Healing & Well-Being

How To Meditate: Tips, Techniques and Meditation Types

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Date Published:
June 17, 2021

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Summary

How do you meditate? You might have googled the question and found a ton of different answers about basic meditation techniques. 

But, for many Christians, those answers might simply create more questions. Is this right for believers? 

If you’re a Christian, then you’re likely confused with all the world has to offer on the subject of meditation.

Here are a few tips, techniques, and meditation types to help Christians understand how meditation can fit into your life.

Especially if you’re a beginner, our basic meditation guide will help get you started as you deepen intimacy with Jesus through regular meditation.

How to meditate: A step-by-step for beginners

If you’re a beginner, you’ve probably heard so many terms thrown out ("mindfulness," "centering," "meditation postures," etc). 

So let’s explore a few of the basic steps in simple language:

  1. In a place chosen for meditation, sit in a comfortable position or lie down in your bed. Use a cushion if you're on the floor.
  2. Set an alarm or meditation timer for ten minutes.
  3. Close your eyes to remove any visual distractions.
  4. Start breathing slowly.
  5. Imagine your deep breaths coming from your core.
  6. Thoughts will come to your mind, let them go.
  7. Let your mind wander. Then, periodically, center yourself back on the moment.
  8. Listen to the sounds around you or other physical sensations you experience.
  9. Some meditators suggest repeating affirmations in your head like, “I’m calm" or "I’m happy” like a mantra. We'll get into how to take a Christian approach to these affirmations below.
  10. Pay attention to your emotions, clear your headspace. Surrender anything that is bothering you to God.  
  11. When the alarm goes gently open your eyes and take in the surroundings with a new perspective.
  12. Don’t rush back to your routine. Allow the calmness and inner peace to continue as you go through the evening and enjoy the benefits of meditation.
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How to meditate on God's word

Once you’ve managed to get down the basics of meditation, it’s time to take your meditation techniques up a notch. 

As a Christian, you don’t want to just focus on yourself. Instead, we can choose to meditate on God’s word.  

Man holding the Holy Bible
Meditating on God's word

How can you do that? Sit for meditation with your Bible.

A few recommendations:

  • Rather than "I'm calm" or "I'm happy," use a Christian mantra, such as Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Use any of David’s Psalms to meditate continually. 
  • Keep things simple by repeating the name of Jesus or Hallelujah.

Alternatively, you can meditate on the Holy Word through the practice of Lectio Divina. This is mainly to cultivate a knowledge of scripture and develop intimacy with God. 

It has five steps:

  • Read a single passage of scripture 
  • Pray and have a loving conversation with God. 
  • Meditate deeply on the meaning within the text
  • Contemplate by resting in God’s presence
  • Action by doing or practicing the Gospel. 

What’s the difference between traditional meditation and Biblical meditation? 

The difference is vast. In non-Christian meditation, the purpose of meditation is to focus internally. 

Christian meditation based on Scripture, on the other hand, is theocentric. It places all the emphasis on God. Instead of filling our minds with ourselves, it calls us to empty ourselves and focus on our all-seeing, all-knowing, omniscient God.

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Tips on how to meditate

As you meditate, here are a few handy tips. 

Breathing

Breathing exercises might take time to master. You may find that, in the early days of your practice of meditation, all your time is consumed just trying to get the mindful breathing right. 

Don’t let it bother you. Be kind to yourself. For good regular meditation practice, this relaxation exercise is paramount. It alone is proven to reduce stress and mood alone. 

Space

Clear out space where you’ll meditate. Clutter will only distract you, fill you with anxiety, and keep you unfocused.

Sound

If you live with a houseful of kids, a quiet house might be hard to come by. Ask your family to give you a few moments of silence or ask them to join you. Silence is important as you meditate and make it a regular practice.

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Types of Meditation

There are 4 different types of Meditation. These are: 

Movement meditation

If you’re meditating in the early part of the day, when you’re fresh, you can try movement meditation or a walking meditation. 

It incorporates movement at a slow pace and mindfulness. You can play a praise-and-worship song and simply move as you are inspired. 

Spiritual Meditation

In this form of meditation, you specifically focus on God and try to build a relationship with him. 

All your heart and soul is involved in seeking him. Here you can use your Bible or simply use this as a time of prayer and contemplation, as outlined in the Lectio Divina practice above.

Visualization Meditation

This is a meditation where you visualize either a person or an event. Maybe you’re praying for something or someone; visualize those situations and focus on the outcome you’re praying for.

Reinforce it through repeated prayer. See your blessing with eyes of faith.

Aural Meditation

In this meditation, you can use an audio track to help guide you in a mindfulness practice. 

aural meditation for Christians
Aural meditation for Christians

This is super helpful if you’re new to daily meditation. 

The voice on the track can lead you to deep breathing, lower blood pressure, calmness, meditation and reflection in an organized manner without you having to think about what to do next.

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Meditation guide

To help you on your meditation journey and reap its health benefits, Pray.com has our meditation guide. This will help you get started. Simply play the track and sit. This is a form of guided meditation. The music will calm you or elevate you.

A meditation guide could be with the help of guided imagery, music, a voice, or a meditation teacher. You can choose to supplement your daily meditation session with these aids and prevent your mind wandering.  

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The meditating Christian seeks to pursue God by emptying themselves and focusing on His grace. This runs contrary to what the world teaches of meditation — focusing inwardly.

Matt 6:33 NRSV says, “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

As you grow in holiness, God will lead you on your path of meditation as long as you seek Him.

If you're looking for additional help, we have special audio episodes specifically created to help you with meditation.

Or you can download the Pray.com app from the Apple Store or Google Play store to meditate and reflect on Bible stories.

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