Is meditative prayer a redundant phrase? Often “meditation” and “prayer” are synonymous, but when they are not we need to understand the difference if we want only positive, health-improving outcomes. Anna Bowness-Park explores the meanings of these two terms based on a TV interview with psychologist Dr. Miguel Farias. She then shares her own healing experience with meditative prayer. Bowness-Park writes:
“In the CBC interview, Farias shared what initially precipitated his interest [in possible side effects from meditation.] He became aware of a woman named Louise, who was a regularly meditating yoga teacher. On one meditation retreat she found herself in a very negative, dark space that left her so anxious she eventually needed long-term psychiatric treatment.”
Bowness-Park alerts readers to the “scummy side” of human experience which can come to the surface after meditation, leaving us to think we have no choice but to accept this painful side effect, simply coping with it. She found another mental approach to be more successful in her own life—one that included the Divine. She writes:
“At one point in my life I suffered from depression. While seeking freedom from the darkest of human thinking, I was inspired by the account of Christ Jesus’ experience in the wilderness (see The Bible, Luke 4).This story spoke to me about how we can face dark aspects of human thinking. I noticed that, when the writer referred to these temptations as “the devil,” he was actually separating these challenging human thoughts from Jesus. In other words, he recognized that the thoughts were not a part of Jesus’ identity. And, I could see that Jesus did not seem to waste time wondering where these thoughts came from. He did not try to analyse, ponder or understand them. Instead, he boldly affirmed what he already knew of God and his relationship to a loving God, and this gave him reassurance and strength to simply cast them out. Following that, he went on to do his incredible healing work, including instantaneously curing both mental and physical illness.
“This lesson from Jesus shifted me from reflecting on myself and on the source of my dark thoughts, to what I knew about God as Love. I began to understand that He did not send me dark thoughts, but rather light and joy. There is no dark side to God’s nature. I focused on those thoughts. Over time it brought permanent freedom from depression. “
If you’d like to learn more about this kind of safe, effective meditative prayer Read More here.