What is meditation? Definitions from the East and West (#24)

What is meditation? Definitions from the East and West (#24)


what is meditation a lot of people
practice it many people talk about it but not so many people have clarity
about what is meditation in this video I will explore the definition of
meditation according to different points of view from the east and the west so
make sure to stick around for you to to hear the different perspectives on this
topic hi there meditator my name is Giovanni
Dienstmann I am the author of practical meditation and the writer behind
liveanddare.com one of the five most popular meditation blogs on the web this
is episode 24 of mastery of mind daily a daily series of videos about meditation
anxiety and personal growth and today we are talking about what is meditation
there are many ways to define meditation I like to define it comparing with
physical exercise because meditation is a type of mental exercise so let’s
compare it to the physical exercise there are three different types of
physical exercise or three different elements the physical exercise there is
flexibility cardio and strength-training and all of them involve movement so
meditation is a mental exercise that also involves four elements relaxation
awareness focus and stillness so relaxation is – meditation what
flexibility is – physical exercise awareness is – meditation what cardio is
in physical exercise focus is in meditation what strength training is in
physical exercise and meditation involves stillness while
physical exercise involves movement so relaxation awareness focus and stillness
meditation is a mental exercise that involves these four elements now
different schools of thoughts different religions different philosophies have a
different definition of meditation for Western psychology the definition I came
about is that meditation is a family of mental training practices designed to
familiarize the practitioner with different mental faculties it’s a bit of
a mouthful and it’s a very academic and abstract definition but you get the
picture now what is meditation for instance in
Christianity in Christianity meditation is the contemplation of God or the
contemplation in deep thinking on themes from the Bible what is meditation in the
Eastern religions and philosophies such as Buddhism Hinduism and Taoism for them
meditation is a method of spiritual awakening it’s a method of purification
of the mind it’s a method of overcoming suffering and expanding your awareness
evolving as a person and the dictionary version of meditation it is to think
deeply to ponder on now that is very different from what we are calling
meditation nowadays and traditionally that word in the dictionary that’s what
it means to meditate means to think deeply on to ponder on to contemplate
and reflect deeply so when the practices of meditation started being translated
into Western culture brought from Asia into the West the word that they use
to describe it in the lighting lack of a better word was the English word
meditate but now that we are very familiar eyes with the techniques of
meditation in the West and their benefits the word meditation is now
having these two meanings the meaning of thinking deeply and the meaning of doing
the practice of meditation which does not involve thinking but involves
focusing or paying attention so looking at all of these options looking at all
of these perspectives I find that the definition of meditation is best put as
it’s a mental exercise that involves a relaxed relaxation awareness focus and
stillness and meditation is usually practiced in three different modes it is
either in the mode of concentration observation or awareness in the mode of
concentration you bring your mind again and again on the same object moment
after moment attention is exclusive it goes like this and there are many
different concentration types of meditation in the mode of awareness it
is sorry in the mode of observation the attention is like this you are observing
you are noticing everything that comes naturally in the field of your awareness
in your consciousness bit your thoughts feelings memories that sounds you hear
in the environment all of that and then in the mode of awareness it is you’re
not trying to do anything special with your attention you’re not focusing and
you’re not observing you’re just being there kind of empty of contents empty of
intention and this type of meditation you find it in self inquiry in the Hindu
tradition in Zokshan in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and the Zuo
Wang in the Taoist tradition from China and that’s one of the techniques that we
will go through in the other videos this week so in summary there are many
definitions for meditation the way I find that the practice of meditation is
most well defined is to see it as an exercise for the mind and heart that
involves relaxation awareness focus and stillness just like sports our exercises
for the body that involve flexibility cardio strength training and movement
meditation involves these other four elements and whatever type of meditation
you practice whatever type of meditation you are studying or are reading about it
will contain one or more of these four elements now everything else about
meditation is not a reliable definition because meditation can be done with eyes
open or can be done with eyes closed meditation is usually done individually
but can be done in groups meditation is usually done sitting up with the spine
and neck straight and are supported but there is yoga nidra that is done laying
down and there is walking meditation that is done walking so these are the
elements that can vary but relaxation awareness focus and stillness
these are something that is unique to the practice of meditation is this
making sense is this adding any clarity about what meditation is and what
meditation is not if yes please right yes in the comments and if no please
right now now finally meditation is different from other practices that
people sometimes confuse it with meditation is different from affirmation
affirmation is repeating a sentence that you want to make it more real for you in
yourself and in your life while meditation is different as I say as you
see it involves these other practices of relaxation awareness and focus you’re
not trying you’re not creating something necessarily meditation is different from
prayer prayer you are kind of getting contact with God or an entity while in
meditation there is no need to believe in God or anything like that and you’re
not entering contact with anyone else you are going inside yourself meditation
is also different from self-hypnosis and I think I will cut this life short
because there is this annoying noise from my neighbor I hope you have found
this helpful and happy growing