By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Within all forms of Yogic training exists meditation and its many benefits. Meditation is a gift and a skill, which has given mankind the ability to harness concentration. We often think of meditation as a Hindu or Buddhist practice, but meditation has been practiced for centuries by people from many religions.
Among these religions, meditation has also been practiced by Jews, Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Protestants, for the purpose of a deeper spiritual experience.
Joshua 1:8 states, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night.” Jesus meditated in the desert for forty days and forty nights after being baptized. Christian monasteries usually teach meditation.
Many people in the west may not know that in 610 CE, Mohammed meditated in the cave of Hira near the summit of the Mount of Light, Jabal al-Nur. Around the age of forty, he discovered his first revelation when the angel, Gabriel, appeared before him.
Why do some religious leaders argue against meditation? Why do they withhold the gift of meditation and reflection on God? If meditation is not a foreign insurrection, and is being practiced by the same religious leaders who condemn it, then what is going on? Why is Yoga training considered a threat to any religion?
For a few religious leaders, the issue of meditation has more to do with withholding power and maintaining an elite status than anything else. In the case of Yoga training – an ashram, studio, or wellness center, is open to the public. You will not be discriminated against. Yogic philosophy and meditation are gifts for the benefit of humanity.
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