Meditația

Un articol iluminător de la OE:

Meditation Versus Prayer

Q: Meditation, called mindfulness, is now often used as a therapy to help people relax and cope with life. Can we reach God through meditation or mindfulness? In general, what is the difference between meditation and prayer?

A: Roman Catholics meditate and Orthodox pray. There is no meditation in Orthodoxy. For Orthodox meditation leads to sin. This is one of the fundamental differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. It is a result of the different theology or understanding of how the Holy Spirit comes to us. For Orthodox it is directly from God the Father, for Roman Catholics through human nature, human mediation, thought (meditation), study or manipulation. For us that is not the Holy Spirit, but human distortion, delusion, for the Holy Spirit comes from God alone. In Roman Catholicism a believer strives to focus on his feelings and trust them. The Orthodox practice is very different, just the opposite. We distrust our feelings and thoughts, always comparing them to those of others.

In Orthodoxy we can be with God while doing routine, everyday work, not just in church. For us there is no difference between action and contemplation. All is one. For example, when someone repeats the Jesus Prayer over and over again as a mere technique, without noticing the problems of his neighbours, without seeing anyone or anything except his prayer and his own selfish and narcissistic ‘spirituality’, this is spiritual death. He will see only himself, not God. He will be in love with himself, not with God and his neighbor. So, for instance there are those who read a book on prayer and then begin to ‘do prayer’. They fall into a state of delusion, thinking that they are seeing God, when in fact all they see is their own minds and speculations, reflections of their own sinful selves.

In other words, meditation is when you want to get to heaven by yourself, without God. But whenever you want to get to heaven by yourself, without God, you will meet the Devil, the Deceiver. True prayer make us humble and love others. In the words ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’, we ask God to forgive us. We do not pray in order to go up to heaven – that is a delusion, a spiritual disease. We should not pay attention to our feelings, thoughts and mental images during prayer, especially if they give us feelings of sweetness and self-satisfaction, making us ‘feel good’ or feel relaxed. These are all there to distract us.

The key to all this is humility. If prayer makes you humble then it is good. Others will let you know about this, whether in a monastery or in your family – listen to them and their frank opinions of you. If you feel insulted and offended by them, then you are in a state of pride, spiritual delusion. If ‘prayer’ makes you feel superior to, better than, others, then that is not prayer, but meditation – the illusory thoughts of yourself, not of God.

We do not adjust our spiritual life to our states and feelings. We beg: ‘Lord, forgive me!’ We pray, while the enemy penetrates our hearts through our thoughts, trying to defile and profane everything. An ascetic prays for the whole world – some can misinterpret this by thinking that he meditates and travels to some different plane. In reality, an ascetic tearfully prays for the whole world, for all who are afflicted and tormented. And these words are not mere formulas – there are love and compassion in them. That is the fundamental difference between prayer and meditation. Self-concentration and focusing on your internal capabilities only increases pride. But we seek humility, we are saved by others, not by ourselves.

Tot de la OE am ajuns la un alt articol despre romanitate.

UPDATE: articolul nu mai este la OE. Cred că a fost înlocuit de un alt articol:

On the Prayer of the Heart

Q: Can the Jesus Prayer be dangerous?

A: Everything can be dangerous: it all depends on the user. Thus television can be used to broadcast spiritual programmes or else scenes of debauchery and violence; computers can be used to establish a gambling addiction or else to provide Church information websites. So too the Prayer of the Heart (miscalled by some the Jesus Prayer – a purely Non-Patristic term) can be dangerous.

If the Prayer is used with the imagination and mental images, as a form of meditation or contemplation as Roman Catholics do, which is strictly forbidden by Orthodoxy, it leads to a state of delusion. Thus, if someone repeats ‘the Jesus Prayer’ over and over again as a mere technique, without love for others, with a cold heart, because he thinks he will go heaven in this way, without seeing anything except his ‘prayer’ and his own selfish and narcissistic ‘spirituality’, this leads to spiritual death. He sees and loves only himself and his own speculations, reflections of his own sinful mind, not God, only his imagination of God. This is the definition of spiritual illusion (plani/illusio/prelest). This is an illusion because such prayer has no humility, no heart, it is merely an intellectual desire. This is precisely NOT the prayer of the heart, but the prayer of the head, accompanied by delusional emotions. I have seen very many who have fallen in this way. They always end up by lapsing from the Church, because in their insanity the think they are too good for the Church, above others.

In other words, if you want to get to heaven by yourself, by pride, you will meet the Devil, the Deceiver. We can only get to heaven with God, with humility. That is the only way. In prayer, we must pay no attention to feelings, thoughts and mental images, especially if they give us a feeling of sweetness and make us ‘feel good’ or feel relaxed. They are all there to distract us.

The key to all this is humility. If prayer makes you humble then it is good. Others will let you know about this, whether in a monastery or in your family – listen to them and their frank opinions. If you feel insulted and offended by them, then you are in a state of pride, spiritual delusion. If ‘prayer’ makes you feel superior to, better than, others, and you cannot possibly go to their ‘inferior’ churches, then that is not prayer, but the thought of yourself, not of God.

This is why there is no meditation in Orthodoxy. For Orthodox it leads to sin. Self-concentration and focusing on your internal abilities only increases pride. But we seek humility. This difference is a result of the different theology or understanding of how the Holy Spirit comes to us. For Orthodox it is directly from God the Father, for Roman Catholics through some human mediation, thought (contemplation or meditation), study or manipulation. This is why for Orthodox there is no difference between action and contemplation. All is one.

 

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