Good and bad on “meditation”?

Good

Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 things you might be missing out on By Giovanni liveanddare.com
“….These studies were based on different types of meditation, and I have included details, whenever relevant. Some effects, such as increased compassion and social bonding, are more salient as a result of specific meditation techniques (such as loving-kindness, which is a Buddhist meditation). However, my understanding and personal practice is that any kind of authentic meditation will include most of these benefits, in one degree or another. There is also evidence that the practice will be more beneficial for you if you find a technique that you like better…”
Experiencing God Through Meditation , posted July 28, 2004
beliefnet.com
Former Trappist monk James Finley talks about the spiritual benefits of contemplative practice for Christians.
“…It’s not that prayer isn’t enough. God has made the human heart in such a way that only God will do. And the God-given longing for God is fulfilled in a oneness with God in which nothing short of that oneness is enough. There’s a kind of deep, sincere ache within the heart. It prays, and the prayer actually intensifies or deepens a longing for oneness with God beyond the words of the prayer and also beyond the emotions and the feelings that can come up in the consolations of prayer. Nothing is enough; only God is enough. And that’s the mystical quest really, that’s the contemplative theme…”
22 Benefits of Meditating on Scripture
March 13, 2015 blogs.thegospelcoalition.org
“..21. Meditation promotes gratitude for all the blessings showered upon us by God through His Son…”

Sal: One of the practices I do when I meditate at night before going to bed is “reflecting” on all the “good”/positives (e.g. song “Count Your Blessings (instead of sheep)” from “White Christmas”) that happened to me today, which is my way to show how grateful I’m blessed by my Heavenly Father…see more!

What do you like to do to “keep positive”?

Meditating On The Word Of God Aired On 31 Jul 2015 intouch.org
“..but are we meditating on God’s Word? And do we even know what this means? When the Lord called Joshua to lead Israel after Moses’ death, He told him, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it” (Josh. 1:8). The Lord wanted to fill Joshua’s heart with the Word so he would know precisely what to do and how to lead the people according to God’s standards and commands. And that’s exactly what He wants to do in our lives as well. If we’ll meditate on Scripture, the Lord will unfold for us His truths and instructions. ..”

Sal: Last month or so, I was challenged by a close friend of mine to spend a quiet time with God for 2 hours at least once a week. I’ve done this 3 of the last 4 weeks so far and have seen the benefits. I’m slowly growing in this, so feel free to check my blogs for updates. 2 hours is really long for me, so what I did is just 1 hour without the computer and 1 hour with the computer writing my thoughts or doing “strictly” God stuff for the next hour.

Unfortunately, we all don’t have an hour or two due to our busy lives. When I get up some mornings and don’t have time. I try to read a verse (instead of a chapter) only in my Bible or even from my social network feeds (@goodnewseverybodycom in #instagram). The key thing is , try to memorize it (repeat it 3x a day). I would repeat (Galatians 5) “fruits of the spirit” daily before (while riding my bike or driving to work) going to work. Music is a great way to memorize, which I sing some particular Scriptures daily (e.g. #Lordsprayer) or a particular chorus line in a song from church (e.g. “Come & let your presence fill this..”) repeatedly in my mind or out loud in prayer.

What are some other ways? Feel free to share below…

Bad

The dangers of meditation — 10 things to look out for February 4, 2015 by Clare Hudson thoughtbrick.com
“…Because meditation is so subjective there are no right answers when it comes to compiling a list of the dangers of meditation. Everyone, after all is different. Meditation might bring up trauma or unresolved issues from the past at which point you might need to see a therapist or the meditation teacher should be made aware before hand. Alternatively, you might jump into a practice too soon and feel overwhelmed or experience a disturbing kundalini energy awakening…”

Can Meditation Be Bad for You?
by Mary Garden • 22 August 2007 thehumanist.com
“… A man who had just come down from Kathmandu after completing a thirty-day Tibetan Buddhist meditation course killed himself. I had met him the night before, and we’d had coffee together. I don’t remember what we spoke about, but he was friendly and didn’t appear distressed. But the next day he climbed to the top of the multi-storied Blue Diamond Hotel and leapt off….”

