Excerpted from: From Bondage to Freedom, #28
"The word 'meditation' and the word 'medicine' come from the same root. Medicine means that which heals the physical, and meditation means that which heals the spiritual. Both are healing powers.
"Another thing to be remembered: the word 'healing' and the word 'whole' also come from the same root. To be healed simply means to be whole, not missing anything. Another connotation of the word the word 'holy' also comes from the same root. Healing, whole, holy, are not different in their root.
"Meditation heals, makes you whole; and to be whole is to be holy. Holiness has nothing to do with belonging to any religion, belonging to any church. It simply means that inside you, you are entire, complete; nothing is missing, you are fulfilled. You are what existence wanted you to be. You have realized your potential.
"In the West, meditation has not grown roots, because all three religions in the West Judaism, and the two offshoots of Judaism Christianity and Islam are all prayer-oriented.
"Prayer and meditation are absolute contraries: prayer moves outwards. Prayer is addressed to a God you know nothing of just a belief given to you by your parents, society, church, synagogue. You pray, but there is nobody who is listening to your prayer. There is nobody who is going to answer your prayer.
"Yes, people who pray may feel good; that does not mean that their prayer has been heard. Just praying, they become silent. Just praying, a certain kind of attitude arises in them; they put aside their ego, they put aside everything else. They become pointedly concentrated on the idea of God. It is their idea, their projection, but it will give them a feeling of well-being. And that well-being is very deceptive; it makes you feel that your prayer is significant. And there must be a God; otherwise, after prayer, why do you feel so quiet, so calm?
"Prayer functions almost like autohypnosis. There is no need for a God, you can concentrate on anything. In India there are people who worship trees, and they get the same feeling. There are people who worship statues just stones and they get the same feeling. There are people who worship the sun, or the river, and they get the same feeling. The question is not what you worship; the question is that if you become concentrated you fall into a hypnotic trance. And a hypnotic trance is very relaxing, it gives you well-being." Osho