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05 January 2009

What is meditation

In the field of metaphysics, meditation has been the preferred tool since the beginning of time. Contemplation over the principles of reality transcending those of any particular science, eventually led to higher levels of awareness. Subsequently, mystics created religions and agnostics created philosophies in their quest for answering the basic questions: what is reality and how do I relate to it?.

The focus of these pages is on meditation from the mystical perspective without religious agenda though. Because meditation transcends religions. Or otherwise, it is part of any known religion: Buddhism has meditation at its core, similarly for Hinduism yoga, Christian rosary prayer, Jewish Kabbalah, and Muslim Tafakkur (Tadabbur), Chinese Taoism and the Japanese Zen, to name a few.

For the more scientifically inclined check Brainwave meditation.

The ultimate goal of classical meditation is enlightenment. Leave aside enlightenment, you have less esoteric benefits that translate in better health for mind and body as substantiated by scientifically research conducted by serious institutions. This is the reason, meditation gains more and more popularity. From Fortune 500 businessmen to sport and film celebrities, more and more people embrace meditation as an alternative to drugs or delusional entertainment (Ref. Fortune 500).

Meditation can be classified as concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation.

The practice of concentration meditation involves focusing on a single object. Breath, a phrase (mantra), a movement pattern, all qualify as objects of focus. When thoughts or emotions divert the focus of attention, the meditator gently redirects the mind back to the original object of concentration.

In the mindfulness meditation the attention is focused on awareness: thoughts, feelings, sensations as they arise in every moment. The goal is to quiet the mind.

Most of the meditation techniques involve both concentration and mindfulness meditations. The meditation techniques mentioned on these pages, qualify as the most efficient, in our experience.

The most popular meditation technique for westerners is Transcendental Meditation (TM). It involves sitting, eyes closed for twenty minutes, twice a day, focused on a mantra.

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