The Background of Meditation

Meditation generally refers to the state of concentrated focus on an object of thought or awareness. Meditation stems from an aim at gaining a higher state of consciousness. It is also usually based on ancient beliefs that make up the component of eastern religions. The practice of meditation began over 5,000 years.

Meditation with the goal of achieving a higher degree of mental awareness and consciousness is based on different beliefs holding different spiritual and psychological practices. Many religions have developed their own techniques and methods at arriving at  a higher state of consciousness.

These techniques can be classified according to their focus. For instance some techniques may focus on a certain perception or experience while others may focus on a specific object to achieve a higher consciousness. There are even some forms of meditation that combine the use of a specific object as well as open focus to achieve a higher state of consciousness.

Hinduism is a popular religion that is known for practicing meditation is Hinduism. Actually, it is considered to be the oldest religion that focuses on meditation in a spiritual and religious sense. There are several different forms of meditation in the Hinduism religion. One such form is Yoga, one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy.

On of the many forms of Yoga is the Raja Yoga, Raja Yoga states the eight limbs of spiritual practices, with half of them being classified as meditation. There is also the Vedanta which is a form of Jnana Yoga. The Surat Shabd Yoga which is a form of  meditation that uses sound and light to achieve a higher state of consciousness. There is also the Bhakti Yoga which focuses on an object of love or devotion. The Japa Yoga which practices a form of meditation  where a mantra is being repeated aloud or silently. Yet another is the Hatha Yoga where different positions and postures are used in order to raise one’s spiritual energy.

The object of meditation in Hindu is to achieve a calm state of mind. In the Yoga Sutras, there are five different states of mind being described.

  1. Ksipta that describes an agitated state of mind that is unable to think listen or remain quiet.
  2. Mudha, a state of mind where no information seems to reach into the brain.
  3. Viksipta is considered as a higher state of mind where information may reach the mind but it is not able to process it. In this state, the mind moves from one thought to another and in a confused inner speech.
  4. Ekagra is another higher state of the mind characterized by calmness but not asleep. This state allows a person to stay focused and pay attention. Probably the highest state that a mind can achieve is in
  5. Nurodha, the hgihest state of mind to be achieved, where the mind is no longer disturbed by erratic thoughts and is completely focused and totally centered in what a person is doing. This will provide you with a basic background of meditation that will allow you to understand better how it is being practiced.
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