Yoga and meditation are a sham, or so many typically believe. Regardless, both practices have grown to be quite popular over the years. For this reason, more people show interest in understanding meditation better. However, it doesn’t all start with practicing meditation. First, we need to start understanding the philosophy and general benefits of it.
It is true the interest around meditation is growing. Consequently, the number of supporters is growing, too. But meditation is far from just a practice. Meditation has been around for a long time, and we are talking centuries. Given its scientific backing, it is here to stay.
Below, we will analyze meditation and its practice over the years. Along these lines, we’ll also see where meditation originated. From there, we will explore how meditation improved people’s lives in the past and today.
So, how was meditation born? First, the exact meditation origin has not been ascertained yet. Still, many consider meditation to be born out of Buddhism.
But, did meditation truly originate from Buddhism?
Based on early writings, possibly. Meditation was part of the Dhyana in the Hindu traditions of Vedantism in 1500 BCE. Essentially, Dhyana is the practice of meditation for self-awareness. Furthermore, this practice was a realization of the Self and a person’s relationship with others. Finally, this leads to recognizing Ultimate Reality as a concept.
Between 500 and 600 BCE, other forms of meditation developed in Buddhist India and Taoist China. In Buddhism, meditation is one of four steps to salvation. The others include morality, concentration, knowledge, and liberation.
Thanks to the Silk Road, meditation became omnipresent in other countries as well. Therefore, meditation was practiced in both China and Korea as well.
In Japan, meditative practices started to evolve in the 8th century. In fact, meditation and Japanese Buddhism represented a very tight concept. However, the first meditation hall opened in 653 BC. It all happened when the Japanese monk Dosho learned of the practice during his visit to China.
Understanding Meditation: Origin and History in the West
The 18th century was quite a popular period for introducing meditation and analyzing it. Consequently, this philosophy has inspired authors to publish religion-related studies on meditation.
So, in the 1960s, the Hatha Yoga and Transcendental Meditation gained popularity across both America and Europe.
The practice of meditation has evolved over the years. Once introduced, meditation became a subject of many studies and theories. One of such studies can be found here. Rather than spiritual, meditation became more inclined to self-improvement. Additionally, meditation serves the purpose of treating stress and anxiety altogether.
In the 21st century, many consider meditation a great tool for reaching mindfulness. Mindfulness occurs by being aware of the present moment. In addition, meditation delivers the calm acceptance of one’s feelings and thoughts.
Due to its effectiveness, many companies today use yoga and meditation in the workplace. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Nike support the benefits of meditation altogether. These also believe that meditation is great for cultivating self-confidence, leadership, and resilience.
Meditation practices further deal with behavioral health and learning problems. From here, meditation has become a therapeutic practice of the body and mind. So, here is what meditation stands for:
Acceptance and commitment therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy uses a mind-body approach to treat workplace stress. The same is true for treating social anxiety, and depression. In some cases, meditation also helps treat chronic pain and substance abuse, too. It integrates mindfulness as a process of accepting one’s issues and hardships and committing to overcoming them.
Dialectical behavior therapy
This therapy uses mindfulness to manage painful emotions, such as PTSD, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Mindfulness exercises encourage a person to distress tolerance, balance emotions and find a logical purpose.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Thanks to the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises have reached a new level. This therapy, as a result, treats depression, addiction, and anxiety in many people.
Meditation has introduced a totally new dynamic in terms of healing. Naturally, the internet has played its part in understanding meditation. Everything from online guides and videos has brought this ancient practice closer to its students.
But what does understanding meditation in the future look like?
For some people, the philosophy of this ancient tradition is becoming poisoned. The mainstream popularity of meditation might be its killing tool, according to some experts. Other people, however, see a different future. In this vision, digital technology will play beneficially with meditation itself.
Understanding meditation of the future starts with:
- The rise of meditation studios, which provide stimulation of all our senses;
- Using recordings instead of gurus, encouraging students to become their own teachers;
- Using smart assistant speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomePod, and Google Home;
- Integrating “mindful” features in social networks and platforms. All these will later improve an individual’s wellbeing.
Understanding Meditation: A Conclusion
Yoga and meditation are far more than just concepts. Today, there is a volume of evidence demonstrating the benefits of meditation and its purpose. Therefore, understanding meditation is becoming easier, day in and day out. The evolution of meditation is becoming more and more interesting to observe. Now, people see meditation’s progress towards a more modern practice. And that has so far demonstrated nothing but fruitfulness in the practice itself.
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