This is one of the most asked questions. Turns out, it all depends on how you define it. So, let’s look at the options.
What is Spiritual Meditation?
There’s confusion about what these terms mean because there are so many possibilities. People can interject a range of meanings into these words. Let’s define the terms and how we use them. This will at least clarify what we mean.
To be sure, the terms spiritual and spirituality relate to all matters concerning the spirit and the soul. Therefore, you can associate almost anything with spiritual significance. Eating spicy food can be a spiritual experience for some.
Second, the word spiritual has a wide scope of meaning. And, people often relate the term spiritual to religion. There’s a lot of social conditioning to equate religious teaching, ceremony, and tradition with being spiritual. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Many people think that religion is a counterfeit for true spirituality. In contrast, some contend that being spiritual has nothing to do with beliefs concerning religion. Therefore being spiritual means, your actions exhibit the higher virtues of love and kindness. It’s not what you believe but what you do with your life that counts.
The term meditation is a little easier to define. Most people identify meditation as something you do with your eyes closed while sitting. Although there are seated forms of meditation, there are also forms of moving meditation. For instance, Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi are all methods you use while standing. Similarly, almost any mental process for changing or altering consciousness can become a type of meditation. Likewise, since all forms of meditation involve our consciousness, they are also spiritual.
Spiritual Meditation Benefits
As you might suspect, the benefits of this practice are the same as any type of meditation. Depending on the type, this can be the focal point of your spiritual practice. The practice of consciousness-expanding techniques has a positive effect on all aspects of your life.
The mind is like a computer in some ways. If you shut off your computer and stop the processes. Then, when you turn it back on, it works better. Unplugging your mind works the same way. Meditation helps us shut off our internal dialogue. The proper type of meditation brings us in touch with the transcendent. We recommend Japa or the commercial version of this technique, Transcendental Meditation (TM). We have a whole article that outlines spiritual meditation benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of this practice. For instance, after practicing meditation we can think more clearly. And, many of these methods a good for our heart by reducing stress.
Moving forms of meditation are also beneficial not only for increasing mind-body coordination but also by improving our physical durability. The mind, body, and spirit share an intimate connection. So, when it makes sense to engage in things that improve us overall.
We use the word spiritual meditation concerning processes for expanding awareness and investigating higher states of consciousness. That’s because these processes connect us with our Soul, Spirit or the Observer of our consciousness. In short, it’s all about exploring consciousness.
Above all, the pioneers of these processes use language referring to the spirit and soul as synonymous with awareness and consciousness. So, it is practical to keep the teachings intact using the original terminology. Second, it honors the original teaching by keeping the original form of the language intact. After all, there is no need to change what already works. There is no need to modernize. Third, most noteworthy, many of these processes lead to a “eureka” awakening experience.
So, the bottom line for us, Spiritual Meditation refers to methods of exploring consciousness. This includes many seated and moving of meditation. However, it also includes several analytical processes. This gives us many processes, everything from a simple two-step beginning meditation to the practice of the Siddhis of Patanjali. The analytical processes include the Enneagram of Personality, Comparative Analysis, and several logical tools. When you define it in this way, it includes several spiritual technologies and processes but excludes religious dogma.
The Difference between Religion and Spiritual Exploration
Everyone has their way of awakening through the use of ancient technologies. These tools are the basis for spiritual exploration. It’s most important to understand that spiritual exploration is at the opposite end of the spectrum from religion.
Religion is dogma concerned with whom might have created the universe, what may happen after you die and rules of integrity for governing behavior. They cloak all of this in fear of eternal punishment for those that disagree and an eternal paradise for those who do “believe.”
Whereas, Spiritual exploration has nothing to do with doctrine or dogma. It involves the application of spiritual tools/technologies to expand awareness and open the doors of consciousness. These spiritual technologies stand up to the test of science as having repeatable common experiential phenomena.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them. We call the practice of these processes Spiritual Exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group. We like this simple method.
- Tools to enhance critical thinking. This study of basic logical reasoning along with spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Then we also use comparative analysis. This is a step-by-step way of comparing beliefs between different worldviews. Above all, these tools will help sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- The Enneagram Personality Profile. This is mostly an analytical tool. It provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
- Seated meditation is often the heart of your spiritual practice. This includes a range from Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and more advanced Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection. It is also an important key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection, such as Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Pathways for expanding and exploring awareness. This progression includes a range of processes from lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey and Guided Meditation to third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness. Practical tools to guide your path, a spiritual journal, and automatic writing.
- Healing practices are the final group. This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is also a part of this group and is vital to our overall health and wellness.
We hope this clarifies the question, what is spiritual meditation. A simple way to think of it is as any process for exploring consciousness. That means it covers every type of process or method that affects change in our awareness or consciousness. It’s also important to realize that it has nothing to do with belief in imaginary beings. It is not the practice of religion. That being said, some ancient Eastern traditions are the storehouses of many of the tools for this inner work. However, you need not ascribe to the belief in the mythology to use these methods, which include mantras and sutras.
There are several for practicing meditation. If you want to investigate all the benefits of meditation please follow the link.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia