Very often, meditation is associated with Buddhism. There is something that is arguably similar to meditation in the world of Christianity, which is prayer. To make things very clear, buddhist practices meditation but a meditation practitioner doesn’t have to be a buddhist. In fact, nowadays, most people who practice meditation is just like you and me. Meditation is simply a tool that helps you clear your mind. It has no religion attached to it. Today, I want to spend some time to talk about the interesting topic of praying vs meditating and I hope you enjoy the following writing.
Ray Dalio Vs Dalai Lama on Connecting to the Upper Level
If you still don’t know who Ray Dalio is, you should. He is slowly yet surely becoming an important teacher like Warren Buffett. Okay, he is not really a teach technically. He is a famous investor just like Warren Buffett. I bet there is something special in the world of investing that the best philosophies for living nowadays come from the best investors like Warrent Buffett, Charlie Munger and now Ray Dalio. The reason I call him a teacher is because he has written a great book called Principles. In the book, he gives a lot of good advice on life and work. Not only that he is a famous investor, he is also a meditation practitioner. He has publicly say in interviews that he practices meditation twice a day, about 20 minutes in each session. Anyway, in the book, he mentioned that he has once met Dalai Lama, probably the most famous buddhist leader today. They had a very interesting conversation. Ray Dalio is a man who believes that the human mind works like a super complicated computer and he asks Dalai Lama believes that it is possible that the mind works due to the chemistry and electricity that’s constantly happening within the mind whether than something spiritual or religious. Dalai Lama replied “absolutely”. Later Dalai Lama actually went deeper into this subject and even wrote a book about it. The book mentioned that praying seems to have a very similar effect as meditating. In other words, when people pray, they think and even feel that they are connecting to the god. Yet, there can be an alternative explanation that they are simply meditating. And during meditation, there is a bridge that built between the conscious mind the subconscious mind. They may generate the feeling that one is connecting to the world. Since I don’t believe in any religion, I do believe that praying is a way of meditating. It usually is not as long as a meditation session, so it may not be able to make your mind clear but it is probably enough to calm your mind down.
Meditation is Prayer without Religion
For those of you who don’t believe in a specific religion, you can actually just meditate to achieve the state of calmness that you expect from people who pray. It is really mind blowing to read about how a famous buddhist like Dalai Lama having an open mind and talk about how meditating and praying can be very similar things.
Stoicism is Buddhism and Christianity without the Religion Part
Meditation is about making your mind very clear. And in a lot of ways, it has a lot to do with the ancient philosophy stoicism. The main theme of stoicism is simply to know that there are things that you can control and there are things that you can’t. Therefore, just focus on the things that you can control and keep calm. Stoicism is a very simple philosophy and you would expect a stoic to have a clear mind just like someone who has just meditated. Both meditation and stoicism is about make your mind super clear and seeing things as they are, no more and no less. In many ways, Stoicism, Buddhism and Christianity teach people to behave the same way, being calm, ethical and rational. They are actually very similar if you remove the religious and the story parts.
My Imaginative History of Religion, Stoicism, and Meditation
This part of the blog post is simply how I imagined things have happened after learning more and more about stoicism, meditation and different religions. You can read this as a story or just something to inspire you to take another angle of life. I believe that Stoicism is the origin of all religions. Let’s dissect stoicism for one more time. Its big idea is the important in separating what is under your control and what is not under control. Don’t be disturbed by things that are not under your control and do the best on things that are under your control. Understanding we can’t change what’s outside our control, we should be able to stay very emotionally neutral. If you look at different religions, you can see that most religions teach people the same thing or some extensions of the big idea behind stoicism. I believe that most religions are created with good intentions. Think about it this way. Imagine that there was a very good book about habit building thousands of years ago. Although the book’s ideas are good, the way the ideas are presented may not be able to persuade everyone. There need to be some other books that present the same big ideas with some twist and in some other style that try to touch the rest of the population. I believe that Stoicism is the old book while the different religions are the new books. Meditation may have been a product of trial and error. It is not difficult for someone to come up with the big idea of making your mind rest by making it do something repetitive and simple. Prayer may be also be a product of trial and error, and it just, by accident, seems to have a similar effect as meditation.
In conclusion, I believe that meditation and prayer are very similar. Yet, meditation is more systematic and consistent if you want your mind to get back to a very clear and calm state.