Meditation belongs to the family of practices which involves training the mind or self-induced a frame of consciousness to achieve a certain kind of self-preservation, inner peace or fulfillment. Since it involves introspection, it tries to eliminate any forms of external involvement, except with the use of prayer beads. Oftentimes, this practice aims to invoke or cultivate an inner state of positivism such as compassion or attending to a particular focal point like one’s breath or recitation of mantra. This way, the mind can achieve inner peace, away from stimulations of the physical environment and the whispers of the psychological self. As such, the mind is given time to focus on realization such as those achieved in forming closer ties with a deity.
The practice of meditation has existed long time ago even before the rise of formal religions. It is a component of old rituals often focused on attaining calmness and enlightenment. The word is derived from the Latin root meditatum which means to ponder. It also has a Sanskrit translation, dhyai which means to contemplate or meditate. The real root of the word is difficult to trace since many cultures have used it to stay close with their Supreme Being. There was even an account of primitive people verbalizing rhythmic chants to appease the Gods. Truly, people meditate in several forms for several reasons.
Aside from the religious aspect of this act, secular and more modern cultures begin to use contemplation as a form of therapy against stress, depression or anxiety. With scientific methods, many researches have proven dramatic changes in metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation and other physiological processes. But up to the present age, the real mechanism that goes on in one’s brain that causes all the positive effects remain unclear and even unknown.
With the growth of many nations and religions, meditation continues to be redefined and revolutionized either as a piece of religious bridge to a God or as a pill that cures bodily discomforts. Whatever the purpose or form one may choose, one thing is very important- to keep the mind open and relaxed so the body can feel the same way too.
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Digging Through the Roots of Mind-Body Training.
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