In relations to the issues on human welfare and wellness, it is always important for people to take time and focus on themselves. Additionally, because human beings are religious, it is also essential for individuals to occasionally take time to focus on their relationship with the supreme beings who they believe in. To make proper and a perfect reflection of both self and God, it is essential to take the initiative to be in an environment that is conducive so as to focus properly. In addition, a person should be in a correct mental state to be able to carry out the process, otherwise known as meditation efficiently. Accordingly, the paper focuses on meditation, about its definition, history, its relationship to religion and the forms of meditation.
Definition of Meditation
Meditation can be well-defined as a practice where a person concentrates his/her mind on a certain object, thought or else activity with the intention of gaining specific results. The intention of meditation is to enable the individual to achieve a state of mental clearness and emotional calmness. Essentially, it is used for the sake of reducing stress, pain, anxiety, and depression. The positions that are employed during the act of meditation include seating, reciting and repeating a mantra, in addition to closing the eyes. Proper meditation must be done in a quiet and calm environment, away from destructions. The concept of meditation spread from the Asian culture in the 19th century. Consequently, it is currently practiced by a vast number of religions and cultures. Even though the factor of meditation was introduced by religious sects for the sake of religious practices, the benefits of meditation have made it get embraced even in the secular world.
The History of Meditation
The history of meditation is from a religious perspective. The earliest incidences of meditation that are recorded are found in the Hindu Vedas of India. There are also documented histories of other forms of meditations developing through other religions such as Confucianism and Taoism in China. Hinduism, Jainism and early Buddhism in Nepal and India also recorded factors of early mediation as early as the fourth and the fifth centuries. There are also aspects of first meditation documented in the western cultures, for instance, Philo of Alexandria wrote concerning what he referred to as a form of spiritual exercise that entailed attention and concentration in the year BCE 20. Additionally, by third century Plotinus developed meditative antiques. The Silk Road transmission Buddhism introduced meditation in the Asian countries, the first meditation hall being opened in Singapore in the year 653. The Muslims practiced dhikr, which involved the recitation of the 99 names of God from as early as the 8th century. Additionally, they also practiced the Sufism, which entailed specific meditation techniques, including controlling breathing and recitation of particular holy words. In Christianity, meditation evolved around the 12th century. Unlike the other forms of meditation, it does not involve the reciting of any sacred words. Instead, it is centered on reading the bible. The secular aspect of meditation that is focused on stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement was introduced to India and Australia in the 1950s and to America and Europe in the 1960s.
Religion and Meditation
The factor on religion relates to the connection that an individual has with the Supreme Being in whom they believe. For this relationship to occur, it is essential to stay in a calm environment to foster the spiritual transformation. For this reason, various religions are spread across the universe and rely on meditation as a spiritual practice. These beliefs depend on the effect brought about by meditation to be in the position to connect with the being who they believe in. In Jainism, for instance, meditation is considered to be the core religious practice of the faith, meditation is essential as it fosters enlightenment. The other region whose practice is deeply rooted in the aspect of meditations is Buddhism. In this religion, the core practices associated with mediation are preserved in the ancient Buddhism texts. In the faith, meditation is considered as part of awakening and nirvana. The subject of meditation is also present in the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. In all these beliefs, meditation is for the sake of fostering holiness and creating a connection with God. In Iranian religions, the issue of meditation meant to accompany prayer for spiritual development. Essentially the meditation in the Iranian faiths involves the reflection on the scriptures when praying. With regards to the religion, meditation is meant to foster and strengthen the understanding and knowledge that an individual has on the word of God.
The Forms of Meditation
The issue of meditation, though, meant to achieve a similar or almost similar objective, is entirely different to some degrees. The manner in which meditation is done defers significantly across cultures. Among the forms of meditations variations that are practiced in various cultures across the universe include the type of meditation whose primary focus is on the physical posture of the participant. Among the positions that are employed include, sitting, standing and supine. In some instances, a type of meditation referred to as kinhin while walking, or even the one referred to as samu, done while performing a simple task mindfully. The issue of the forms of meditation can also be viewed regarding mindfulness. In this situation, the controlling points of focus include topics such as the state of health, the mental condition, and even dieting. Mindfulness has been realized to be of importance to the bran, in addition to self-realization. Psychological silence is the third form of meditation. The critical factor regarding metal silence is that it is believed to be connected to some brain and brain wave activities. An example of this form of meditation includes yoga. Mental calm is considered to be in a position to help individuals to let go of negativity with regards to mental activities and be in a place to attain positive influence.
Meditation, which was initially introduced as a religious practice as early as the 5th century, has become a practice that is currently embraced even in the secular world. This is due to the benefits that have been associated with it, including that it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Even currently, meditation is still embraced by most of the religions of the world because it fosters better knowledge of God and creates the ability for a person to gain spiritual growth. There are different forms of meditation. These forms relate to how the meditation process is done. These types of meditation are with regards to the assumed postures, mental condition, and psychological silence.