehs, or something :) Made of God, who beats my heart.


  1. I do a once a week pilates/yoga class, at the end of which is 10 minutes of relaxation, concentrated breathing and light meditation. Usually I can't switch my brain off, but last night, one moment I was marveling at how my brain wouldn't switch off, the next I realised I had disappeared somewhere else completely, not fallen asleep, just drifted beyond whatever boundaries had been in my brain up to that point. It was a good experience, really good.

    I find it odd that some church people cannot embrace the mystical when god as we conceive of him is entirely supernatural. Major conundrum!

  2. enjoyed reading and discovering your blog. love the blog list you have on the side. Thanks!
    Blessings, Jeanie

  3. God-scented fabric softener

  4. You are lovely Sue. Thank you. Can I quote you?

    "To remember me to the luminous space between my thoughts. Made out of clouds, or fabric softener, or kittehs, or something :) Made of God, who beats my heart."


  5. Fiona - ahh, how nice when the brain switches off and you go swimming :) Noice. I find it odd too. Some church people seem to think that the Word of God can be safely constrained within the pages of a book, not out doing mischief in the world consorting with riff-raff in unseemly mystical ways ;)

    Jean - hi there and thank you muchly! :)

    Kel - mmmm, wonder what it would smell like? Like sunlight in clothes?

    Erin - thank you! Yeah, you can quote me! :)

  6. Gosh, can I admit I used to be one of those people who were afraid of 'emptying my mind'? True! It came after close to an hour of killing my body, I loved that connection between the physical and spiritual.


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