Definitions of Meditation include the following:
An upliftment of mind and consciousness.
A condition of elevation of the spirit.
A stillness of thought that gives birth to new inner experiences.
Cessation of the chatter of the mind to enjoy total calm.
Expansion of consciousness and understanding of life.
Exploration of the worlds between waking and sleeping and between soul and spirit.
Extraordinary states where the reality comprises exquisite beauty, perfect truth and
There are many who have not experienced the flights of the soul and spirit through meditation who allow ignorance or negative opinion to prejudice their minds and make them timid of practicing this simple technique. In our western culture we have been restricted in adopting meditation as a popular practice until relatively recently. Now it is becoming accepted by many individuals but also by the healing professions, particularly those involved in psychology, psychiatry and stress relief. Most importantly, it is now a natural extension of young people’s interests, confirmed and strengthened by their direct experiences.
Meditation is now generally seen to offer such benefit that we are encouraged to reconsider our thoughts on the subject and review any misconceptions we may have.
For those who are concerned that they may be influenced in a way that weakens self determination, it must be stated clearly that the meditative state is not a trance-like state but a self induced attunement of awareness chosen by each individual. Each of us stays conscious throughout our ‘quiet time’, although often with expanded, elevated or vital new awareness.
The practice of meditation is thought by some critics to be a waste of time. However, it is meditating that allows our thought to be free to travel as we first direct it and then rewards us with quality feelings and thoughts that uplift us or bring us peace. Benefits are usually lasting and can result in increased vitality, clarity of thought and feeling and a sense of well being. Time well spent and becomes a channel for our personal inspiration.
Meditation is sometimes seen as strange or a potential threat to religious belief. But as meditation is universal this thought has no credence. All religions embrace some form of meditation and prayer. Meditation is to strengthen spiritual values and encourage the practice of sincere religious principles, allowing that the realm of our own thoughts is a very private province.
Meditation helps us develop the ability to mature as a person, to express our talents and potential and to train our minds so that our thoughts are not capable of destroying our peace but of helping our total well being.
It is then that we can be of assistance to others.
Sally Janssen is a writer, health educator and Yoga teacher well known both in Australia and abroad for her skill in demonstration of the Hatha Yoga practices and her wisdom in applying the principles of Raja Yoga – the study of the mind and consciousness. More details at http://www.essence-of-yoga.net.