Meditation can include virtually any practice that focuses your attention, instils calmness or compassion. A modern day definition of meditation is that it focuses your mind for a period of time, or that it is the act of paying attention to only one thing.
Today, there are many different types of meditation practised across the world. In many western cultures, various meditative practices have evolved to include: mindful breathing, mindfulness and progressive muscle relaxation, to help people deal with life and improve their cognitive capabilities. These various practises of meditation have many different connotations depending upon the reason for undertaking them.
Fundamentally, any meditation or meditative practice should include the use of a defined method or technique, which can be self-induced, and which leads to a state of calmness or relaxation. Additionally, meditation may include some aspects of: a state of mental silence, the use of visualisation and may involve some religious/spiritual/philosophical context.
Meditation across the World
Meditation or the phrase meditative practices are an extensive collection of broadly similar practices, or sets of practices which are found across many cultures and traditions. Meditation has been practised since antiquity in most religious traditions and beliefs.
Due to the wide and very diverse natures of meditation, any definition or description of meditation needs to recognise the particularities of the many various traditions. Even within a given tradition, there can be wide variations in the practice of meditation itself. Most techniques of meditation do not exist as solitary techniques, but are often part of a more extensive system of practices and beliefs.
Taoist or Daoist meditation has a long history. Over time, it has developed various techniques, including concentration, visualisation, qi cultivation, contemplation, and mindfulness meditations.
The earliest clear references to meditation in Hindu literature refers to meditation as having become calm and concentrated, and one perceives the self within oneself.
In Sikhism, meditation and good deeds are both necessary to achieve one’s spiritual goals, as without good deeds, meditation is considered futile.
In Jainism, many meditations involve mantras or breathing exercises which strengthen the vital energy which balances the functioning of the endocrine system and the body.
Likewise, in Judaism, meditative practices date back thousands of years. In the Old Testament, there are two Hebrew words for meditation. Kabbalah is a meditative field of study derived from many of the old teachings.
Numerous Islamic traditions place emphasis upon a meditative procedure which comes from the cognitive aspect of concentration.
In Christian customs, meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts and reflecting on their meaning. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari, which means to concentrate.
Buddhist meditation techniques have become increasingly popular in the wider world. Through the meditative development of serenity, one is able to weaken the obscuring hindrances and bring the mind to develop insight and wisdom. There is considerable homogeneity across meditative practices across the various traditions, but in other areas, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration.
Modern Meditation and Mindfulness
What is termed New Age meditations are typically influenced by Eastern philosophy, yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism; combined with some aspects of Western influence. New Age meditation had its roots in the 1960s as practised by hippies. The aim being, to blank out the mind and releasing oneself from conscious thinking. These techniques often relied upon the aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object. From these roots, New Age meditation has evolved into a range of various techniques. The primary purpose is to bring serenity and balance, allowing access to other realms of consciousness.
Over recent decades, mindfulness programs have burst onto the scene, with the key tenant of living in the moment with non-judgmental awareness. Several methods can be used by participants during a time set aside specifically for mindfulness meditation. Such techniques include: the body scan techniques, being aware of the taste and texture of the food that we eat, mindful breathing or letting thought arise and pass.
Life Force Meditation
In the simplest form, meditation can be stated as being at one. Through learning to bring quietness to your mind and silencing the endless noise of your thoughts, emotions and feelings, gradually the essence of your true self, the Life Force, begins to emerge.
Life Force meditation, in its simple and purest form, is all-encompassing harmlessness to be at one with yourself. This practice requires that you bring all of your own energies (your Life Force energies as well as your thoughts and emotions) into a state of balance and harmony.
The light of your Life Force, the true self within all people, is hidden behind barriers of material thoughts, emotions and feelings which have been built up by your mind and persona. Through an open, peaceful and quiet mind, this light of your Life Force can be awakened through various Life Force meditation techniques.
An important part of Life Force meditation is to leverage your active intellect to bring about a quietness and calmness of your mind. This is an important and often overlooked step upon the pathway, which must be understood. You must learn to bring a calmness and quietness to your mind, otherwise, as the energies of your Life Force awakens, these energies can feed the rampant and uncontrolled thoughts and emotions of your passive intellect.
As you continue to work with the energies of your Life Force, the light of your Life Force shines progressively more into your mind. As you balance and harmonise with the energies of your Life Force, then gradually your Life Force mind will begin to awaken, asserting control over your mental mind and passive intellect. Then a more complete state of Life Force meditation can be realised, freeing you from the emotional rollercoaster of life.
Life Force meditation enlivens the Life Force with a dedicated purpose of thought, allowing you to surpass typical meditation states, and positive thinking, all of which are limited to the mental mind.
More Mindful information
Mindful - the mindful starter page.
Meditation - surpass typical meditation states and positive thinking.
Mindfulness - focus your true intentions.
Your Endeavours - exceed your mindfulness endeavours.
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