History of Meditation

Meditation History

Meditation has been a part of human life from the very beginning of our culture. It has been key to mind-body harmony, mental discipline, and peak personal performance.

There are almost as many ways to meditate as there are human beings on the planet. Gautama Buddha alone taught more than 30,000 types of meditation. There have been countless other teachers, sages, masters, and prophets of various sorts who, over the last several thousand years, have practiced and passed on methods that are key to accessing the better part of the self — the innately divine and truthful part of the personality.

Simple Meditation

One of the simplest forms of meditation is mindfulness meditation. This meditation practice involves becoming aware of your thoughts, body sensations, and surroundings without projecting any judgment or resistance. During the practice, you focus on your breathing and relax each muscle in your body. You can be in any position that is comfortable to you. If thoughts, sensations, or noises arise, let them. They will pass and dissolve.

The Benefits

Meditation relaxes the mind and switches the body into the parasympathetic state. This state is essential for repairing the body, activating the immune system, and improving digestion. [1] Research shows that meditation may also support normal blood sugar and reduce the risk of respiratory infections. [2] [3] Benefits of meditation extend beyond health; in fact, many people use meditation in order to clear their minds and tackle projects that require conscious awareness and lucid thinking.

There are executives who meditate to help them maintain professional objectivity, and professional athletes who practice concentration and visualization to maximize their performance. [4] There are Christians, Muslims, and Jews who incorporate some form of meditation into their prayers. There are also people with no religion at all who meditate to control their minds.

Many in today’s Consciousness Movement believe that daily meditation is essential to spiritual awakening. These groups also teach, in one way or another, that the linear thinking of the ego must become subordinated to a higher awareness that will allow the true self to be finally discovered and expressed. Persons who subscribe to this point of view may even go so far to say that the true destiny of the individual cannot be fulfilled unless this deeper level of awareness is consistently accessed and integrated into one’s daily behavior. Regardless of our spiritual beliefs, psychological knowledge, or social inclinations, anyone who wants to improve the quality of their life can use meditation to tap into the best part of themselves and allow it to emerge in their daily activities and relationships.

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