Hey, so I've had this question for quite some time and I'm really interested to hear what you all think and if any fathers of the church addressed this issue. 

A couple of my closest friends in class practice meditation (I'm not well versed in this, so I don't know the names of the different kinds). Before exams, they light up candles and set around them stones while playing calming natural music... I think there's incense involved sometimes. On the day of our exams, they take their crystals or stones and tap their pencil 3 times and set the stones in front of them during the test. They usually take my pencil and do the same. I was invited to study at one of their houses and they wanted me to participate with them in this "ritual". I didn't feel comfortable, but I just sat there and said my own prayer. 

Honestly, none of this makes me feel comfortable. I don't know whether to think it's ok or not. Part of me wants to believe it's witchcraft the way these "rituals" are performed. I guess I'm just relating this practice to what I see in saint movies: the pagan worshippers lol. 

It's not like I've never meditated before. I live by the beach, and when I'm free, I like to spend my own time meditating quietly. I'm just not sure how Orthodoxy perceives this type of meditation with stones, incense, lights...etc. Maybe once I find out the name of it, it'll be easier to ask my question lol

Thanks :)


  • hey, well done for asking.
    this is a type of buddhism.
    we don't do it.

    the same way we don't commemorate prophets of other religions and worship other gods.
    technically it's only paganism if they have druids and witches etc. 
    so not all 'other religious practices' can be classified as paganism. 

    the origin of these practices is to invoke the favour of various spirits.
    as Christians, the only spirit we are allowed to pray to is the Holy Spirit.
    the people doing these things may not know the religious origin of their rituals 
    and maybe they think it's just 'good luck'.
    but the demons know they are being invoked and slowly and carefully they draw the people in 
    to their way of doing things.

    it is the Holy Spirit in you that makes you feel uncomfortable while this goes on, 
    as the demons would like to deceive you and give you trouble.
    but don't be afraid, if you stay close to God, nothing will happen to you.

    don't let them pray over your pencil and if they do that without your permission, take another one 
    or make the sign of the cross with it.
    i think it's best not to study with them also.
    make a point of eating with them, chatting to them in break time and all other kinds of social activity, 
    but if they pressurise you into their rituals, keep away at that point.

    when you study, pray first and then pray 'our father' and make the sign of the cross.
    you can do a small one on your chest if you don't want to make a big show of it.
    if you are the sort of person who likes music when you study, then play church music.
    personally i can't study with music or while eating, but that's just me.
    if i had tasbeha (night praises) on while studying, i would sing along but learn nothing!

    when you meditate, pray first and then pray 'our father' (you may have noticed a pattern here!!)
    then ask God what you should meditate on, whether a passage from the Bible or part of the liturgy 
    or a topic, such as salvation.
    thank God for His great mercy and pray 'Lord have mercy' or other short prayers as part of your meditation.
    Christian meditation is not about emptying our minds and then listening to whatever thoughts come in.
    it is about 'bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ' (2 corinthians 10:5) 
    so that all we are thinking of is the glory of God.

    it is not a passive process, like in buddhist or hindu meditation.
    we actively screen our thoughts, ignoring the silly or sinful ones and thinking of the beautiful ones (philippians 4:8 )

    it is something i am not very good at!
    so i will not write more now until i have more experience
  • I was really hoping you would respond :) Those were my thoughts too, but I didn't know if I was being "extreme", because people justify meditation as harmless and "good for the body".

    Thank you for your beautiful answer!

    I love you Mabsoota!! (even though you're British and talk funny and have random time zones...etc) I hope you consider converting to American in the future. Or at least visit? I can take you on a tour to McDonald's and WalMart! You'll really like it! :)
  • i once spent 4 days in america.

    walmart was nice, people were friendly.

    we have mcdonald's in uk.

    i never go there...

  • You have to visit me next time you're in the land of the free (home of the brave)!

    I live in a part of the country where they put red sauce on their rice :-& (using the face correctly) and go deer hunting all year round.
  • sorry, was about 10 years ago! only had a few days off from work, so stayed less than the person i travelled with. we went to davenport in midwinter.
    colder than uk, but sunny, so i wanted to be outside a lot, but was not allowed to walk anywhere AT ALL including the very short walk (20 mins) to my friend's protestant church.
    i was made to go by car, despite the nice weather.

    about the sauce, i thought you said they put red sauce on their face! i read it too quick!
  • oops, wrong face, was looking for the one that says; 'doh!'
  • @mabsoota
    do you mean duh? Haha
    oujai khan ebshois
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