What is meditation defined as?

  • The Cambridge Dictionary
    • “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed”
    • “serious thought or study, or the product of this activity”
  • Merriam-Webster
    • “a discourse intended to express its author’s reflections or to guide others in contemplation”
  • Medical Dictionary of TheFreeDictionary
    • “a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itselfin order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.”

My personal experience revolves around Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). It was founded by an MD out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School: Jon Kabat-Zinn. His endeavor was to develop a meditation without any religion in it. He wanted to maximize the medical effects without any dogma to go along with it. Yet, I found myself, through my 18 months of practicing this form of meditation, to develop my own, unique sense of the divine.

Without a doubt, wisdom I gained through this meditation technique was not too different from the advice of many spiritual and/or religious figures in history.

Meditation: FAST MEDITATION: Meditation Secrets of Patanjali, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Gurdjieff, Krishnamut

Bare Elements

    • Focus

       

      • *Just* observation
    • Guidance

       

        • Teacher
      • Self
    • Thousands of types

       

        • Mantras
        • One stimulus

           

          • e.g. a flame
        • Prayer
        • Witness air move in and out of body
      • Walking
  • Sesshin

     

      • Long-term
      • Endurance demanding
    • We will return to this…

People meditate for a whole host of reasons

    • Religion

       

        • Buddhism
        • Hinduism
      • Christianity
    • Culture

       

        • Martial Arts
      • Ancestral piety
  • Modern Research

     

    • Plethora of Benefits

       

        • Mind
        • Body
      • Spirit

Below is a sense of what modern research has found in various meditative practices

Sources: http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/cultures_world.html