The definition of meditation according to your everyday dictionary is this:
A discourse intended to express it’s author’s reflections or to guide in contemplation.
A devotional exercise leading to contemplation.
“Wait, a minute you said this was going to be an easy definition.” Don’t worry, I just thought you’d like to see what the dictionary’s definition is, but alas, I have put together my own meditation definition that is easy to follow and understand.
Meditation is a practice used to relax the body and calm the mind. The purpose of meditation is to reach a state of extreme relaxation and concentration. The ideal state is when the body is at rest and the mind is quieted of idle chatter or thoughts.
The idea behind meditating is to reach a higher spiritual level and to engage the mind in higher thinking practices. The way we do this is by quieting the mind, which is exactly what meditation aims to do.
Though most meditation practices come from religious origins, you do not need to be religious to experience the benefits of meditation. As a matter of fact, meditation itself need not be religious or spiritual at all. Though I must admit, it is in fact a spiritual experience for me personally.
“O.K., so meditation is relaxing and quieting the mind, but how exactly do I do that?”
There are many forms of meditation and many types of meditation in practice today. There is no way I could explain them all here on this page, however, there are a few basics that I can pass on to you that will give you some idea of what mediation is.
The simplest of meditation techniques is sitting with a straight back to allow your breathing to be even and relaxed. Some people prefer to sit on the floor with legs crossed, others prefer to sit in a chair with feet flat against the floor. The choice is yours.
Once you have found a quiet relaxing place to sit, it is time to quiet the mind. There are many ways to achieve this. Some people use mantras, others use positive phrases they wish to focus upon, some use a single object to focus on, such as a candle, others use an activity to focus on such as walking, I personally use my breathing as a focal point. The choice, again, is yours. You have to find what works for you. Read also How to meditate for beginners for step by step instructions on how to meditate, also found on this site.
“So, meditation is the act of quieting the mind and relaxing the body. It’s origin is religious but, I don’t have to be religious to benefit from it. To meditate I need only to sit in a quite place in a comfortable manner and choose something to focus on so that I can quite my mind.”
“O.K., but I have one more question!” “How long does it take to meditate?”
Good question. Yet, there is no straightforward answer. There are the ever popular quick meditation techniques, the minute meditations, the 5 minute meditations and then there are the meditations that have no time limits. The answer is… It’s up to you. You should try several different methods and discover what is right for you.
I hope this answers your question of “what is the definition of meditation.”
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