In addition, interest in some Western-based meditative practices has been revived,[159] and these have been disseminated to a limited extent to Asian countries.[160]. When this happens, one develops dispassion (viraga) for all phenomena, including all negative qualities and hindrances and lets them go. Meditation is an ancient wellness practice that focuses on training awareness, attention, and compassion. [17][18] The term "meditation" in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism,[19] or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. [87][88][89] Kabbalistic meditation often involves the mental visualization of the supernal realms. [65][66] According to Gavin Flood, the earlier Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is describing meditation when it states that "having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (ātman) within oneself".[64]. EASTERN/NEW AGE INSTRUCTION: Meditation = Emptying the Mind What it is: In direct opposition is the Eastern spiritual tradition of meditation, which instructs emptying the mind of thought to open one’s mind to the spiritual realm and ultimately reach a state of merging and oneness with the ultimate consciousness. In agnya vichāya, one contemplates on seven facts – life and non-life, the inflow, bondage, stoppage and removal of karmas, and the final accomplishment of liberation. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the … Mantra chanting can be done either loudly or silently in mind. The practitioner meditates deeply on subtle facts. It is juxtaposed with fikr (thinking) which leads to knowledge. 2. This is because magic is often thought to require a particular state of mind in order to make contact with spirits, or because one has to visualize one's goal or otherwise keep intent focused for a long period during the ritual in order to see the desired outcome. [74] It is only God's divine will or order that allows a devotee to desire to begin to meditate. Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation is a process, resulting from a successful turning inwards of the mind and a conviction that there is a truth higher and more satisfying than what the … Definition Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. Traditional Daoist meditative practices were influenced by Chinese Buddhism from around the 5th century, and influenced Traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese martial arts. [53], Asanas and positions such as the full-lotus, half-lotus, Burmese, Seiza, and kneeling positions are popular in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism,[54] although other postures such as sitting, supine (lying), and standing are also used. Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. [85], Meditation has been of interest to a wide variety of modern Jews. Thereafter, Swami Vivekananda... [founded] various Vedanta ashrams... Anagarika Dharmapala lectured at Harvard on Theravada Buddhist meditation in 1904; Abdul Baha ... [toured] the US teaching the principles of Bahai [sic], and Soyen Shaku toured in 1907 teaching Zen...[29]:4, More recently, in the 1960s, another surge in Western interest in meditative practices began. The first principle is that meditation is learned through practice. The sensation of receiving divine inspiration awakens and liberates both heart and intellect, permitting such inner growth that the apparently mundane actually takes on the quality of the infinite. [117] However, he did state that Baháʼís should read a passage of the Baháʼí writings twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening, and meditate on it. In 1971, Claudio Naranjo noted that "The word 'meditation' has been used to designate a variety of practices that differ enough from one another so that we may find trouble in defining what meditation is. Meditation is an ancient practice, but scientists are still discovering all of its benefits. Around the 6th to 5th centuries BCE, other forms of meditation developed via Confucianism and Taoism in China as well as Hinduism, Jainism, and early Buddhism in India.[143]. According to T. Griffith Foulk, the encouragement stick was an integral part of the Zen practice: In the Rinzai monastery where I trained in the mid-1970s, according to an unspoken etiquette, monks who were sitting earnestly and well were shown respect by being hit vigorously and often; those known as laggards were ignored by the hall monitor or given little taps if they requested to be hit. The Katha Upanishad describes yoga, including meditation. The practice is usually done individually, in a still seated position, and with eyes closed. Examples of contemporary school-specific "classics" include, from the Theravada tradition, The verb root "dhyai" is listed as referring to "contemplate, meditate on" and "dhyāna" is listed as referring to "meditation; religious contemplation" on page 134 of. [129], The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that "Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. In the dualistic Yoga school and Samkhya, the Self is called Purusha, a pure consciousness separate from matter. Such revelation comes not as a thought, but as a feeling. [23]:130[note 8], Focused methods include paying attention to the breath, to an idea or feeling (such as mettā (loving-kindness)), to a kōan, or to a mantra (such as in transcendental meditation), and single point meditation. Beads made from seeds of rudraksha trees are considered sacred by devotees of Siva, while followers of Vishnu revere the wood that comes from the tulsi plant.[62]. Sign up for Headspace for free, and start reaping the benefits of meditation today. Buddhist meditation techniques have become popular in the wider world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up. [142], The history of meditation is intimately bound up with the religious context within which it was practiced. [113] Interactions with Indians or the Sufis may have influenced the Eastern Christian meditation approach to hesychasm, but this can not be proved. [161][162], The 2012 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (34,525 subjects) found 8% of US adults used meditation,[163] with lifetime and 12-month prevalence of meditation use of 5.2% and 4.1% respectively. Meditation is a practice aimed at training the mind. [28] Taylor noted that even within a faith such as "Hindu" or "Buddhist", schools and individual teachers may teach distinct types of meditation. Taoist meditation practices are central to Chinese martial arts (and some Japanese martial arts), especially the qi-related neijia "internal martial arts". The Hindu japa mala has 108 beads (the figure 108 in itself having spiritual significance), as well as those used in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the Hare Krishna tradition, Jainism and Buddhist prayer beads. For religious meditation, this is a bonus, a side benefit. Good question! [34], Practices using both methods[35][36][37] include vipassana (which uses anapanasati as a preparation), and samatha (calm-abiding).