What is Meditation?
Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Concentration. Focus. Awareness. Attentiveness. Mindfulness. Insight. Quiet. Happiness. Love. Peace. One-ness.
It´s all true.
One of my teachers in India says, “meditation is an experience, it´s a state – meditation is something that happens, that you experience – not something that you do.”
He explains further: “When we sit down and say ‘I´m gonna meditate now’, we don’t actually meditate, because meditation is a state that happens spontaneously. In reality we sit down and apply different techniques, with the intention to generate such circumstances that facilitate such a state. Meditation (= the meditative state) can also just happen to you, without you applying any specific technique.”
Meditation in the tradition of yoga, means to experience once true nature, to experience that there is no separation, that the universe und our true self are one. We are part of the whole. We are the whole.
This is the highest goal of yoga. Not everyone who is taking up meditation (= applying meditation techniques), has this as their motivation. There are countless other reasons to start a meditation practice. Most commonly named are: stress reduction, finding inner peace, more clarity and presence, equanimity, dealing better with ‘difficult’ emotions, generating ‘positive’ states of mind.
Likewise, there are multiple meditation techniques, traditions and styles. Just naming a few:
Breath-awareness (focussing the attention on the natural breath experienced in the abdomen or the nose)
Mantra meditation (repetition of a word or a phrase)
Mindfulness meditation (from the Buddhist tradition – observing whatever arises (thoughts, emotions, sensations) without attachment)
Metta-Meditation (also from Buddhism – generating loving-kindness)
Sound and music meditations
Guided meditations focussing on different topics (e.g. anxiety, depression, motivation, self-love, …)
Which meditation style/technique do you use?