Meditation is considered to be one of the oldest forms of mental, spiritual, health and wellness practices in existence. Sometimes, meditation is described as reaching a higher state of consciousness. It can also be described as the process of quieting the mind. Thus, many people use it as an essential tool for stress reduction and mental peace. Keep reading to find out exactly what meditation is; the history of meditation and the benefits of meditation. The information will help you to appreciate the value of meditation as a strong tool in solving life’s problems that medical and materialism cannot solve.
Exactly what is Meditation?
The dictionary defines meditation as “continued or extended thought, reflection and contemplation. It is an experience of creating a positive and peaceful state of mind. By practicing this regularly, the person who meditates gains a wonderful sense of the self.
Meditation can also be regarded as a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. At the core of meditation is the goal to focus and eventually quiet your mind. You may notice that you feel calmer, happier, and sharper on days when you have meditated, and notice a decrease in these qualities when you have not. There are many different types of meditation. Many people prefer a meditation method that is in tune with their religion. Now that you know exactly what meditation is, let’s find out the history.
What is the History of Meditation?
The history of meditation has evolved over thousands of years, into a structured practice that people use daily. Researchers speculate that primitive hunter-gatherer societies may have discovered meditation and its altered states of consciousness while staring at the flames of their fires. The history of meditation is inherently intertwined with the religious context within which it was practiced.
There has been proof found in Indian artifacts of the history of meditation called, “Tantra,” that speaks of such practices, dating back 5000 years. Some of the earliest written records of meditation (Dhyana), date to 1500 BC in Hindu Vedantism. Around 500-600 BC Taoists in China and Buddhists in India began to develop styles of meditation.
Buddhist and Hindu based Eastern types of meditation practices are still the most popular today. From then on, several meditation techniques were developed and began to spread across its continent of origin – Asia.
Meditation finally started to gain popularity in the West in the mid-20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, many professors and researchers began testing the effects of meditation and learned about its varied benefits. That was also the period when many variations of meditation spread across the globe. The spread was largely due to the physical benefits and mental benefits.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation is widespread and extremely popular, partly because of its religious background and partly because of the benefits. These benefits can be generally grouped into three types. They are health benefits, psychological benefits and spiritual benefits. Many people know that our spirit and mind are linked together. Once your spirit is sick, your body will be sick. Meditation is powerful because it does not only heal one aspect of your body, but it heals the three aspects. It is a mistake to expect all these benefits in the first few attempts of mediation because the mind takes time to adjust. Apart from helping to keep you physically healthy, meditation helps you control your thoughts and discover your purpose in life.
You have seen that meditation is really powerful and it is important for our well being. Anyone, no matter their class or status should take meditation seriously. The history proves that it has come a long way. As a result of the benefits, everyone should learn to meditate regularly.