There might just be as many answers to the question, “What is meditation?” as there are meditators. They run the gamut from simple concentration to bigger notions like a way of healing or even a way of life. There are plenty of different kinds of meditation, too. There’s Zen and Vipassana; there’s guided meditations and walking meditations, there’s Transcendental meditation (TM) and for some, even prayer.
Here at FinerMinds, we thought it would be fun to see just how many answers we could find to the question, “What is meditation?” – then pass these answers on to you. Well, after google gave us almost 8 million results, we figured we’d better narrow it down. So here’s a handful of some of our favorites.
What is Meditation? (Wikipedia):
Good ole wikipedia calls meditation a “holistic discipline” used by people to “get beyond the reflexive, ‘thinking’ mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.”
What is Meditation? (Princeton University’s WordNet.com):
Here’s a more erudite answer from the Ivy leagues: “a continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature.”
What is Meditation? (Project-Meditation.org):
The folks at Project Meditation say meditation can include a number of practices, but they all share the basic principle of “consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination.”
What is Meditation? (MeditationSociety.com):
The Meditation Society says that achieving a state of meditation is a three-step process. Starting in the ‘normal’ or waking mind, you think about those ‘normal’ things like work, family, money and food. Then you move into the concentrating mind, when your thoughts go back and forth between focusing on a single thing and distraction from that single thing. Finally, you move into the meditating mind, when you’re able to focus entirely on a single thing.
What is Meditation? (HealthandYoga.com):
“Whatever you do with awareness is meditation,” say the experts and Health and Yoga. They disagree with the idea that prayer is meditation, saying very simply that “Meditation means awareness.” This means any form of awareness like listening to birds, concentrating on movements or ‘watching’ your breath would fall under the category of meditation, but with one condition: “as long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind.”
So what’s your definition of meditation? Leave us a comment and let us know.