Meditation isn’t a Christian thing or a Western thing – it’s not even a Hindu thing or an Eastern thing – meditation is a worldwide thing. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Norsemen, First Nations people – everybody around the world, from the earliest humans to the present time have meditated and continue to meditate in one form or another.
Knowledge of meditation and similar practices are found throughout history.
In pre-Colombian America, in old Nordic cultures, in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome; in Arabic and African countries, in Australia and the Pacific islands – all people have a tradition of meditation.
Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician whose theorems are still taught in schools, today, led a community of disciples who practiced meditation. The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote a book on the subject. Native Americans initiated their youth in meditation processes. Old Mexican sculpture depicts people in poses similar to ones used by yoga students. Mantras, seed thoughts and words of power are found not just in India, but throughout the ancient world and sounds such as Om are found in scriptures as diverse as Norse texts (Ome), Sanskrit (Aum), Judeo-Christian (Amen), Egyptian (Amon) and Arabic (Amin).
Knowledge of psychic centers and meditation concentration points also appear universal. From Hopi Indian practices to South Africa and throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Monastic orders in the Greek Orthodox Church continue to work with these concepts just as do the Hindus and Buddhists.
Meditation is clearly a common human inheritance.
Meditation practices, postures and power phrases or prayers are based on knowledge of the three-fold aspects of human beings – Body, Mind and Spirit. This knowledge provides detailed direction for eliminating mental and physical inhibitions. Humans have evolved with an instinct and desire to unite the physical and spiritual aspects of their being into a unified experience. And this experience is one of the things we strive for in meditation.