He clearly advocated ways to increase the conscious awareness of an individual. Learn how to use meditation to transform your mind. , Practices using both methods include vipassana (which uses anapanasati as a preparation), and samatha (calm-abiding)..  Studies demonstrate that meditation has a moderate effect to reduce pain. The practitioner meditates deeply on subtle facts. The word meditation itself means to think deeply or carefully about something. Simoons, Frederick J. There is considerable homogeneity across meditative practices – such as breath meditation and various recollections (anussati) – across Buddhist schools, as well as significant diversity.  Other typologies include dividing meditation into concentrative, generative, receptive and reflective practices. Routledge 2007, p. 51. Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. , This article is about the induction of specific modes or states of consciousness. Definition Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. :2 , According to Edmund P. Clowney, Christian meditation contrasts with Eastern forms of meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with depictions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings. Meditation is a state where only consciousness remains. For other uses, see, Mental practice of focus on a particular object, thought or activity to improve one's mind, An influential definition by Shapiro (1982) states that ", Bond, Ospina et al. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion. " A 2014 review found that practice of mindfulness meditation for two to six months by people undergoing long-term psychiatric or medical therapy could produce small improvements in anxiety, pain, or depression. READ NEXT: How to start a morning meditation practice. Meditation for Stress Reduction. In this guide, the process and the fruit of meditation practice is understood as Natural Presence. It is a gentle, subtle method which does not require any force or pressure on the mind. Univ of Wisconsin Press.  In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement that meditation may be a reasonable adjunct practice to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, with the qualification that meditation needs to be better defined in higher-quality clinical research of these disorders.  There is insufficient evidence for any effect of meditation on positive mood, attention, eating habits, sleep, or body weight.  In Norway, another sound-based method called Acem Meditation developed a psychology of meditation and has been the subject of several scientific studies. There is a rich tradition of Mantra in Jainism. Monaghan, Patricia and Eleanor G. Viereck.  Wilson translates the most famous Vedic mantra "Gayatri" as: "We meditate on that desirable light of the divine Savitri, who influences our pious rites" (Rigveda : Mandala-3, Sukta-62, Rcha-10). There is also quite a variance when it comes to materials used for beads. I am using the word meditation in this sense.  The Roman Catholic rosary is a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Traditional Daoist meditative practices were influenced by Chinese Buddhism from around the 5th century, and influenced Traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese martial arts. Sign up for Headspace for free, and start reaping the benefits of meditation today. The modernized concept of mindfulness (based on the Buddhist term sati) and related meditative practices have in turn led to mindfulness based therapies. There are many schools and styles of meditation within Hinduism.  Research shows improvement in meditation time with simple oral and video training. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward awakening and nirvana.  Interactions with Indians or the Sufis may have influenced the Eastern Christian meditation approach to hesychasm, but this can not be proved. In the Theravāda tradition, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration, while in the Tibetan tradition there are thousands of visualization meditations. Meditation can also reduce the areas of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure. More gray matter can lead to more positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability and … Guan 觀 (lit.  During the Nineteen Day Fast, a period of the year during which Baháʼís adhere to a sunrise-to-sunset fast, they meditate and pray to reinvigorate their spiritual forces. :135, [...] It is plausible that meditation is best thought of as a natural category of techniques best captured by 'family resemblances' [...] or by the related 'prototype' model of concepts. All these methods are being with one goal to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds. Mantra chanting is an important part of daily lives of Jain monks and followers.  Clear light yoga also aims at a state of no mental content, as does the no thought (wu nian) state taught by Huineng, and the teaching of Yaoshan Weiyan.  By the 12th century, the practice of Sufism included specific meditative techniques, and its followers practiced breathing controls and the repetition of holy words. Meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. from God. He also encouraged people to reflect on one's actions and worth at the end of each day.  While prayer and meditation are linked, where meditation happens generally in a prayerful attitude, prayer is seen specifically as turning toward God, and meditation is seen as a communion with one's self where one focuses on the divine. The spread of Buddhist meditation to the Western world paralleled the spread of Buddhism in the West. Buddhist meditation refers to the meditative practices associated with the religion and philosophy of Buddhism. In 1971, Claudio Naranjo noted that "The word 'meditation' has been used to designate a variety of practices that differ enough from one another so that we may find trouble in defining what meditation is. ":143 For instance, while monks meditate as part of their everyday lives, they also engage the codified rules and live together in monasteries in specific cultural settings that go along with their meditative practices.