Last Updated on October 8, 2020 by Paul Farrell, MRP, JD, PhD
Religious celebrations, rituals and services are probably the world’s most natural opportunity for group meditation. The architecture, the ritual, the pageantry, scriptural readings, music, singing – whether it’s the Pope saying Mass on New Year’s Eve, or a Mass in the tiny crypt below St. Francis’ Basilica in Assisi, a Greek wedding or evangelist meeting, a Bar Mitzvah or gospel choir. Every one is a natural meditation. Religious celebrations are a time to come together, to pray, to rejoice, to cry, to meditate, to celebrate life.
Celebrations, Ceremonies, Festivities!
Like so many going through a dark night of the soul, I went on a search through many spiritual traditions – Quaker meetings, Science of Mind lectures, Navaho sweat lodges, Yoga practice, Sufi dancing, EST Forums, za-zen meditation, and many other ways to celebrate the spirit in each of us. So different, and yet so much alike.
Near the end of my first Quaker meeting I actually did see tongues of fire coming from the tops of the heads of the congregation. Only later did I learn that this was a core belief of the Quakers, and yet at the time it seemed so natural and so real, no different than being in a sweat lodge or yoga class.
From my early days as an Irish Catholic altar boy, to serving Mass for Marine chaplains in Korean huts, to all these celebrations in so many cultures and spiritual traditions around the world I came to understand that every religious celebration is a meditation – and conversely, every therapy session I ever attended was a unique spiritual experience and a meditation between me and the therapist!
About the Author
Dr. Farrell is a Behavioral Economist. His books include The Millionaire Code; The Millionaire Meditation: Stress Management for Wall Street, Corporate America & Entrepreneurs; The Zen Millionaire; The Winning Portfolio; Expert Investing on The Net; Mutual Funds on The Net; and The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing.
He also published 1,643 columns on DowJones-MarketWatch and for years was their #1 traffic-generating columnist. Before the Internet, he edited & published FNX: Future News Index, a financial newsletter for stock market traders. Earlier he was a Wall Street investment banker with Morgan Stanley, Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network; and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
He has a Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He worked on the Esalen organic farm and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Staff Sergeant in aviation computer technology.