Question: People are often afraid of practices like meditation which are not prescribed by their own religion. Why is this?

Sri Chinmoy: People are afraid of practising meditation just because meditation is something new to them. Anything that is new to us often creates fear in us. Something more: in the West especially, prayer is given much more importance than meditation. People feel that if they meditate instead of praying, then they are being disloyal to their religious beliefs. This is one of the reasons why some people, especially in the West, are afraid of meditation. They have not been habituated to meditate whereas they have all along been praying. So anything that is new to our system, to our mind, to our understanding, creates a kind of conscious or unconscious fear in us.