Meditation i Prayer both give rewarding, positive, and therapeutic results. Although they are closely related, there is a small difference between them.
The main difference can be described as: Meditation is a practice that helps us to enter into ourselves in search of inner peace and happiness. While prayer is an external expression of our faith, belief, or love for someone or something.
But what do they really mean and how are they interconnected?
In this article, I will try to dig a little deeper and shed some light on this topic.
Let’s start with Meditation first.
Meaning: Meditation is about focusing on our mind and observing our thoughts as they come and go.
Goal: The ultimate goal is to achieve a calm, peaceful, and happy mood. This can be achieved by to lift / awaken our inner consciousness by entering and witnessing our thoughts and emotions.
Technique: This can be done by following any of the different techniques available such as concentrating on breathing, chanting a mantra, or focusing on an object (such as a candle), and so on.
Summary: Meditation is a tool that helps us to increase our self-awareness and achieve a higher sense of spiritual awakening.
Meditation makes us realize that the true happiness we seek outside is actually within us.
Ultimately, it leads us to a state where we can free ourselves from all worldly desires and live happily without having to chase after external pleasures.
Now, let’s take a look Prayer.
Meaning: Prayer is a way of expressing our devotion, love, or gratitude toward someone or something. In prayer, we try to develop a relationship with the divine. We consider the divine as our dearest friend, father, or teacher.
Goal: In prayer, we try to please or communicate with the divine or a deity in a specific way.
Technique: The main requirement for prayer is the presence of faith, belief, or devotion without which a prayer would become a mere chanting of words. It does not necessarily have to be based on intellectual understanding.
Summary: Prayer is usually practiced to change something unpleasant or intolerable in the outside world. We can also say that prayer is goal-oriented and involves seeking some favor from God or God.
There are many reasons for praying, but these are usually focused on the need for help from a higher power to alleviate a sense of helplessness.
Now let’s take a look at the common differences.
- In meditation, there is no God or deity with whom to please or with whom to speak. In prayer, we think of God or a deity with whom we try to communicate.
- Silence is needed during meditation. Silence is not necessary during prayer.
- Meditation is practiced in many religions in different ways; however, it is largely considered a secular practice. Prayer is present in all major religions and is not considered a secular practice.
- You don’t have to have a goal to meditate. Prayer is usually goal-oriented.
- Our body posture plays a key role in both. One type of body posture is universally followed during meditation called “dhyan mudra”. All religions follow different types of body posture during prayer.
There are some scientific studies that suggest the benefits of meditation and prayer for overall health and well-being.
The only big difference between meditation and prayer is that the former is internal and the latter external.
More than faith, meditation is to increase our consciousness and thus achieve inner peace, consciousness and self-harmony. Prayer, on the other hand, gives a ray of hope.
Despite all these differences, meditation and prayer can bring transformative changes to our lives in their own way.
Constant practice produces tangible results, whether it is a simple expression of gratitude in prayer or a quick 10-minute meditation session.
Prayer means that you are trying to tell God what to do. Meditation means that you understand your limitations and keep quiet.
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