People often ask, “What is the difference between prayer and meditation?” I have provided a brief description of the two processes as I understand them
Prayer is telling God what you need and want, a ego-driven communication that assumes that God doesn’t already know what it is you require, whether it be a new job or to be healed from something. Prayer assumes that there is a barrier that exists between God and yourself, that It is somehow OUT THERE, so It needs to be reminded what you need. It assumes that when you feel you have done “something wrong” you need to be forgiven because we have been taught “As you sow, so shall you reap”, an idea that is called karma. So woe betide you if you if you should harm someone or think evil thoughts.
Hey, we are all human. We have for the most part all been indoctrinated in some way or other by dogmatic believers in a Saviour that is going to come and rescue you from your misery. The idea that Jesus “died for our sins” is such a deeply rooted belief that we all think that we are safe. This idea comes from the Jewish belief in the scapegoat, the animal that would bear their sins and then it would be chased into the desert to atone for all their wrongdoings.
Meditation is “listening to God,” entering a period of deep silence, stilling the mind or contemplating some truth. Meditation brings about an experience of communing with God. Over time, meditation can lead one to becoming psychic, but this is not the end goal of meditation, or indeed the goalpost. This is merely a step along the way. There is far more to enlightenment than that; far more work to be done. The stilling of the ego, the examining of your beliefs, the notions and ideas that you once held, all will be challenged and changed until you are, one day, able to abide in God consciousness, a place from where you will view everything differently. It will bring about the throwing off, or discarding of all that you once held dear; your most cherished ideas and notions, your wants and desires, all will be changed forever.
Meditation is not some “New Age” idea that suddenly sprang out of nowhere: it has been practiced for millenia in all religions. The idea of direct communion with God without a priest’s approval is, however, a means of restricting the Christian’s own experience to the experience of those in charge of the Church. Meditation has been frowned upon as “eastern” and “pagan” and not Christian, for in Christianity it is believed that God is “out there” somewhere, a vague Being that watches your every move and knows your every thought, waiting to punish you because you are a miserable person, while meditation allows you to experience God and the sublime experience of being loved directly…so…who needs the priest or the Church, right?
Free yourself from your limited perceptions, open your mind to the silence within.