The short answer is: YES!

The longer answer: You can absolutely meditate and be a person of faith — whether that means Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or more. Meditation and other more secular mindfulness practices all have roots in Buddhist philosophy. Buddhism doesn't require faith in any kind of deity, and is thus actually more of a psychological practice than a religion.

Meditation is all about working with your mind; learning to watch your thoughts, choose your response (instead of lashing out with a knee-jerk reaction), live with more gentleness and compassion, and ultimately, to make friends with yourself. Folks of any faith can find meaning and purpose in the practice. The core values that meditation cultivates — patience, forgiveness, and lovingkindness, for example — are also emphasized by most faith traditions around the world.

In fact, meditation can actually be a great complement to most spiritual traditions. Contemplative practices like prayer, chanting, and reflection are central to most religions. Christianity, for instance, has nurtured a long tradition of medieval mystics like Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen and Julian of Norwich, contemplatives who found the sacred in quiet stillness and discovered something holy in just listening. Modern-day parallels to these ancient mystics would be beloved Catholic monk Thomas Merton and Franciscan Father Richard Rohr.

So people of faith, have no fear: you can absolutely take on a mindfulness practice and maintain your deep spiritual commitments. Meditation might actually deepen your sense of connection to all that is: whether that's nature, your body, other people, or the God of your own understanding.

And that sure sounds holy to me.

For more on interfaith aspects of meditation, check out this excellent list of resources from the Interfaith Meditation Initiative, based in Washington, DC.