My university constantly promotes activities of meditation, mindfulness and other "new age" activities inspired from some eastern spiritualities (particularly Hinduism and Buddhism). The university is secular and would surely not widely promote Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other religions' activities, calls for prayers and the like. Is this a form of discrimination in favour of certain spiritualities?

I wonder what your experience is about this.

  • 12
    Some form of mediation practice is present in all religions, and there is also a very secular form of mediation practice that's devoid of any religious meaning (e.g. mindfulness based stress reduction, which has some good scientific evidence of being effective). Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 10:21
  • 4
    Independent of religious issues, meditation can be one way among others to take an effective break from studies when you get stuck. So can vigorous aerobic exercise, playing Chess, and lots of other things.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 12:38
  • 1
    Yoga and meditation have origins in Hinduism. Consider Hinduism as more a way of life than religion. Copying components from that way of life does not discriminate against religions.
    – kosmos
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


On the basis of the following definitions, I see no basis to consider meditation nor mindfullness to be solely associated with a particular religion.

  • Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique...to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state (Wikipedia).

  • Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment (Wikipedia).

I do not consider the origins of these activities relevant. (I will note that Wikipedia discusses meditation in the context of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.)

  • 5
    Thanks! Meditation can have religious components. There is a question then about the content of the practice itself, for instance, if done for the purpose of stress releasing or for promoting a certain spirituality. The fact that is present in many religions does not mean its promotion goes against a secular university's values. The devil is on the detail, it seems.
    – luchonacho
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 10:23
  • 2
    @luchonacho Meditation can have religious components, equally it need not. (I'm struggling to understand your final sentence due to the double negative. Regardless, you haven't defined any particular values nor explained whether the university is promoting a form of religious meditation, so I can't comment.)
    – user2768
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 10:28
  • 3
    The valuable answer is that meditation can be religion-free and therefore non-discriminatory. The particular answer for my case depends on the details, about which cannot comment (because I do not take part on the activities). But I got a point from which to move on.
    – luchonacho
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 11:13
  • 2
    @luchonacho - drinking wine can have religious components. Or not.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 23:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .