In a recent homily, Pope Francis reminded listeners that practices like yoga aren’t capable of opening our hearts up to God. “You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you freedom”, he explained.
However, many people who practice yoga caution that it is often difficult, if not impossible, to separate the exercises from the meditations.
For example, a common mantra repeated in yoga is “So’ham” that roughly translates to “I am the universal self”. This focus on the self is contrary to the focus on God to which we are called. God is the one who frees us from sin, who redeems us, who brings us peace through His son Jesus Christ. We are not one with the universe, the world even though created by God, is imperfect, it has good and evil.
Harmful effects of yoga …click below and read on
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD (Psalm 46:10)
The Hebrew definition of being still is to stop striving, to let go, surrender.
How often do we ask God for everything, but we don’t stop to listen or to be still? The act of being still and getting quiet becomes more of a challenge in our hectic world. The world asks us to be busy. God asks us to be still so that we can receive love, peace and guidance.Along with busyness comes the fearful and anxious thoughts we hold onto. It’s been stated that we have upwards of 50,000 thoughts a day.
Quieting the mind, shutting up the mind requires practice. One powerful way to shut up thoughts that don’t serve us is by practicing christian meditation, not yoga but christian meditation.(see previous posts) Meditation helps to renew the mind, to be still, to let go and surrender, to shut up the thoughts that do not serve us.
Silence can cause you to address issues that you might be running from. It’s easy to fill each day with busyness and then block out concerns through hours of mind-numbing television viewing, Internet surfing or reading magazines. None of these activities are bad. However, if they are used to fill a void that is not being filled, over time, the toll will manifest itself in the form of lost relationships, lost opportunities and lost dreams never being fulfilled.
Next time you’re stressed, overburdened and feeling anxious, silence those thoughts by saying, “Peace, be still.” When you need strength and help, let go and rest in God, your refuge. “Be still and know that I am God.”
We can take comfort in slowing down and resting in God to provide help, strength and safety.
ANCIENT, GENTLE, CHURCH MUSIC – sung as a single vocal line in free rhythm and a restricted scale (plainsong), in a style developed for the medieval Latin liturgy.
MAY BE USED DURING “MINDFULNESS” CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Many religions have their own version of meditation. ‘Mindfulness,’which has become a trend right now, has buddhist origins. As christians, we have an obligation to ensure that our actions are pleasing to God, that what we think, do and say bring glory to Him. Therefore, we need to find out the origins of the things we do and not be led by what feels good and what is trendy. Christian meditation has been around for decades and the christian version was founded by a benedictine monk named John Main focussing on the values of Jesus and in the spirit of christian meditative prayer.
About Jesus Culture Music
Jesus Culture is a community of worship leaders and musicians who’s heart is to see a generation impacted by encounters with the presence of God. Originating out of the Jesus Culture movement which began in 1999, they recorded their first album in 2005 at their youth and young adult conference in Redding, CA. Since then Jesus Culture has released 9 annual live albums and over 20 solo artist albums. Jesus Culture leads worship both at their local church in Sacramento, CA and abroad through conference events and worldwide tours. Jesus Culture is focused on equipping a generation to transform society by bringing people into an encounter with God’s love through worship and discipleship. The songs they release capture the heart of the movement.
These chants lend themselves to christian meditation. While playing them, you can focus on a bible text/image or word. This may be good when doing your cooking/ironing/housework/reading.