The English word “meditation” stems from meditatum, a Latin term meaning “to ponder.” Although we can’t know when, exactly, people began to meditate, experts agree that the practice probably began many thousands of years ago, before the birth of modern civilization. When scholars look to establish the origins of meditation, they first have to decipher ancient texts and recorded hieroglyphs to find references to this discipline. Several archaeological findings suggest that hunter-gatherers were practitioners of some forms of meditation, as were early shamans. Their knowledge was passed down orally from one generation to the next, helping to lay the crucial foundations of modern meditation.
Each one of us has far reaching potentials and abilities for achieving physical, mental and material accomplishments and goals of all kinds. Though ultimately this task can become daunting and filled with an emptiness of passion, contentment and consistent happiness.
Always on the go–physically as well as mentally. This leads to a state of restlessness and disharmony. The ancient Chinese Taoists refer to this state as ‘Monkey Mind’–always jumping around and moving from place to place
The Taoists realized this constant ‘Monkey Mind’ ultimately created separation from their higher selves–their abilities–their potentials and their interconnectedness to all that exists.
They found that meditation restores–a calm–a clarity–and a harmony in the mind and body.
- Spiritual Meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Movement Meditation
- Focused Meditation
- Visualization Meditation
- Chanting Meditation
- Breath Meditation
Which style now becomes the question. I suggest picking a style that ‘calls’ to you and practice it for at least two weeks. You don’t need to sit cross legged on the floor to meditate. Adapt your practice to meet your physical capacities. You don’t want to be uncomfortable or in pain while meditating either. Be patient with the newness of this activity, and remember to start with realistic time commitments for the length of the meditation that you are doing.
Some of the scientific benefits that come with a meditation practice are:
- Reduce Stress
- Controls Anxiety
- Promotes Emotional Health
- Enhances Self Awareness
- Lengthens Attention Span
- Reduce Age Related Memory Loss
- Improves Sleep
- Decrease Blood Pressure
- Help Control Pain
Over the last forty five years of studying, practicing and teaching various styles of meditation I have come to the conclusion that everyone has meditated at some time in their life–where the ‘Monkey’ was not constantly jumping all over the place…