I’ve often said that I think the Christian religion could benefit from a shift away from emphasizing a set of beliefs to an emphasis on daily practice. Take, for example, the practice of meditation.
“The [newly released] study, published last month in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, suggests that meditating for just 30 minutes a day for eight weeks can increase the density of gray matter in brain regions associated with memory, stress, and empathy. …These brain changes may suggest that meditation improves people’s ability to regulate their emotions, control their stress levels, and feel empathy for others, says Britta Hölzel, the study’s lead author and a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Geissen in Germany.”
It would be interesting to see if there are any similar alterations in the brain arising from anything in typical Christian worship services in the U.S. Given that in recent history, frequent church-goers in the U.S. were found to be more prone to support torture, I doubt it. That points to a severe deficiency in Christian spiritual life in the area of empathy development that church leaders should be working urgently to address. But, until that happens, we individual Christians should be adopting practices like daily mediation on our own.