When I started to get more information about meditation and where it all started, it was amazing what there is on information. Meditation is recognized as a component of almost all religions, and has been practiced for over 5,000 years. It happened in caves, monasteries and temples and there are many different kinds of meditations. Meditation is especially well known from the eastern and near east part of the world.
The most well known meditation is from Buddhism.
Meditation has always been central to Buddhism. The historical Buddha himself was said to have achieved enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree.
In Buddhism they know that meditation is the way to bring us back to ourselves. Where we can really experience and taste our full being, beyond all habitual patterns. In the stillness and silence of meditation, we return to that deep inner nature that we have so long ago lost sight of, amid the business and distraction of our minds.
“The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence you will need to live, and die, well. Meditation is the road to enlightenment.”
- Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan boon of Living and Dying.
Hinduism is the oldest religion that professes meditation as a spiritual and religious practice.
Evidence shows that the origin of meditation extends back to a time before recorded history. Archaeologists tell us the practice may have existed among the first Indian civilizations. Indian scriptures dating back 5000 years describe meditation techniques. From its ancient beginnings and over thousands of years,meditation has developed into a structured practice used today by millions of people worldwide of differing nationalities and religious beliefs.
The objective of meditation is to reach a calm state of mind.
They have different levels of meditation which give different states of mind. I will describe five: Ksipta, Mudha, Viksipta, Ekagra and Nirodha.
Ksipta – Defines a very agitated mind, unable to think, listen or remain quiet. It is jumping from one thought to another.
Mudha – No information seems to reach the brain; the person is absent minded.
Viksipta - A higher state where the mind receives information but is not able to process it. It moves from one thought to another, in a confused inner speech.
Ekagra - The state of a calm mind but not asleep. The person is focused and can pay attention.
Nirodha, - The mind is not disturbed by erratic thoughts; it is completely focused, as when you are meditating or totally centred in what you are doing. The ultimate end of meditation according to Patanjali is the destruction of primal ignorance, (avidya), and the realization of, and establishment in the essential nature of the Self.
To move to these different levels of meditation you need to practice, doing 15-20 minutes meditation daily will help you to move up the different levels quickly…
The various techniques of meditation can be classified according to their focus. Some focus on the field or background perception and experience, also called “mindfulness”. Others focus on a selected specific object, and are called “concentrative” meditation. There are also techniques that shift between the field and the object.
In mindfulness meditation, the person meditating sits comfortably and silently. They center attention by focusing awareness on an object or process; sometimes they make a sound like a mantra or ohm sound. Or they may do a visualization or affirmation.
Concentration meditation is used in most religions and spiritual practices. Whereas in mindfulness meditation there is an open focus, in concentration meditation the person meditating holds attention on a particular object (e.g., a repetitive prayer). All the while minimizing distractions; bringing the mind back to concentrate on the chosen object. In some traditions, mindfulness and concentration are combined.
Daily meditation has helped millions of people throughout more than 5000 years of history and today it can help you to live a more peaceful, happy and balanced life.
Have a wonderful day!