And I'd like to add, that I don't see why a purely humanistic logic approach, without the usual meditation practices, couldn't lead one to equal results.
Well, it could, but I think Hugh explained it quite well above. A meditation practice such as zazen is a practice in the sense of an activity that is carried out regularly or habitually...but it's also "practice" in the sense of repeated exercise with the goal of achieving proficiency. In this case, the proficiency being sought after is proficiency in mindfulness. The practice of zazen creates a deliberately simplified environment in which there aren't many distractions to overcome in the quest for full awareness and mindfulness. It's a practice environment, like the smooth mats and (somewhat) predictable attacks of the dojo -- in my own meditation practice, I think of it as being like the training wheels on a bicycle. The goal of training wheels isn't to ride your bike forever with training wheels: they're an aid to developing proficiency that will eventually let you ride without them. The analogy breaks down, because at least in my limited experience, I do have to keep coming back to those "training wheels" of meditation, and my moments of really being able to "ride the bike" without them are pretty infrequent. And certainly, people can and do learn to "ride the bike" without the training wheels (um...in fact, I learned to ride a bike without training wheels myself...damn, and I was really liking that analogy!
). But while not everybody needs a training aid, and while not every training aid works equally well for every person, it's not a bad idea to use training aids when trying to acquire a difficult skill, no?