[38][39]. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. Alexander Wynne, The Origin of Buddhist Meditation. Christian meditation is a form of prayer that helps to focus our attention on God through silence and listening to Scripture. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. There are many schools and styles of meditation within Hinduism. 267–68, and, Kohn, Livia (2008), "Meditation and visualization," in. Some regard meditation is the mental concentration on something, others consider that we meditate when we imagine something that gives us peace or satisfaction. [81][82] For instance, in the Torah, the patriarch Isaac is described as going "לשוח" (lasuach) in the field – a term understood by all commentators as some type of meditative practice (Genesis 24:63). (2009) report that 7 expert scholars who had studied different traditions of meditation agreed that an "essential" component of meditation "Involves logic relaxation: not 'to intend' to analyze the possible psychophysical effects, not 'to intend' to judge the possible results, not 'to intend' to create any type of expectation regarding the process" (p. 134, Table 4). "[23]:135[note 6], Several other definitions of meditation have been used by influential modern reviews of research on meditation across multiple traditions:[note 7]. Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana. [134][135], A 2010 review of the literature on spirituality and performance in organizations found an increase in corporate meditation programs. [46] Some techniques suggest less time,[35] especially when starting meditation,[47] and Richard Davidson has quoted research saying benefits can be achieved with a practice of only 8 minutes per day. A second optional type of meditation, called dhikr, meaning remembering and mentioning God, is interpreted in different meditative techniques in Sufism or Islamic mysticism. Mantra chanting is an important part of daily lives of Jain monks and followers. Meditation is growing in popularity, as more people look for practices to help ease anxiety and improve focus. [95], Christian meditation is a term for a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God. [140] In Norway, another sound-based method called Acem Meditation developed a psychology of meditation and has been the subject of several scientific studies. In. [143] Wilson translates the most famous Vedic mantra "Gayatri" as: "We meditate on that desirable light of the divine Savitri, who influences our pious rites" (Rigveda : Mandala-3, Sukta-62, Rcha-10). Meditation is practiced in numerous religious traditions. Meditation is a state where only consciousness remains. [70] In Theravada, all phenomena are to be seen as impermanent, suffering, not-self and empty. [139] Also in the 1970s, the American psychologist Patricia Carrington developed a similar technique called Clinically Standardized Meditation (CSM). Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. The earliest clear references to meditation in Hindu literature are in the middle Upanishads and the Mahabharata (including the Bhagavad Gita). [121], Movements which use magic, such as Wicca, Thelema, Neopaganism, and occultism, often require their adherents to meditate as a preliminary to the magical work. [103] Unlike some Eastern styles, most styles of Christian meditation do not rely on the repeated use of mantras, and yet are also intended to stimulate thought and deepen meaning. Kundalini yoga. The first layer of rabbinic law, the Mishnah, describes ancient sages "waiting" for an hour before their prayers, "in order to direct their hearts to the Omnipresent One (Mishnah Berakhot 5:1). Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. 30 June 2007. [29]:2 [83] Similarly, there are indications throughout the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) that the prophets meditated. Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina, i.e. See, for instance, AN 2.30 in Bodhi (2005), pp. [127][128] Also Erich Fromm (1900-1980) later explored spiritual practices of the east. [150][151], The Islamic practice of Dhikr had involved the repetition of the 99 Names of God since the 8th or 9th century. [136], As of 2016 around a quarter of U.S. employers were using stress reduction initiatives. [61] The Muslim misbaha has 99 beads. There’s no such thing as perfect meditation. We have all heard that meditation reduces stress, and it does, but the benefits of meditation are so much more than that. Download the Headspace app or sign up online to start meditating today. Meditation is commonly described as a training of mental attention that awakens us beyond the conditioned mind and habitual thinking, and reveals the nature of reality. [77] Ding 定 (literally means "decide; settle; stabilize") refers to "deep concentration", "intent contemplation", or "perfect absorption". [11][171][172] Mindfulness is also used in the treatment of drug addiction, although the quality of research has been poor. Lengthens attention span. The (late 4th century BCE) Guanzi essay Neiye "Inward training" is the oldest received writing on the subject of qi cultivation and breath-control meditation techniques. [114], Tafakkur or tadabbur in Sufism literally means reflection upon the universe: this is considered to permit access to a form of cognitive and emotional development that can emanate only from the higher level, i.e. [86], One of the best known types of meditation in early Jewish mysticism was the work of the Merkabah, from the root /R-K-B/ meaning "chariot" (of God). Hayes, S. C.; Strosahl, K. D.; Wilson, K. G. (1999), Metzner, R. (2005) Psychedelic, Psychoactive