Today, many Christians are dissatisfied with mere religion and are searching for a deeper spirituality, a direct and intimate relationship with God. Unfortunately, many shy away from the discipline of meditation because they associate it with Eastern religions or New Age metaphysics.

In fact, meditation (or contemplative prayer) has always been an integral part of Christian spiritual formation. It is simply the listening phase of the internal dialogue with God. Through meditation we learn to relax our bodies and clear our minds of distractions in order to hear the subtle and quiet voice of God within us: “Be still and know that I am God” [Psalm 46:10].

Christian meditation differs from Eastern meditation in four basic ways: (1)Theology, or our fundamental beliefs about God; (2)Psychology, or understanding of human nature; (3)The Christocentric focus; and (4)The ultimate goal. The following briefly summarizes these fundamental differences.

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