Meditation is common among various religions although its expression might be different. Many religions do not use the word meditation although they follow the contemplative or meditative practice. Meditation helps to dissociate our minds, thoughts, and feelings from the earthly belongings that lead to much-improved awareness. To achieve an altered state of consciousness that paves the way for connecting with a higher divine being, one has to meditate that lends absolute focus to the mind and brings peace. Chanting mantras and offering prayers are also forms of meditation that help to connect with the divine spirit although not in the traditional form of meditation.
Meditation does not need religious support
Meditation is a natural extension of the human experience and needs not always have any religious association. Strictly speaking, an exercise in controlling the mind and thoughts does not require any religious element. You can use meditation for reasons of health, both physical and mental, as it boosts the immune system, improves concentration and calms the mind. You can exercise better control on your thoughts that influence your behavior and give you the room for thinking wisely. The inner calmness and joy that you derive from viewing a beautiful painting or looking at the sunset are comparable to the feelings generated through meditation that sharpens the perception, and the mind becomes clear.
Meditation is all about your ability to stay detached. Detaching the mind from all judgment and not thinking is the salient feature of meditation. This is when you are at complete peace with the mind and enjoy living every moment as it comes by just being aware of the state you have reached.
Buddhist meditation – what it is
Meditation in Buddhism is not about driving people to a hypnotic state or trying to connect to any supernatural entity. Buddhist meditations are different because it involves the mind and the body and looks at it as a single entity. The philosophy of avoiding duality is what drives Buddhists to practice meditation by breaking the barrier between the body and mind and treating it as one. Once you can attain peace of mind and remain focused, you will experience much more awareness. Harnessing the mind by driving it in a direction that keeps away from aimless or even purposeful thoughts is the sole objective of meditating.
The philosophy of Buddhist meditation
Whatever we do in life either results from our response to some pain and suffering or our actions become the cause of pain and suffering for others. Knowingly or unknowingly we might inflict pain and suffering on others. We create the concept of others as we start feeling separate. We create imaginary images of life in our minds that become our versions of reality. The more we stay separated, more is the suffering because the cycle of loss and rebirth continues, as nothing is permanent in life.
Only minds that are at peace can create a peaceful world and this teaching of Buddhism that has attracted people towards it.