What is Meditation? What it is Not? - Find Out The Intricacies of The Science & Art of Meditation!

What is Meditation? According to Wikipedia -

"Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness."

Meditation is a state of mind that is situated firmly in the present moment. A mind that is without agitation is in a state of meditation.

The un-meditative or "normal" state of mind is actually quite abnormal. We react in very unpredictable manner to the various thought stimuli that come across us.

Although we think that our mind is in our control, we are driven by emotional reasons (which we ourselves cannot justify).

We are driven by the incessant flow of our thoughts and emotions. Meditation is the art of doing nothing. It is not an act.

Meditation is to let go of all planning for future, and let go of past resentments and anger as well.

Understanding Meditation: What is Meditation & What it is not?

Meditation techniques are often misunderstood with other activities and rituals of religion. Understanding meditation begins with understanding the alchemy of "awareness" and knowing what activities are not meditation.

Many people consider meditation as prayer or as worship. But that is not the case. The art of meditation is actually the art of "awareness". Any act which is done with awareness and which enhances awareness is called meditation.

Watching your breath consciously with a feeling of non-attachment is a meditation technique. Listening to the birds (without any feelings of like/dislike, judgment, etc.) is another example of meditation.

Simple acts like drinking tea or riding a bicycle can also be an act of meditation! All activities that are performed with awareness and are free from the mind's interference are "meditation".

So, what is meditation? Meditation is a cessation of the thought process. Meditation is not simply limited to being a technique, but it is rather a way of life.

It is a state of consciousness, in which the mind is free of its habitual "thought patterns" and scattered fragments of thoughts and emotions.

Meditation is not contemplation.

Contemplation is a mental activity that involves thinking about certain ideas, concepts, etc. in one-pointed attention, but meditation is an act of going beyond the mind. In fact, active thinking is not a part of meditation. We just witness the mind's functions and thoughts in a passive and non-judgmental manner.

Meditation is not auto-suggestion or hypnosis.

In hypnosis, the mind is given suggestions - either by another person or by ourselves (as in self-hypnosis). The objective is to manipulate, program or condition the mind for certain positive results such as getting rid of addictions, positive affirmations, personality development, etc.

However, in meditation, we observe our mind and by being a passive witness, we experience deeper levels of bliss, calmness and relaxation. There are no auto-suggestions or positive affirmations involved in the practice of meditation.

Meditation is not a part of religion.

It does not belong to any particular religion, caste, creed or community. It is a science of self-exploration and self-realization. Although some rituals or religious practices have become a part of many meditation techniques, it still remains a perfect science.

Meditation helps to overcome stress and enhance one's awareness - irrespective of the fact whether the practitioner places his/her belief in it or not. It is not a part of any belief system. Meditation enhances awareness and this leads to a greater clarity, calmness and bliss in our life.


Additional Resources

Sitting in Meditation - Discover a simple meditation technique at The Many Faces of God.com. Some interesting insights on meditation by Meg Colby.