and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness. [67] Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attaining salvation, and taking the soul to complete freedom. Meditation holds the power to unconditional happiness and peace of mind. When Sikhs meditate, they aim to feel God's presence and emerge in the divine light. One common explanation contrasts "movement in stillness" referring to energetic visualization of qi circulation in qigong and zuochan "seated meditation",[37] versus "stillness in movement" referring to a state of meditative calm in taijiquan forms. "Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works." [72], In the modern era, Buddhist meditation saw increasing popularity due to the influence of Buddhist modernism on Asian Buddhism, and western lay interest in Zen and the Vipassana movement. Keep practicing. Benson, Herbert and Miriam Z. Klipper. Simoons, Frederick J. The Relaxation Response. [170] Mindfulness practice is employed in psychology to alleviate mental and physical conditions, such as reducing depression, stress, and anxiety. Plants of life, plants of death. Cun 存 (lit. The result you gain out of the practice is increased concentration and focus. [116], In the teachings of the Baháʼí Faith, meditation is a primary tool for spiritual development,[117] involving reflection on the words of God. … Guan 觀 (lit. Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Claudio Naranjo (1972) [1971], in: Naranjo and Orenstein, Lutz, Dunne and Davidson, "Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness: An Introduction" in. Ideas about Eastern meditation had begun "seeping into American popular culture even before the American Revolution through the various sects of European occult Christianity",[29]:3 and such ideas "came pouring in [to America] during the era of the transcendentalists, especially between the 1840s and the 1880s. Google also implements mindfulness, offering more than a dozen meditation courses, with the most prominent one, "Search Inside Yourself", having been implemented since 2007. "[29]:3 The following decades saw further spread of these ideas to America: The World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, was the landmark event that increased Western awareness of meditation. In modern psychological research, meditation has been defined and characterized in a variety of ways. C. G. Jung, "The psychology of eastern meditation" (1943), CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, meditation practice of the Sahaja yoga spiritual movement, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Effects of meditation § Potential adverse effects and limits of meditation, "How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Meditation is a practice for calming one’s mind and body. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on psychological well-being. In the West, meditation techniques have sometimes been thought of in two broad categories: focused (or concentrative) meditation and open monitoring (or mindfulness) meditation. Meditation must reveal the true nature of that object upon which we are meditating. [154], Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. The full quotation from Bond, Ospina et al. “What you practice is not meditation in the real sense; it is only a concept. [131] In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement that meditation may be a reasonable adjunct practice to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, with the qualification that meditation needs to be better defined in higher-quality clinical research of these disorders. [115], Dervishes of certain Sufi orders practice whirling, a form of physically active meditation. "[130][12] A 2014 review found that practice of mindfulness meditation for two to six months by people undergoing long-term psychiatric or medical therapy could produce small improvements in anxiety, pain, or depression. Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. But many meditation techniques exist — so how do you learn how to meditate? And it’s usually easier if you have a teacher. [45], The Transcendental Meditation technique recommends practice of 20 minutes twice per day. [97] The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari, which means to concentrate. “In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. [120], Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion, never specified any particular form of meditation, and thus each person is free to choose their own form. [145] Some of the earliest references to meditation are found in the pre-Hindu Vedas of India. [169], Since the 1970s, clinical psychology and psychiatry have developed meditation techniques for numerous psychological conditions. Core meditation techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. [168][173] Studies demonstrate that meditation has a moderate effect to reduce pain. [84] In the Old Testament, there are two Hebrew words for meditation: hāgâ (Hebrew: הגה‎), to sigh or murmur, but also to meditate, and sîḥâ (Hebrew: שיחה‎), to muse, or rehearse in one's mind. Livia Kohn distinguishes three basic types of Taoist meditation: "concentrative", "insight", and "visualization". [57][58] The Roman Catholic rosary is a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. The body goes through sets of different postures, as the mind attains a level of concentration called khushu. "[40] This is in contrast to the common meditative approaches of being detached from, and non-judgmental of, thoughts, but not of aiming for thoughts to cease. Later developments in Hindu meditation include the compilation of Hatha Yoga (forceful yoga) compendiums like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the development of Bhakti yoga as a major form of meditation and Tantra. [63], Richard Davidson has expressed the view that having a narrative can help maintenance of daily practice. One proposal is that transcendental meditation and possibly other techniques be grouped as an "automatic self-transcending" set of techniques. (This same result is presented in Table B1 in Ospina, Bond, et al., 2007, p. 281), This does not mean that all meditation seeks to take a person beyond. [132], Low-quality evidence indicates that meditation may help with irritable bowel syndrome,[130] insomnia,[130] cognitive decline in the elderly,[133] and post-traumatic stress disorder. [48] Research shows improvement in meditation time with simple oral and video training. Many of these emphasize the role of attention[4][1][2][3] and characterize the practice of meditation as attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "discursive thinking"[note 1] or "logic"[note 2] mind[note 3] to achieve a deeper, more devout, or more relaxed state. In apaya vichāya, one contemplates on the incorrect insights one indulges, which eventually develops right insight. [104][105] In Aspects of Christian meditation, the Catholic Church warned of potential incompatibilities in mixing Christian and Eastern styles of meditation. Meditation is a mental technique to turn in towards your inner self and the present moment. Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. [11] Moreover, a 2015 study, including subjective and objective reports and brain scans, has shown that meditation can improve controlling attention, as well as self-awareness. [57][58][59] Most prayer beads and Christian rosaries consist of pearls or beads linked together by a thread. Salah is a mandatory act of devotion performed by Muslims five times per day. Judaism has made use of meditative practices for thousands of years. [102], According to Edmund P. Clowney, Christian meditation contrasts with Eastern forms of meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with depictions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings. All meditation has the benefit of reducing stress and increasing relaxation. Scholars have found meditation elusive to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them. In padāstha dhyāna one focuses on a mantra. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. [90] Another Hasidic system is the Habad method of "hisbonenus", related to the Sephirah of "Binah", Hebrew for understanding. There might be setbacks along the way but that’s part of meditating. [52] Some meditators find practice best in the hours before dawn. For other uses, see, Mental practice of focus on a particular object, thought or activity to improve one's mind, An influential definition by Shapiro (1982) states that ", Bond, Ospina et al. Some of the difficulty in precisely defining meditation has been in recognizing the particularities of the many various traditions;[27] and theories and practice can differ within a tradition. (1998). [42] Clear light yoga also aims at a state of no mental content, as does the no thought (wu nian) state taught by Huineng,[43] and the teaching of Yaoshan Weiyan. [44] Other typologies include dividing meditation into concentrative, generative, receptive and reflective practices. All these methods are being with one goal to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds. It is a journey from the complexity of mind to the simplicity of heart. [166] Concerns have been raised on the quality of meditation research,[11][167][168] including the particular characteristics of individuals who tend to participate. 2009: "Logic relaxation is defined by the authors as “not ‘to intend’ to analyzing (not trying to explain) the possible psychophysi"cal effects,” “not ‘to intend’ to judging (good, bad, right, wrong) the possible psychophysical [effects],” and “not ‘to intend’ to creating any type of expectation regarding the process.” (Cardoso et al., 2004, p. 59)". Regular meditation can help you to control your emotions, enhance your concentration, decrease stress, and even become more connected to those around you. More gray matter can lead to more positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability and … [23]:135, [...] It is plausible that meditation is best thought of as a natural category of techniques best captured by 'family resemblances' [...] or by the related 'prototype' model of concepts. [165], Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a subfield of neurological research. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward awakening and nirvana. Spiritual meditation. In vipaka vichāya, one reflects on the eight causes or basic types of karma. What exactly is to be seen varies within the Buddhist traditions. [141], Biofeedback has been used by many researchers since the 1950s in an effort to enter deeper states of mind. In popular usage, the word "meditation" and the phrase "meditative practice" are often used imprecisely to designate practices found across many cultures. The meditator learns to hear an interior voice, the voice of God”. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. It is through the release of the hindrances and ending of craving through the meditative development of insight that one gains liberation. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion. Jain meditation and spiritual practices system were referred to as salvation-path. Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. [152][153] Between the 10th and 14th centuries, hesychasm was developed, particularly on Mount Athos in Greece, and involves the repetition of the Jesus prayer. Other popular New Religious Movements include the Ramakrishna Mission, Vedanta Society, Divine Light Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Osho, Sahaja Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Oneness University, Brahma Kumaris and Vihangam Yoga. (2009) identified criteria for defining a practice as meditation "for use in a comprehensive systematic review of the therapeutic use of meditation", using "a 5-round Delphi study with a panel of 7 experts in meditation research" who were also trained in diverse but empirically highly studied (Eastern-derived or clinical) forms of meditation[note 4]: three main criteria [...] as essential to any meditation practice: the use of a defined technique, logic relaxation,[note 5] and a self-induced state/mode. Still seated position, and taking the soul to complete freedom kundalini yoga is a precise technique resting... School and what is meditation, the history of meditation practice of 20 minutes twice per day elements of Sufism it. A precise technique for resting the mind, similar to the meditative development insight. To encourage a heightened state of relaxation and self-improvement is also a consciousness-changing that... 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