BOARD WITH CODE "BOARD30" & FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS! Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an But many meditation techniques exist — so how do you learn how to meditate?. Just be sure to read the Meditation for Beginners page, as well as other pages on this website for a much more in-depth look into all these questions. Meditation is simply the practice of focusing your attention on a particular object — generally something simple, like a word or phrase, a candle flame or.
New York: Harmony Books. Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. Through the meditative development of serenity, one is able to weaken the obscuring hindrances and bring the mind to a collected, pliant and still state samadhi.
BOARD WITH CODE "BOARD30" & FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS! Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an But many meditation techniques exist — so how do you learn how to meditate?. Just be sure to read the Meditation for Beginners page, as well as other pages on this website for a much more in-depth look into all these questions.
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique — such as mindfulness , or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity — to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Some of the earliest written records of meditation Dhyana , come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism.
Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs, often as part of the path towards enlightenment and self realization. Since the 19th century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures where it is commonly practiced in private and business life.
Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception,  self-concept , and well-being. The English meditation is derived from Old French meditacioun , in turn from Latin meditatio from a verb meditari , meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".
In the West, meditation techniques have sometimes been thought of in two broad categories: focused or concentrative meditation and open monitoring or mindfulness meditation. One style, Focused Attention FA meditation, entails the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object, breathing, image, or words.
The other style, Open Monitoring OM meditation, involves non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment. Direction of mental attention A practitioner can focus intensively on one particular object so-called concentrative meditation , on all mental events that enter the field of awareness so-called mindfulness meditation , or both specific focal points and the field of awareness.
Open monitoring methods include mindfulness , shikantaza and other awareness states. Practices using both methods    include vipassana which uses anapanasati as a preparation , and samatha calm-abiding. In "No thought" methods, " the practitioner is fully alert, aware, and in control of their faculties but does not experience any unwanted thought activity.
One proposal is that transcendental meditation and possibly other techniques be grouped as an 'automatic self-transcending' set of techniques. The transcendental meditation technique recommends practice of 20 minutes twice per day. Asanas and positions such as the full-lotus , half-lotus , Burmese , Seiza , and kneeling positions are popular in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism,  although other postures such as sitting, supine lying , and standing are also used.
Meditation is also sometimes done while walking, known as kinhin , or while doing a simple task mindfully, known as samu. Some religions have traditions of using prayer beads as tools in devotional meditation. The Hindu japa mala has beads the figure in itself having spiritual significance, as well as those used in Jainism and Buddhist prayer beads. The Buddhist literature has many stories of Enlightenment being attained through disciples being struck by their masters.
According to T. Griffith Foulk professor of Religion at Sarah Lawrence College the encouragement stick was an integral part of the Zen practice:. In the Rinzai monastery where I trained in the mids, 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.
Nobody asked about the 'meaning' of the stick, nobody explained, and nobody ever complained about its use. Richard Davidson has expressed the view that having a narrative can help maintenance of daily practice. There are many schools and styles of meditation within Hinduism.
In Advaita Vedanta this is equated with the omnipresent and non-dual Brahman. In the dualistic Yoga school and Samkhya , the Self is called Purusha , a pure consciousness separate from matter. Depending on the tradition, the liberative event is named moksha , vimukti or kaivalya. The earliest clear references to meditation in Hindu literature are in the middle Upanishads and the Mahabharata including the Bhagavad Gita.
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. Jain meditation and spiritual practices system were referred to as salvation-path. It has three parts called the Ratnatraya "Three Jewels": right perception and faith, right knowledge and right conduct.
The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer Gyata-Drashta. Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana. There is a rich tradition of Mantra in Jainism. All Jain followers irrespective of their sect, whether Digambara or Svetambara , practice mantra.
Mantra chanting is an important part of daily lives of Jain monks and followers. Mantra chanting can be done either loudly or silently in mind. Contemplation is a very old and important meditation technique. The practitioner meditates deeply on subtle facts.
Buddhist meditation refers to the meditative practices associated with the religion and philosophy of Buddhism. Core meditation techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward awakening and nirvana. Buddhist meditation techniques have become popular in the wider world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up.
