If you asked the question “is meditation a sin?” The short answer would be a resounding “NO!”
In Eastern religion and philosophy, it is common knowledge that meditation is the main practice towards achieving enlightenment; however, Western religions also practice meditation as a way to get closer to God.
Meditation would only be classed as a sin if the activity was defined as an occultist, evil, satanic or an anti-God activity. In fact, you could say that meditation is the one activity that is common in almost all religious practices around the world.
I found an interesting infographic in an article on the Pew Research Centre website called “Meditation Common Across Many US Religious Groups” which showed the percentage of US adults who meditate weekly by religion.
Coming in last at 19% were the Atheists, while taking first place with a whopping 77% were…
The Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Yes, I was also very surprised that they beat the Buddhists who came in second at 66% however, you can check out the article and the infographic here.
All jokes aside, the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam plus, a large number of other smaller religions all have a meditation component built into it.
For further reading on meditation according to different religious groups follow the links below…
Dhyāna in Hinduism means contemplation and meditation. Dhyāna is taken up in Yoga exercises, and is a means to samadhi and self-knowledge.
Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward liberation from defilements (kleshas) and clinging and craving (upādāna), also called awakening, which results in the attainment of Nirvana.
Jewish meditation includes practices of settling the mind, introspection, visualization, emotional insight, contemplation of divine names, or concentration on philosophical, ethical or mystical ideas
Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God.
Many times we hear that meditation is not part of Islam. That is not true. The definition of meditation states that it is a technique to achieve a state of emotional clarity and calmness.
If meditation were a sin, why are there many religions in the world practising it in one form or another?
Even the Mormons (I have close relatives who are part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) practice meditation.
Their official website says that…
Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as ‘a form of private devotion, or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme. Meditation is a form of prayer.
Personally, I think that meditation is for everyone from the devoutly religious through to the most skeptical atheists and everyone else in between. We all need (and rightly deserve) to have peace in our lives and meditation is one of the best activities to help achieve that.
How can that be a sin? What do you think?