What is it?
Where does it come from?
How can we benefit?
Some Scientists believe that the evolution of man came about due to the process of reflective thought.
What is it that separates man from animals other than the ability to reason and reflect?
Humans have tremendous potential for reflection and concentration – meditation unlocks this. Clarifying the meaning of the word ‘meditation’ is not only an intellectual process but can be of practical benefit to the quality of life, empowering us with the confidence to practice & gain experience in our life.
The are many forms of Meditation although nowadays its often associated with the ‘New Age’ a training where individuals empty the mind through the use of Eastern mystical practices.
A common question that arises when someone starts to Meditate.
‘I cannot seem to empty my mind – why is this?’
My answer: ‘Who said that you needed to?’
From time to time I visit schools and talk about Meditation – I ask the students an opener:
‘If I say the word Meditation to you, what do you think of?’
Virtually every time somebody puts their hand up and says: ‘OMMMMM’ whilst simultaneously putting their fingers together on the knees.
Interesting eh? Even the young generation have this preconception passed down from their parents
It’s rare to have the opportunity to study Meditation from an objective viewpoint, by the time you meet someone who is teaching Meditation they have emotionally invested in a set of beliefs.
The general view of what Meditation is a sloppy one. This can prevent people from having the opportunity to practice. Why? Their image of what ‘meditation’ is does not fit with their life & their idea of who they are.
A conservative head teacher of a school will perhaps not see how meditation is of any benefit to them or their pupils. Their image of what they think Meditation obstructs.Where did that image come from?
Meditation is about the internal development of the mind. An inner journey.
How can this be measured? What’s the price of this process – its beyond price.
Its practice and relevance is perplexing if our whole life has been invested in the material world.
As I write this I can see a fisherman outside my window – he is sitting still, reflecting. There is no movement in his body the mind focused. They sit in silence; some don’t catch anything but they come each day to sit. Is this meditation? Some would say ‘yes.’ The main issue in casting judgement is we don’t know what he is doing with his mind. There maybe somebody who is sitting in the lotus appearing like they are meditating but in fact their mind is elsewhere. Just sitting like statue.
It’s easy to be drawn to the practice of meditation feeling that it will open our mind and potentially liberate us…nice.
Often Meditation techniques are taught within a framework or belief system. So for the Meditation to work then there needs to be an acceptance of the faith. So to begin our successful meditation practice we have to close our mind into a belief system – for some this is an immediate turn off.
The word ‘meditation’ comes from the Latin word meditr, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study and to practice.
It’s a misunderstanding to think that Meditation is simply a method to empty or disengage the mind.
Its common amongst Modern people to assume that Meditation comes from Buddhists – that in some way Buddha created Meditation.
Often those involved in a religious following believe that their leader created meditation and their prayer, meditation or reflection is in some way the most powerful.
Meditation, reflection and contemplation has been practiced for many thousands of years in all corners of the earth by people of every or no faith. Its practice is vast and extensive and if approached with care and attention can bring great peace into our life.
Article written by Adam Dacey