I was just wondering if there were any people out there that were interested in exploring Christian meditation but were nervous about the whole altered states of consciousness thing?
Here is how I see it: I am basically open to altered states of consciousness, I experience them myself, but the value of our meditation practice should not be measured by the depth of our epiphanies but by the shift in our lives. One of the distinguishing marks of Christian meditation down the centuries has been its deeply ethical focus, and on this I draw your attention to 1 Corinthians 13:2.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
For the Christian mystic, moral transformation takes precedence over phenomenological experience as a gauge of how well your practice is going. You may have experienced all sorts of things, but if you experience no discernible impact in the way you relate to people, no restoration of justice in your relationships, then chances are you’ve just being fooled by a glamour. Chances are you’re just being an experience junkie. I think this explains the Christian reluctance to say much about techniques down the centuries – mere reproducing of phenomenal experiences is of secondary concern only. So my advice is, be open to the experience but don’t get fixated on it or make too much of it.