Meditation Defined

What is Meditation

A brief search for a definition of meditation in your standard dictionary will produce several definitions similar to the following:

  • to engage in contemplation or reflection.
  • to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.
  • to focus on one’s thoughts: reflect on or ponder over.
  • to plan or project in the mind.

Let’s take out the definitions involving contemplation or reflection and stick moreso to the spiritual awareness aspect. As such, our definition of meditation is mental focus that quiets the mind and allows one to reach a higher state of consciousness or spiritual awareness. Another way to say this is that your attention is focused on something so intently that your mind naturally quiets; all other stimuli fades from your awareness; and this allows you to connect more deeply to the source within.

There are many points of focus for meditation. Focusing on the breath, a mantra or sound are some of the most common points of mental focus.

Meditation is not a religion, however, certain religions or spiritual beliefs such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam practice meditation as part of their religious or spiritual practice. The religion of Christianity also practices a type of meditation in the form of prayer.

Meditation is not visualization, however, visualization is a form of meditation. When you meditate, you are conscious and fully aware. It is not a dream-like state.

Think of meditation as more of an art than science. Like any form of art it takes time to perfect. It takes continual practice to get comfortable, train your mind to focus, deepen your awareness and to trust in the process. A common idea beginning meditators have is that they cannot meditate due to their chaotic monkey mind. They may have tried to meditate a couple of times or perhaps even longer and still the mind is chaotic with only a few, short periods of stillness.

First know that this is okay. Remember, it has taken you all of your life to develop your monkey mind. Relax and be patient in the process of training your mind to quiet. Second, when you meditate, do not try to make something happen. Simply place your awareness on your point of mental focus. For instance, if you are focusing on the breath, then focus on the breath.

If your mind wanders, that is okay. As soon as you notice it has wandered, you are now back in the present moment. Now simply return to your point of focus. It is as simple as that. Just return to your point of focus and the rest will happen all on its own. Over time, your mind will naturally quiet because the regular meditation practice has trained it to focus on one thing at a time.

Of course, to have an enjoyable meditation practice, there are other aspects to consider such as having a sacred space, utilizing spiritual items, getting comfortable, having a regular routine, etc. This article is only meant to address the basic definition. Signup for our newsletter for the latest information on meditation, spiritual guidance, law of attraction healing and more.

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Shawngela Pierce

Written by : Shawngela Pierce

Shawngela is a Law of Attraction and Meditation coach. Her focus is to help people attain true health and wellbeing by using her gift to channel information to guide others. Schedule a session with Shawngela and find out how the power to heal lies within you.

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