Common Myths Destroyed
Meditation doesn't have to be a spiritual thing
To meditate, you don't need to be concerned with the alignment of your chakras.
To meditate, you don't have to believe in god.
To meditate, you don't have to be some form of Buddhist.
To meditate, you don't have to have superior mental powers.
To meditate, you don't have to be some form of Monk.
Meditation and Prayer are two different things, although it has been shown that they can have similar effects on one's health.
Meditation doesn't have to be a spiritual adventure, although you're certainly welcome to treat it as one. Meditation can be simply a journey into the deepest crevices of your very mind and being. You can utilize mediation as a way of relieving stress, improving focus, or even thinking about something that deeply troubles you.
Although many forms of meditation teach a complete clearing of the mind, it can also be used to concentrate. You may decide that your concern with the origins of conciousness comes second after your job, relationship, or kids for example. Meditation can be a time to relax and concentrate, and explore every angle, element, and variable of a problem that deeply vexes you. Infact, several programmers will atest to the fact that meditating about a project before coding sessions help them write relatively bug free, thought out code.
Buddhism, the religion that many people seem to associate with meditation, doesn't actually weigh the gods as vitally important, and many people who are Buddhists are also atheists. Meditation doesn't discriminate between believers and non-believers, it is simply a technique for focusing oneself, whether done by clearing thought so that the mind can be an empty vessel waiting for knowledge, or focusing thought to solve a specific problem.
I should mention that in writing this node I don't mean to classify meditation under two different types, but rather to offer a comparison of different purposes that aren't religious or spiritual.