Does meditation require religion? No, it doesn’t.
Is meditation centred on faith? Not necessarily, but meditation could be a path towards it.
Is meditation spiritual? Yes — definitely, totally, absolutely!
If meditation neither requires faith nor religion, how could it be spiritual? Faith, religion and spirituality are three concepts that have been used interchangeably so many times that they’ve lost their distinct meanings. So, let’s attempt to blow the haze away.
Meditation and Spirituality
Meditation is often associated with Buddhism and Hinduism. But you don’t have to be a Buddhist or a Hindu to meditate. In fact, you can be a Christian, a Catholic, a Muslim, an agnostic, or even an atheist, and you can still meditate without any reservations.
Although it’s deeply rooted in Eastern religions that have survived centuries and have spread all over the world, meditation is a practice that embraces everyone, disregarding beliefs and religions good-naturedly.
Religion, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a particular system of faith and worship”. And the operative word in this definition is “system”.
Religions exist because of the unifying set of customs, traditions, and beliefs that a group of people agree to and follow. Without it there wouldn’t be a religion. Examples, of course, are Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Faith refers to the utter belief and trust in a Supreme Being or a supernatural “something”, regardless of religion. Faith can exist without religion, but religion can’t exist with faith. Religion uses faith as its foundation and it can’t stand on its own.
There was a time when spirituality’s definition was interlinked with faith and religion. But today, it’s no longer the case. Spirituality is all about personal and meaningful experiences and psychological growth. It’s about gaining a bigger and better sense of self than what you presently have.
In contrast to faith and religion that often call for outward reliance on a powerful Being or gods, spirituality asks for inward examination — to look into yourself and use your significant emotional and psychological experiences to find meaning and understand the purpose of life.
It teaches you to perceive past your senses, beyond the physical and the tangible. Moreover, spirituality makes you kinder to yourself. It teaches you to love yourself more and helps you love and respect others, too.
Sounds a lot like meditation, doesn’t it?
Among these three concepts, meditation goes hand in hand with spirituality. Meditation doesn’t need a god. Meditation doesn’t need an organised system. However, meditation will surely lead you to enlightenment and a better you.