Religion and Meditation
Religion and meditation have been associated for centuries. In an attempt to clarify how religion and meditation are related, I will simplify some popular beliefs and their associated practices.
I do not mean any disrespect towards any religious beliefs by doing so and if you feel offended, feel free to
contact me and I will update this page.
While most of us are familiar with a handful of religions, there are a very large number of religions, cults, and spiritual practices out there. Here is a simplification of how some popular religions use meditation in their day-to-day routines:
How Religion and Meditation are Related
- Buddhism. The Buddha achieved enlightenment through meditation. This is why religion and meditation heavily related in Buddhism. In order to achieve enlightenment, most Buddhists have to practice two types of meditation:
- Shamatha: a type of meditation that focuses on a single entity.
- Vipassana: a type of meditation that sees the big picture without the lies, i.e., that allows the meditator to see true reality.
While these two types of meditation are important, several other types of meditation are practiced by Buddhists.
You should also know that Buddhism varies according to the country where it is practiced. For example, some meditate in the sitting position in silence, while some chant.
- Christianity. I will not discuss the various branches of Christianity here, so my comments will be general in nature. While meditation per se is not an official part of Christianity, prayers can be considered to be a type of meditation. For example, the rosary offers a concentration based meditation that focuses on the rosary. Bedside prayers may include self-discovery or analysis of the religion itself.
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it, then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)
- Hinduism This religion and meditation are almost one. There are several types of meditation associated with Hinduism. They include some types of yoga.
- Islam. Performing the Salat 5 times a day is a type of meditation that focuses the mind and the heart on Allah.
- Judaism. The Hebrew word hisbodedut can be associated with the analytical study of oneself through meditation. Kabbalah includes meditative practices that allows for self-improvement through soul searching through a supernal realm.
- Taoism. The principles of Taoism originate from several well-respected texts and schools. Several breathing and meditative techniques are important in Taoism. Tai Chi is sometimes called meditation in motion.
Meditation and Religion Are Compatible
As you can see, religion and meditation have been complimentary pursuits for many centuries, and will likely continue to be that way for years to come.
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