Alex Frankreich has devoted two decades seeking peace of mind and discovered the power within for all his needs and achieve self realization
How America is Rapidly Becoming the Change it Would Like to See in the World
These two practices can be seen as East compared to the West which by definition can be seen as true. Meditation has been around since 1500 B.C. and its true origins are debatable whether it was in India or in China. No matter what conclusion we subscribe to, the daily ritual of meditation had its origins in the East to offer the practitioner the ability to get in tune spiritually with a higher state of being. In modern times it has become a chic or mainstream thing for someone to do around the world who was not brought up a child in the Vedic or Taoist religions.
It has spawned a whole new movement here in the West and is popular amongst Americans who have opened their minds to the possibility that existence can be transformed by concepts which are foreign to a country in which the majority of its citizens follow the teachings laid down by Christ which is 65% of the population in 2019 which is down compared with 2001 which polled 85% in 1991. One example of this could be Veganism which has taken the U.S. by a storm which is an undoubtedly a practice which is in fact a religious act of non-violence and a way for an individual to change the world by becoming that change that does not require an excessive amount of effort but instead eating consciously and take a stand against brutality and inhumane acts against animals.
How Christs Teachings are Being Adhered to and the US is Becoming the Light of the World.
I conclude that the 20% decline in the last 20 years in Western Religion and following rigid dogma and acts of devotion is a direct result of a new awakening in America which is experiencing a shift in consciousness. We are now starting to develop the ability to see past stoic Christian practices and are more able to embrace the ability to see the power within and less dependent on seeking outside ourselves for our daily reprieve and spiritual needs. A growing demographic in the States are looking to contribute something to their existence that will counteract what Karl Marx declared "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."
Suffering will not be eradicated by a so-called opiate of the masses, but rather a deliberate application of devotion that is akin to the teachings of Christ who came to us to become "the way, the truth, and the life" which was his patent on God. His message was to free the world of suffering by living the words he spoke which in my opinion was to show the path to God-Consciousness.
How to Find a Better Way To Be Still and Feel Gods Presence
I personally do not see any other explanation than enlightenment to be his primary reason for preaching to the world and have his words coincide with a worldly practice in which we can all partake in and breathe life to his words. However, in doing this, we must be the type of individual who can take the words and leave the practice of faith and prayer behind which is a normal way of devotion, worship, and abiding in Christ. Through my own experience, I found an alternative that could be the solution to not being able to achieve total alignment of body mind and the attainment of complete awareness and mindfulness with the silence of God's dwelling place so fervently described in Eastern Traditions.
Contemplation is that a solution that draws you into the silence and the path to it is aligned with mental recognition of the imagery described in the bible and allows us to incorporate both sides and fulfill our spiritual need to be attuned to higher reality which both regard as the only reality.
In America, we tend to identify with the power of thought and getting things done by taking action aligned without intended motives. The power of contemplation is staggeringly identical to meditation and the only difference is that we picture in our minds a source of power to alleviate stress and eliminate anxiety. When we still our minds and get in tune with our inner wisdom we can redirect our focus to an image of something in which causes an effect akin to the Pavlov dog experiment.
By introducing a stimulus which can be an image, object, or even better smell to elicit a response in our minds to bring us to a place of peace. This peaceful state is brought about by the alignment of the serenity within to the object we identify in our minds to produce a calmness within. Some called it classical conditioning or Pavlovian, but when implemented with a human mind and its capacities its results could be a direct match to what people experience when meditating.
How to Worship Using Eastern Traditions and Western Practice to Promote Wholeness
Personally I have practiced both and prefer contemplation over meditation simply because its easier to picture an image in my mind which in my case is Christ or the cross. I envision it in times of high pressure and focus on breathing and going inward to my inner guide or intuition. These two practices of an image to put me in my power place has brought about amazing results for my mental well being and also my inner peace. Whatever you choose to use as your preferred method of getting in tune with your higher self be sure to implement something to bring you the relief that you need.
Today we need to shift our consciousness and accept that the next big step in evolution is a higher state of being which could only be brought about by performing rituals that get us in tune with that ability within ourselves. All spiritual and religious teachings point us to this sacred place and only through the practice of meditation or contemplation can we get the results that are not only capable for us but one of our holy duties being born from above and get back in touch with our spiritual connection with our creator.