When I started out in the meditation journey about 15 years ago, I was an atheist/agnostic. Similar to today, many of the meditation practices were sponsored by religious organizations. While these organizations claim to focus on the spiritual aspects of the practice, many of the traditions and rituals are associated with that of organized religion (my opinion). I focus (no pun intended) on non-religious techniques that rely on breath awareness, visualization and feelings of love. These techniques are very easy for beginners to understand and learn. Also, the "religious" baggage that come with some of the "spiritual" meditation techniques are avoided.
My brother calls me a "Born Again" Hindu as I re-embraced religion of my birth after many years of being an atheist/agnostic. Since then, I had many spiritual experiences (some people say that it is related to my meditation practice). I do go to Indian temples regularly but my spiritual experiences have manifested themselves during nature walks, visits to churches and jewish temples also. I am driven to keep these spiritual experiences out of my meditation classes - because I believe that each person has a unique experience with meditation and I want them to respect that.
At the same time, I respect people who use meditation primarily as an extension of their religious or spiritual practice to know more about themselves and connect to a higher source of power - God, Allah or whatever they may choose to call it.
Two books that have influenced my meditation practice and classes are:
Breakout Principle by Dr. Herbert Benson (famous for his Relaxation Response theory) develops the scientific basis for meditation and relaxation techniques and its impact on the quality of our lives.
Open Focus Brain by Dr Les Fehmi is another work that has impressed me in its scientific and effective approach in dealing with stress and focus in our lives.
a guided finger meditation
Engage your senses with soothing music, guided imagery and a labyrinth tracing activity which leverages the power of touch. Click the album cover to learn more.