Is meditation a religion? One of the most common misconceptions is that meditation is seen, in some way, as a “religious” activity, a “Hindu tradition” or “Buddhist ritual” of some kind. In truth, meditation (as it’s used today) is merely an exercise to strengthen the brain.
Meditation is a mental exercise and strengthens the mind of the meditator.
Where does this whole “religion” thing come into the picture?
Over the past several millennia, spiritual leaders from religions all around the world have used the process of meditation to deepen their spiritual lives. Meditation is not connected to any one particular religion; it is an independent mental exercise that has been used by members of all faiths to explore their own, personal, senses of spirituality.
In certain sects, however, religious leaders have used meditation as a way to strengthen their followers’ belief in their own particular dogmas, philosophies, and/or belief systems. They have done this by turning meditation into a kind of two-step process:
- Step 1: Quiet the mind and allow it to develop a deep state of concentration.
- Step 2: Use this super-concentrated mind to contemplate one particular set of ideas, religious beliefs, and/or philosophies.
All of the major eastern & western religions not only permit but encourage contemplation. Meditation is a secular exercise that is intended to strengthen the mind and improve health and well-being. It is not fundamentally connected with any particular religion, but can often intensify your own religious experience.
So go meditate.