Contemplatives in the East & the West, however, have explored the nature of the mind, consciousness, and human identity, and I believe they have illuminated dimensions of reality that remain largely unexplored in the modern world. Religion has become so hung up on doctrine, and science so materialistic, that contemplative methods of inquiry are often overlooked. And in the modern world, even when meditation is practiced, it’s often used to simply alleviate stress and to overcome other physical and psychological problems. But meditation may also yield some of the deepest insights we can possibly gain about human nature and identity.
B. Alan Wallace, Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science Buddhism and Christianity.