According to the Theravada and Sarvastivada commentatorial traditions, and the Tibetan tradition,  the Buddha identified two paramount mental qualities that arise from wholesome meditative practice:. Through the meditative development of serenity, one is able to weaken the obscuring hindrances and bring the mind to a collected, pliant and still state samadhi.
What exactly is to be seen varies within the Buddhist traditions. When this happens, one develops dispassion viraga for all phenomena, including all negative qualities and hindrances and lets them go. It is through the release of the hindrances and ending of craving through the meditative development of insight that one gains liberation.
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. The spread of Buddhist meditation to the Western world paralleled the spread of Buddhism in the West. In Sikhism , simran meditation and good deeds are both necessary to achieve the devotee's Spiritual goals;  without good deeds meditation is futile.
When Sikhs meditate, they aim to feel God 's presence and immerge in the divine light. Taoist meditation has developed techniques including concentration, visualization, qi cultivation, contemplation, and mindfulness meditations in its long history. Traditional Daoist meditative practices were influenced by Chinese Buddhism from around the 5th century, and influenced Traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese martial arts.
Livia Kohn distinguishes three basic types of Taoist meditation: "concentrative", "insight", and "visualization". 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. This is called "revolving the vital breath": Your thoughts and deeds seem heavenly.
The c. Confucius asked his disciple Yan Hui to explain what "sit and forget" means: "I slough off my limbs and trunk, dim my intelligence, depart from my form, leave knowledge behind, and become identical with the Transformational Thoroughfare.
Taoist meditation practices are central to Chinese martial arts and some Japanese martial arts , especially the qi -related neijia "internal martial arts". Some well-known examples are daoyin "guiding and pulling", qigong "life-energy exercises", neigong "internal exercises", neidan "internal alchemy", and taijiquan "great ultimate boxing", which is thought of as moving meditation.
One common explanation contrasts "movement in stillness" referring to energetic visualization of qi circulation in qigong and zuochan "seated meditation",  versus "stillness in movement" referring to a state of meditative calm in taijiquan forms.
Judaism has made use of meditative practices for thousands of years. Classical Jewish texts espouse a wide range of meditative practices, often associated with the cultivation of Kavanah or intention. 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 Other early rabbinic texts include instructions for visualizing the Divine Presence B.
Talmud Sanhedrin 22a and breathing with conscious gratitude for every breath Genesis Rabba Some meditative traditions have been encouraged in Kabbalah , and some Jews have described Kabbalah as an inherently meditative field of study. Meditation has been of interest to a wide variety of modern Jews.
The Musar Movement , founded by Rabbi Israel Salanter in the middle of the nineteenth-century, emphasized meditative practices of introspection and visualization that could help to improve moral character. 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.
Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts e. The Rosary is a devotion for the meditation of the mysteries of Jesus and Mary. The first principle is that meditation is learned through practice. Many people who practice rosary meditation begin very simply and gradually develop a more sophisticated meditation.
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. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion. Salah is a mandatory act of devotion performed by Muslims five times per day.
The body goes through sets of different postures, as the mind attains a level of concentration called khushu. A second optional type of meditation, called dhikr , meaning remembering and mentioning God, is interpreted in different meditative techniques in Sufism or Islamic mysticism. It is juxtaposed with fikr thinking which leads to knowledge. Sufism uses a meditative procedure like Buddhist concentration , involving high-intensity and sharply focused introspection.
In the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi Sufi order, for example, muraqaba takes the form of tamarkoz, "concentration" in Persian. 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.
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. Muslim teachings embrace life as a test of one's submission to God. He also encouraged people to reflect on one's actions and worth at the end of each day.
Movements which use magic, such as Wicca , Thelema , Neopaganism , and occultism , often require their adherents to meditate as a preliminary to the magical work. 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.
Meditation practice in these religions usually revolves around visualization, absorbing energy from the universe or higher self, directing one's internal energy, and inducing various trance states. Meditation and magic practice often overlap in these religions as meditation is often seen as merely a stepping stone to supernatural power, and the meditation sessions may be peppered with various chants and spells.
New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, yoga , Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence. In the West, meditation found its mainstream roots through the social revolution of the s and s , when many of the youth of the day rebelled against traditional religion as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity to provide spiritual and ethical guidance.
This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object. The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that "Meditation may be practiced for many reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological balance, to cope with illness, or to enhance overall health and well-being.