The Actual Technical Definition Of “Meditation” May Surprise You

What is the actual technical definition of meditation? I’m not talking about dictionary definition of meditation. I mean the actual underlying root meaning of meditation.

Let’s take a look.

Meditation. It’s not spiritual. It’s not religious. It’s not scientific. And it definitely isn’t difficult. Meditation is all about working with man’s most basic and fundamental ability: the ability to perceive.

Perception is man’s thing; man’s blessing or man’s curse dependent on your point of view; dependent on… well…your perception.
You may wish to see it as a blessing from god, a blessing from nature, or a blessing from whichever source of creator you personally believe in, if any. But the one blessing all humans share, regardless of age, wealth, belief, health, or anything else, is perception.

If you took all 6 billion people on the planet, lined them all up, and studied just what it was that made them one and the same, you’d find that the young, the old, the blind, the deaf, the black, the white… everyone; they all perceive the world in some way.

Perception is our most fundamental function.   By controlling our perception we can control our greatest weapon: our minds.

The practice of focussing our perception is ancient.

For thousands of years, people have meditated, and in so doing they have learnt to focus their mind and to control their perception. Because that, in a nutshell, is what perception is: it’s the practice of focusing the mind.

Most meditations focus the individual’s mind on breathing. We focus our mind one-hundred percent on our breathing and this quiets the mind, quiets our thoughts, and creates inner peace.

I know, that sounds far-fetched, that inner peace can be created just by focusing on your breathing, but it’s true, and I’d like to show you how it’s true just a little later on.

Meditation is the art of focusing the mind, focusing our perception. The definition of meditation is “Focusing your perception”. That is the definition of meditation. It’s not the definition of medtiation that you’ll find in a book, but it is the true psychological and spiritual definition of meditation. 

When meditating, we may focus on our breathing, or on many other things, like a beautiful countryside, relaxing music, a mantra (a set of repeated words) or any other item. By controlling our focus we control our reality.

When I was recovering from my depression, I spent hours every day sitting in my conservatory back home in England, just looking out onto our garden and field, down past our horses, to the countryside beyond, to those rolling fields of yellow and green. And I’d just sit there meditating / focusing on nothing but the vision of that countryside. That’s another form of meditation: just sitting and observing.

Those times when you idly sit, doing nothing but focusing your mind on whatever it is you’re looking at. That’s meditation. That’s focusing your mind on the present moment, which is the very definition of meditation.

So, put down the dictionary for just a sec and ignore their definition of meditation, because the real definition of medtiation is not found in a book, it’s found in you.

If you take ten minutes right now to sit in your garden and just focus your mind on the flowers, the sky, or, if you have a water feature, the sound of those droplets gently dropping, then you will be meditating.

So you see, everyone meditates, because meditating is simply taking some time to sit and observe. That’s the very basic form of meditation. Everyone’s done it. No doubt everyone does it every day. We might not consciously sit and focus our minds on our breathing, but we do have moments when we just chill and focus on something, on some music, on a work of art, on the feeling of water on our body when we shower. We all meditate, even if we are not consciously aware of it.

And you’ll notice that it’s when you meditate, it’s when you allow yourself to go and take a bath and focus on the feeling of the water, or you have yourself a delicious meal and do nothing but focus on the taste of it… it’s at those times when you unwind, when you relax.

So, you see, meditation has been relaxing you for years whether you realise it or not.

So you might be wondering; “If we all meditate, what exactly separates a meditator from a non-meditator?”

The answer is pure awareness. The answer is that “meditators” are those who know to focus their mind on the present moment, and who consciously go about practicing mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness: The art of focusing the mind on the present moment, without judgment and without thoughts.

 

 

The only difference between a “Meditator” and a “non-meditator” is that meditators practice specific techniques. These meditation techniques all involve the same process: Focusing the mind on one particular thing.

Some meditation techniques focus the mind on the breath, others on a specific sound, some on physical feelings, and so on. But they all involve focusing the mind on something specific.

 

For instance, try this simple candle meditation technique

Simply close your eyes once more and focus on your breathing for two minutes. Now focus your mind 100% on the mental picture of a lit candle. Just imagine that you’re looking at a lit candle.

Do this now before reading on as we’ll be referring to this exercise numerous times throughout the book.

Done it?

That’s just one example of a meditation technique in which we focus the mind on one specific thing.

Through this simple process of focussing the mind we can quiet the mind, build concentration, relax both physically and mentally, and overcome negative and destructive thoughts. And it all revolved around the simple process of focusing the mind on one thing.

And that’s all meditation is: focusing the mind on one thing. Simple.

 

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Paul Martin Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discovery their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.

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