Meditation (from Lat. Meditatio – meditation) is a type of exercise training used for health purposes, to develop control over thoughts and emotions, or to enter into a particular religious and mental state of “mindfulness” (Pali: sati, Sanskrit: स्मृति , a traditional term; alternative translation – “awareness”).
Meditation is not a correct term, it became popular in the West, where advocates and promoters of Eastern methods of self-development (Swami Vivekananda, Sri Chinmoy and others), without further ado, borrowed the word from the lexicon of European Theosophical Society.
Thus, a tribute to the Western mentality was paid; this was done in order to make it easier to convey some things to the Western people.
Although the word “meditation” can be used, meaning a “middle” psychophysical state between sleep and wakefulness, but still did not accurately reflect the essence of the phenomenon. In addition, the psychophysical states that were practiced by the European Theosophists of the 19th century, was quite far from states that were practiced the Eastern masters.
The word “meditation” comes from the word “media,” which means “middle,” “medium.”
Thus, European theosophists and mystics have stressed the fact that in that state they communicate with entities from other worlds and them being guides between those worlds.
Later on, the Chinese qigong masters took the word “meditation” and adopted as a working term in conversations with European students.
Most people understand by “meditation” concentration, i.e. focus of thought or attention. There are many meditation techniques. During meditation, the practitioner is usually required to take a certain position, sometimes with beads and other ancillary items. As the object of the concentration typically sensations within the body or internal images are used. Sometimes the object of concentration may be an external physical object. Meditation can be combined with breathing exercises.
Meditation is a part of the ancient spiritual practice in many religious traditions, especially prevalent in Buddhism and Hinduism, and is as well an important part of Yoga.
The history of meditation is closely connected with the religious context in which this practice existed. Already in prehistoric civilizations repetitive rhythmic chants and phrases were used for admonitions of gods. Some authors have even put forward the hypothesis that the emergence of the ability to concentrate, which is an element of many methods of meditation, may have contributed to the development of the last phase of human biological evolution.
In addition to that, students, writing their research proposal, should indicate other early reference to meditation (Dhyana), which was found in the Hindu tradition Vedantism around the 15th century BC.
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