Dr. Lorin Roche, a meditation teacher, says a major problem arises from the way meditators interpret Buddhist and Hindu teachings. He points out that meditation techniques that encourage detachment from the world were intended only for monks and nuns. He has spent thirty years doing interviews with people who meditate regularly and says many were depressed. He says they have tried to detach themselves from their desires, their loves, and their passion. “Depression is a natural result of loss, and if you internalize teachings that poison you against the world, then of course you will become depressed.”

The Dalai Lama has said that Eastern forms of meditation have to be handled carefully: “Westerners who proceed too quickly to deep meditation should learn more about Eastern traditions and get better training than they usually do. Otherwise, certain physical or mental difficulties appear.”..
*see Spiritual: What is Yoga goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

Dangerous Truth Meditation Can Ruin Your Life and Cause Insanity

Dangerous Meditations By Douglas Groothuis/ November 1, 2004 christianitytoday.com
What harm is there in achieving a higher state of consciousness through meditation?
“..The biblical worldview is completely at odds with the pantheistic concepts driving Eastern meditation. We are not one with an impersonal absolute being that is called “God.” Rather, we are estranged from the true personal God because of our “true moral guilt,” as Francis Schaeffer says.

No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however “peaceful” these practices may feel. Moreover, Paul warns that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). “Pleasant” experiences may be portals to peril. Even yoga teachers warn that yoga may open one up to spiritual and physical maladies.

The answer to our plight is not found in some “higher level of consciousness” (really a deceptive state of mind), but in placing our faith in the unmatched achievements of Jesus Christ on our behalf. If it were possible to find enlightenment within, God would not have sent “his one and only Son” (John 3:16) to die on the Cross for our sins in order to give us new life and hope for eternity through Christ’s resurrection. We cannot raise ourselves from the dead.

The biblical concept of prayer assumes that rational and meaningful communication between God and humans is possible. There is no summons to suspend rational judgment even when prayer through the Holy Spirit is “with groans that words cannot express” (Rom. 8:26). Nor should we repeat words meaninglessly to induce a trance (Matt. 6:7)…”

Life: Meditation with God in Nature at Inspiration Point Camp

*see Health: Benefits of “Fasting”? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

Any other tips?
*see How to deal with Anxiety-Stress in life? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

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Reflection: Thankful for God’s protection while driving

I decided to take some time to reflect on some past “close” car accidents after a recent one this past weekend. I just thought of others as I reflected on writing about this. I just want to encourage you to always pray for God’s protection (e.g. “armor of God“) daily-not just driving, but every time you start your day…

This past Monday (February 15th 2016) after visiting a friend in Wadena, I was driving back home and almost got hit while going down main street in a town called Parkers Prairie. I can still remember a vivid scene of this almost close accident. I was driving through town and this guy in a pick-up truck just ran through a stop sign and somehow didn’t see me. I could even see his face as he just stopped almost hitting me head-on (driver’s side-me). I swerved to my right to avoid him hitting me, but thankful that he stopped. Fortunately, the weather was very nice and road conditions weren’t icy.


“Pic was taken on my way to Wadnea”

After reflecting on this, I started to remember a near head-on-collision close to my hometown of St. Paul sometime in the summer of 2015 with my mom in the car. I was going north on Ruth St. over I-94 when a car was in my lane going head-on. Thank God, that particular drive swerved back to his own lane.

Deer Encounters:

I have had two encounters with hitting a deer , but never had any damages:

My first deer encounter was when I was coming back to Morris after visiting a friend in Wheaton, Minnesota many years go (2006?). I was driving 55mph (speed limit) at night and just clipped deer as I lightly touched my brakes as I saw it “last minute” jumping out of the ditch.

My second deer encounter was coming back to Morris on 59 (state highway) last year with almost similar “touch and go”.

Car Stalled

I had a loose battery in my car and finally got it fixed after getting stalled in the middle of I-94 (going back to Morris from St. Paul) in a hot summer of August of 2015. Fortunately, I was able to start my car after a quick adjustment of the positive wire. Luckily, it started right away during a 10mph bumper to bumper 2 lane only slow traffic. It was kind of embarrassing, but would laugh and grateful to God getting me of this situation safely.

Car Accident(s)

I’ve had to at least share one (“only”) car accidents…so far (God willingly..no more). My freshmen year in college, I was driving back to Morris during a winter storm with some friends. This was a time that we didn’t have any social networks of alerting us “no” school. I was driving back to UMM with some college friends. Interstate I-94 was pretty slipper and this semi truck was nearing my bumper going fast. Being a “rookie” driver (1st year driving), I was scared, so I pushed the accelerator to avoid this near semi-truck getting close and suddenly the car ahead of me pushed their brakes. To avoid a head on-collision of this vehicle’s bumper. I swerved to the right immediately avoiding this car’s back. However, I didn’t want to go to the ditch, so I swerved to the left back to traffic. Unfortunately, I hit this car’s side door and caused a dent (my car insurance went up after this 😦 ). I was thankful that the accident didn’t get as worse that it could’ve been (e.g. no one got hurt-“things can be replaced, but lives can’t”). After this accident, I’ve learned to not get stressed out when a big semi-truck driver is behind me or I just try to avoid getting close to them if possible. Sometimes, you can’t avoid certain situations, so I usually just trust in God with prayer as I listen to praise music on the radio during “challenging driving circumstances”.

-Fatal (Others) 😦

What Would You Say If Your Wife Was Ripped Away?
Article by Marshall Segal Topic: Death & Dying February 19, 2016 desiringgod.org

“..Nine short months later, now an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monty Williams found out last week that his 44-year-old wife had been killed in a head-on car accident. The other driver was driving 92 mph (in a 40-miles-per-hour zone) when she crossed the center line and careened head-on into Ingrid Williams’s SUV. Three of their children were in the car with her; each survived with serious injuries…”

Any others that your willing to share?

Good News Automotive
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Disney Character: Jafar-“Why M-E?”

I’ve been practicing the last month or so the lines of Jafar from “Aladdin” (theatrical play performance), which our performance (see “My first theatrical experience (Aladdin the Musical at the Park)”) will be this coming weekend (Friday & Saturday evenings) at a local park. It’s been a challenging character as I’ve had to act “selfishly”, which is something I’ve been trying to do the “opposite” since I became a Christian in my early college years. However, it’s been a fun role as I can relate to this character in various ways when I was younger.

We all can relate somehow to Jafar. Here is some lines that I thought of myself during my “junior high/middle school” years..

“…I was unappreciated by my peers. As their slings and arrows flew. I would ponder. Why me? Why Me?…broadwayjr.com

“Why Me?” Cut Song from Aladdin

Instead of “slings and arrows”, they were “spitballs and spit (a.k.a. “gleaking”) from my peers/bullies. Anyone ever been bullied?

Another song I made relating to this theme…

“It’s About Me” (Parody to “It’s All About You”) by Jafar


(see Music: Parody-“Creepy Old Cave” (originally from “I Can Show You the World” from Aladdin) by Jafar)

Instead of “pondering/dwelling” on how bad you might’ve got it growing up in your “earlier” years. I encourage you to think about others that might’ve got it “worse/more challenging”. This has helped me overcome my frustration of my “past”, which I feel has been a “cake walk” when I compare it with others that have had more difficulties…

Nick Vujicic on how life without limbs is no obstacle – Songs of Praise – BBC One

music-karaoke-its-about-you

I currently work with physically-mentally challenged adults and have been since I graduated from college. This job experience has really changed me to be a “better” person and it has taught me to take my eyes off of “myself” (e.g. own problems). Before I go to bed, I write down a list of “needs” I’ve read/watch/heard as a prayer request and then I jot down a list of what “I’m thankful” for. This nightly routine has also helped me to take my eyes of myself/me too!

What are your needs? Can I pray for you? What are you thankful for? Feel free to share down below to encourage others..

Good News Physical-Mental Challenges
https://www.facebook.com/groups/133973023445443/

JOY comes by putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.https://bbgministry.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/joy-comes-by-putting-jesus-first-others-second-and-yourself-last/http://ministry-to-children.com/putting-others-before-ourselves/https://www.pinterest.com/jfenderson/joy-jesus-others-yourself/http://gewatkins.net/jesus-others-yourself/
*I would like to thank J.A. (see her Choose Joy blog) for inspiring me to finish this blog with this theme!

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”Matthew 25

Can you identify yourself with Jafar or any other Aladdin characters? What about any others from different theatrical performances?

Good News Theatre
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