Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit, although it can be argued that meditation is a goal in and of itself.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports), which range from techniques designed to promote relaxation, contacting spiritual guides, building internal energy (chi, ki, prana, etc.), receiving psychic visions, getting closer to God, seeing past lives, taking astral journeys, and so forth, to more technical exercises targeted at developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and more far-reaching goals such as effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration, single-pointed analysis, and an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any and all of life's activities. Thus, it is essential to be specific about the type of meditation practice under investigation.

Failure to make such distinctions would be akin to the use of the word 'sport' to refer to all sports as if they were essentially the same. For example, the overly generic description of meditation as a mere relaxation technique becomes problematic when one attends to the details of many practices. In contrast, we should think about the term "Meditation" as referring to several neighborhoods of New Age practices, shamanistic lucid dreaming and astral journeying, theistic-concentration meditations (clinging to god, Gnosis), contemplation, visualization, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, chakra clearing, kundalini, breathing exercises, training of single-pointed attention, training in mindfulness, training in single-pointed analysis, vision questing, chi building exercises, and so on, developed for various ends."

Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. It may be done sitting, or in an active way, for instance Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of the training. Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state — such as anger, hatred, etc. — or cultivating particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term "meditation" can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice; the word meditation may carry different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs.

Read more about Meditation:  Etymology, History, Secular Meditation in The West, Modern Cross-cultural Dissemination, Western Context, Meditation, Religion, and Drugs, Physical Postures, Scientific Studies, Popular Culture

Other articles related to "meditation":

Meditation - Popular Culture
... Various forms of meditation have been described in popular culture sources ... Lost Horizon by James Hilton, and Stargate SG-1 have featured characters who practice one form of meditation or another ... Meditation also appears as overt themes in novels such as Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha ...
Shaykh Syed Mir Mirak Andrabi - Spiritual Training
... Shaykh Mirak Mir spent most of his time in meditation at a Khanqah in Srinagar, known as Khanqah-i-Andrabi ... Shaykh Syed Mir Mirak Andrabi spent most of his time in meditation at a Khanqah-i-Andrabi in Srinagar, besides spending 12 years meditating at Astarwun(Tral) and then remained in seclusion at Mohalla Naidyar for ... After spending 24 years in meditation, he came back and lived in a small room adjacent to Khankah-i-Andrabia, Malaratta, but preferred a simple life, far away from fame ...
1935 – 28 March 1994) was a self-realized master of meditation in the tradition of the ancient and modern yogis of India ... Tapas is the most advanced stage of meditation in which one remains absorbed for long periods in the non-dualistic state of consciousness known as samādhi ... extensively in India and Sri Lanka, initiating over ten million people into dhyana meditation ...
Samatha - Application
... As such, samatha meditation and concentration meditation are often considered synonymous ... In the Theravada tradition there are forty objects of meditation ... Some meditation practices such as contemplation of a kasina object favor the development of samatha, others such as contemplation of the aggregates are conducive to the development of ...
Luangpor Thong - Teachings
... A form of vipassana or insight meditation, Mahasati meditation uses movement of the body to generate self-awareness and is a powerful method for self-realization ... Mahasati Meditation is practiced throughout Asia and in the United States and is appropriate for anyone regardless of religion or nationality ... It is suitable for beginners or those with previous meditation experience ...

Famous quotes containing the word meditation:

    And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
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    And shaped his weapon with an edge severe,
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    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)

    The real meditation is ... the meditation on one’s identity. Ah, voilà une chose!! You try it. You try finding out why you’re you and not somebody else. And who in the blazes are you anyhow? Ah, voilà une chose!
    Ezra Pound (1885–1972)