mental practice of focus on a particular object, thought or activity

Meditation is a practice or exercise, where an individual trains one's attention and awareness to get to a clearer and calmer state.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Scholars have found meditation difficult to define. The practices vary both between traditions and within them. Generally meditation tries to get past the "thinking" mind and aims to go into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.

Deep focused reading in Christianity could be regarded as Meditation.

It is a common practice in many religions including Buddhism, Christianity (sometimes), Taoism, Hinduism (where Yoga is important) and other religions. Meditation has now become a modern trend, showing many health benefits.[7] The initial origin of meditation is from the Vedic times of India.

Buddhist meditation


In Buddhism, three things are very important: being a good person, making the mind stronger, and understanding (Insight or Wisdom) about why people are in pain (Dukkha).[8] For Buddhists, meditation is used to calm the mind so that the mind can better see the cause of pain. Buddhists believe that this type of seeing can end pain.[9]

Buddhist meditation is not just used for spiritual reasons. Research shows that Buddhist meditation lowers stress, anxiety and depression.[10]

Most types of Buddhist meditation focus on something. The most popular things to focus on include breath, metta or Loving-Kindness towards all, other recollections, situational mindfulness and religious images and sounds.[11]

There were three inspiring methods that led to Buddhist meditation and they include the shamatha, which represents mindfulness, metta, or lovingkindness, and contemplative meditation. Shamatha is about setting the mind in the right place to prepare for the meditation. It's a technique to calm the mind and can help gain that needed peace, and awareness. The metta, now that the mind is set, is the step for loving. Loving yourself, pets, the people in one's life, even the enemies. The purpose is to feel this strong love for everyone, to have spiritual healings and embrace the kindness and good. Then for the final method, contemplative meditation, where the focus is on the mind and how to better the qualities of wisdom. It's a way to practice running through thoughts, acknowledging all the things that spin around one's head, rather than devoting time on social media. Every step is a guide to new openings, and peace.

Christian meditation


Christians sometimes meditate by thinking about small parts of the Bible, or by saying the words of a prayer to themselves over and over. Meditation is an expression of Christian prayer. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church is specified that by means of meditation "The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking"; also it is pointed out that "meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ".[12]

Meditation is principally made on the Sacred Scriptures with the Gospels, liturgical texts, writings of the spiritual fathers, and meditative devotions.

Meditation is a significant part of the devotion of the Rosary; "by virtue of its meditative character, with the tranquil succession of Hail Marys, the Rosary has a peaceful effect on those who pray it, disposing them to receive and experience in their innermost depths, and to spread around them, that true peace which is the special gift of the Risen Lord (cf. Jn 14:27; 20.21)."[13]

Hindu meditation


Meditation has a long tradition in Hinduism. It comes in many different styles. Here is a short list:

Meditation in Hinduism is used for different reasons. Some of the reasons are:

  • Deeper understanding of scriptural subjects
  • Evolvement of the soul
  • Cleaning the mind
  • To change the life situation of a person[14]
  1. Roger Walsh & Shauna L. Shapiro (2006). "The meeting of meditative disciplines and western psychology: A mutually enriching dialogue". American Psychologist (Submitted manuscript). 61 (3): 227–39. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.61.3.227. ISSN 0003-066X. PMID 16594839. S2CID 3015768.
  2. B. Rael Cahn; John Polich (2006). "Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies". Psychological Bulletin. 132 (2): 180–211. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.132.2.180. ISSN 0033-2909. PMID 16536641. S2CID 2151810.
  3. R. Jevning; R.K. Wallace; M. Beidebach (1992). "The physiology of meditation: A review: A wakeful hypometabolic integrated response". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 16 (3): 415–24. doi:10.1016/S0149-7634(05)80210-6. PMID 1528528. S2CID 2650109.
  4. Goleman, Daniel (1988). The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. New York: Tarcher. ISBN 978-0-87477-833-5.
  5. "Definition of meditate". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  6. "meditate". Oxford Dictionaries – English. Archived from the original on 2019-05-29. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  7. Marsh, Sarah; Giovannetti-Singh, Shanti (2019-08-02). "Boom in wellness at festivals as young people swap hedonism for yoga". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  8. In Buddhism, these three things together are called the "threefold training." In the words of 2,000-year-old Buddhist books, these three things are called sīla, citta (or samādhi) and paññā. See, for example, Thanissaro (1998a) and Thanissaro (1998b).
  9. See, for instance, Thanissaro (1998c).
  10. Kabat-Zinn (1990); and, Linehan (1993), p. 1.
  11. See, for example, Kamalashila (2003).
  12. "Catechism of the Catholic Church - Expressions of prayer".
  13. "Rosarium Virginis Mariae on the Most Holy Rosary (October 16, 2002) - John Paul II".
  14. Sauber, Jeff (2009). Everybody's Meditation Book. Jeff Sauber. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-578-03336-5.


  1. Team, Bart Mendel and Mindworks (2019-11-03). "Buddhist Meditation Techniques & Practices | Mindworks (With Examples)". Mindworks. Retrieved 2024-02-09.