What is meditation and how would you define it?
What is the purpose of meditation?
I am sure that you have heard a lot about meditation, and maybe you practice it, but what is meditation? How would you define it?
What Is Meditation – Definitions
Here are a few meditation definitions:
- Meditation is a technique for calming down the nonstop activity of the mind and experiencing inner peace.
- It is a technique for freeing your mind from constantly nagging thoughts and worries, and quieting the chatter of your mind.
- Meditation is a technique for relaxing the body and reducing stress and anxiety.
- It helps you go deep within you and experience a sense of higher awareness.
- It is a way to sharpen your mind and your focus.
- Meditation is a mental and spiritual practice.
- Meditation is a path to spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
People who do not know what is meditation have all kinds of questions about it, such as:
- Is meditation suitable only for people living a certain lifestyle?
- Do you need to live in an ashram in order to practice it?
- Do you need to wear certain attire or belong a certain religion?
- Can a busy person practice meditation?
Below, you will find answers to these questions and more meditation definitions.
What Is the Purpose and Meaning of Meditation
1. Meditation is a technique for relaxing the body, calming down the restlessness of the mind, releasing stress and worries, and gaining calmness and inner happiness. Its practice leads to peace of mind and to higher awareness and understanding yourself, your life and the world.
2. Meditation is a state of focused attention, and usually involves turning the attention inwards, away from the external world. In its higher form, its aim is to empty the mind of thoughts and enjoy inner peace, calmness and bliss.
3. Meditation is an inner activity, and does not require making changes in your external life in order to practice it. You also do not need to follow any particular religion, be a member of a certain group, wear special clothes, or lead a certain lifestyle.
4. Meditation is a way of life. It is more than just a technique that you may practice once or twice a day. Its effects go beyond the time you sit down to meditate, and affect your whole day. Gradually, peace, happiness and clarity of vision and thinking will become habitual.
5. Constant practice of meditation transforms one’s consciousness and can lead to spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
6. It is a way to expand your awareness beyond the ego and become aware of your Inner Self and your Oneness with the Universe.
Is Meditation Suitable for Everyone?
Meditation is suitable for everyone, young and old, no matter where they live and what they do. You can live in bustling city or in a quiet village. You do not have to belong to certain religion and you do not need to live in an ashram.
Some people, who do not know what meditation is, regard it as an excuse to be lazy or run away from duties and responsibilities. They believe that it is an impracticable and useless activity. This concept is utterly wrong and shows ignorance of what meditation really is.
Meditation requires dedication, motivation and some mental effort. A lazy person who do not want to spend any effort will probably not seek to learn about it and practice it.
Practicing meditation is a most useful and rewarding activity. It sharpens your mind, expands the mind, and makes you more efficient and energetic.
Regular practice creates a state of inner peace and happiness, and remove stress, worries and restless thinking.
You don’t need to be a monk or a hermit or live in seclusion or in an ashram in order to practice meditation. You can continue living your usual life, have a job, a husband or wife and kids, and still practice meditation.
During meditation, the mind often wanders away, and the meditator has to be constantly vigilant, bringing the attention back, over and again. This of course, involves some effort in the beginning, but as you gain proficiency, less effort will be necessary.
There are many meditation techniques. Some involve visualization and others the repetition of a mantra. Some techniques require contemplating on a certain idea, and others require focusing the attention on the breath, a candle or on a certain shape. There are also meditation techniques that aim to silence the mind, so you become aware of the inner self within.
All the meditation techniques involve focusing the attention on a single subject, thought or activity, and not allowing it to wander away to other thoughts or anywhere else. You need to avoid paying attention to other things while meditating.
Don’t worry if you cannot focus, with practice, this skill gets better and sharper.
Meditation nowadays is becoming popular with all types of people, including people living a busy life. Scientific researches have been made, and there is medical evidence, proving that it reduces stress and has various health and mental benefits.
Some people think that to practice meditation you need to sit down on the floor with your feet crossed. Actually, this is not necessary at all. Most people, would find it easier and more comfortable to sit on a chair.
What can help you to improve your meditation?
Everyone can meditate. However, a certain degree of concentration ability, self-discipline, willpower and perseverance would be most helpful. These skills would make everything easier. You can develop these skills, and the articles and books on this website would teach you how. Even a small degree of these skills would be most helpful in your life.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
You might wonder what are the benefits of meditation and whether it is worth your time and efforts.
A regular practice of meditation leads to a positive mindset and to more calmness and happiness. You also gain the ability to deal calmly and effectively with problems and difficulties, and to handle more efficiently your daily tasks and daily affairs of life.
Another most important gain is the ability to slow down, and eventually, even stop the constant, and often useless, chatter of the mind.
If you could watch your mind, you would see that it is always moving from one thought to another. This could sometimes, be tiring, and it prevents you from focusing your mind. It also weakens your control over your mind and your attention.
Meditation improves your ability to control your mind, focus it, and calm it down.
When you learn to meditate, you free the mind of unnecessary distractions, unnecessary thinking, and nonstop chatter. This leads to tranquility, mental clarity and to a sense of bliss.
- Your mind becomes calm.
- You reduce the amount of endless chatter of your mind.
- You improve your focus.
- You better understand yourself, other people, and the world around you.
- You become a happier and more positive person.
- You reduce stress.
- You become a more efficient person.
- You become a more tolerant and understanding person.
- You gain clarity of mind.
- You grow spiritually.
- You gain clarity of thinking, insightful and an open mind.
Here are a few quotes that define meditation:
“Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness; by constant meditation it gains strength.”
– Sri Ramana Maharshi
“The inner experience of meditation can be had without any kind of forced discipline. The outer trappings – how one sits, breathes, dresses, and so forth – are irrelevant.”
– Deepak Chopra
“Plant the seed of meditation, and you will reap the fruit of peace of mind.”
– Remez Sasson
“Meditation is the gateway, through which you arrive to the world of inner freedom and bliss.”
– Remez Sasson
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