In this post I’ll explain all you need to know about mediation including exactly what it is, the various types of mediation available, some of the benefits as well as a brief history.
What Is Mediation?
According to The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, which is known to be the oldest text on yoga, mediation is described as the progressing quietening of the mind until it reaches its source in pure silence.
Mediation In More Detail
Meditation involves techniques used to train the mind in order to develop a heightened state of awareness, concentration and clarity, which ultimately cultivates a more positive way of being.
By practising meditation, we are able to learn the patterns and habits of our minds through observing our thoughts, which in turn enables us to create new, more positive ways of being.
With our lives becoming more and more busy, turning inwards via the practice of meditation is becoming increasingly important to promote inner peace. In fact, there can be made a great case that meditative practices should be part of every healthcare system.
The Various Types Of Meditations
There are various types of meditation practices, some of the most common of which include:
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Guided meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
Benefits Of Meditation
Research has shown that the practice of meditation can have both psychological and even physiological effects. Here are just a handful:
- Reduces stress
- Controls Anxiety
- Increases self-awareness
- Increases memory
- Increases attention span
- Improves emotional well-being
- Generates kindness and compassion
Brief History Of Mediation
The exact date of the origin of mediation is unknown, however some of the earliest written records of meditation, which stem from the teachings of Vedas in ancient India, are believed to go back over 3,500 years.
One of the most famous scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita, that discusses the philosophy of mediation and yoga, was written around 1,800 years ago (around 200 CE).
Fast forward to the 18th century, translations of the ancient teachings began to reach the Western world.
Over 200 years later, 8th August 2014 to be precise, the largest meditation gathering ever took place with over 140,000 from all over the world taking part.
Meditation involves the use of techniques that are designed to heighten attention and self-awareness to encourage mental clarity.
The practice of meditation has been proven to have a wide range of benefits on our psychological and all-round state of well-being.