Meditation is generally an inwardly oriented, personal practice, which individuals can do by themselves. Prayer beads or other ritual objects may be used during meditation. Meditation may involve invoking or cultivating a feeling or internal state, such as compassion, or attending to a specific focal point. The term can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state.
There are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice; the word meditation may carry different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions.
A 2007 study by the U.S. government found that nearly 9.4% of U.S. adults (over 20 million) had practiced meditation within the past 12 months, up from 7.6% (more than 15 million people) in 2002.
Since the 1960s, meditation has been the focus of increasing scientific research of uneven rigor and quality. In over 1,000 published research studies, various methods of meditation have been linked to changes in metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation, and other bodily processes. Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction.
In the Old Testament hāgâ (Hebrew: הגה), means to sigh or murmur, but also to meditate. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, hāgâ became the Greek melete. The Latin Bible then translated hāgâ/melete into meditatio. The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th-century monk Guigo II.
Apart from its historical usage, the term meditation was introduced as a translation for Eastern spiritual practices, referred to as dhyāna in Buddhism and in Hinduism, which comes from the Sanskrit root dhyai, meaning to contemplate or meditate. The term "meditation" in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism, or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. An edited book about "meditation" published in 2003, for example, included chapter contributions by authors describing Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Taoist traditions. Scholars have noted that "the term 'meditation' as it has entered contemporary usage" is parallel to the term "contemplation" in Christianity.
The history of meditation is intimately bound up with the religious context within which it was practiced. Even in prehistoric times civilizations used repetitive, rhythmic chants and offerings to appease the gods. Some authors have even suggested the hypothesis that the emergence of the capacity for focused attention, an element of many methods of meditation, may have contributed to the final phases of human biological evolution. Earliest references to meditation are found all the way back in the Bible, dating around 1400 B.C.  Around 500-600BC Taoists in China and Buddhists in India began to develop meditative practices.
In the west, by 20BCE Philo of Alexandria had written on some form of "spiritual exercises" involving attention (prosoche) and concentration and by the 3rd century Plotinus had developed meditative techniques.
The Pāli Canon, which dates to 1st century BCE considers Indian Buddhist meditation as a step towards salvation. By the time Buddhism was spreading in China, the Vimalakirti Sutra which dates to 100CE included a number of passages on meditation, clearly pointing to Zen. The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism introduced meditation to other oriental countries, and in 653 the first meditation hall was opened in Japan. Returning from China around 1227, Dōgen wrote the instructions for Zazen.
The Islamic practice of Dhikr had involved the repetition of the 99 Names of God since the 8th or 9th century. By the 12th century, the practice of Sufism included specific meditative techniques, and its followers practiced breathing controls and the repetition of holy words. Interactions with Indians or the Sufis may have influenced the Eastern Christian meditation approach to hesychasm, but this can not be proved. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, hesychasm was developed, particularly on Mount Athos in Greece, and involves the repetition of the Jesus prayer.
Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina, i.e. divine reading. Its four formal steps as a "ladder" were defined by the monk Guigo II in the 12th century with the Latin terms lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio (i.e. read, ponder, pray, contemplate). Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.
By the 18th century, the study of Buddhism in the West was a topic for intellectuals. The philosopher Schopenhauer discussed it, and Voltaire asked for toleration towards Buddhists. The first English translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead was published in 1927.
Secular forms of meditation were introduced in India in the 1950s as a Westernized form of Hindu meditative techniques and arrived in the United States and Europe in the 1960s. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self improvement. Both spiritual and secular forms of meditation have been subjects of scientific analyses. Research on meditation began in 1931, with scientific research increasing dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s. Since the beginning of the '70s more than a thousand studies of meditation in English-language have been reported. However, after 60 years of scientific study, the exact mechanism at work in meditation remains unclear.
Modern definitions and Western models
Definitions and scope
Definitions or Characterizations of Meditation:
Examples from Prominent Reviews*
Definition / Characterization
•"[M]editation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration":228-9 Walsh & Shapiro (2006) •"[M]editation is used to describe practices that self-regulate the body and mind, thereby affecting mental events by engaging a specific attentional set.... regulation of attention is the central commonality across the many divergent methods":180 Cahn & Polich (2006) •"We define meditation... as a stylized mental technique... repetitively practiced for the purpose of attaining a subjective experience that is frequently described as very restful, silent, and of heightened alertness, often characterized as blissful":415 Jevning et al. (1992) •"the need for the meditator to retrain his attention, whether through concentration or mindfulness, is the single invariant ingredient in... every meditation system":107 Goleman (1988) *Influential reviews (cited >50 times in PsycINFO),
encompassing multiple methods of meditation.
As early as 1971, Naranjo noted that "The word 'meditation' has been used to designate a variety of practices that differ enough from one another so that we may find trouble in defining what meditation is.":6 There remains no definition of necessary and sufficient criteria for meditation that has achieved universal or widespread acceptance within the modern scientific community, as one study recently noted a "persistent lack of consensus in the literature" and a "seeming intractability of defining meditation".:135
In popular usage, the word "meditation" and the phrase "meditative practice" are often used imprecisely to designate broadly similar practices, or sets of practices, that are found across many cultures and traditions.
Some of the difficulty in precisely defining meditation has been the need to recognize the particularities of the many various traditions. There may be differences between the theories of one tradition of meditation as to what it means to practice meditation. The differences between multiple various traditions, which have grown up a great distance apart from each other, may be even starker. The defining of what 'meditation' is has caused difficulties for modern scientists. Scientific reviews have proposed that researchers attempt to more clearly define the type of meditation being practiced in order that the results of their studies be made clearer.:499 Taylor noted that to refer only to meditation from a particular faith (e.g., "Hindu" or "Buddhist")is not enough, since the cultural traditions from which a particular kind of meditation comes are quite different and even within a single tradition differ in complex ways. The specific name of a school of thought or a teacher or the title of a specific text is often quite important for identifying a particular type of meditation.:2
Within a specific context, more precise meanings are not uncommonly given the word "meditation." For example, 'meditation', is sometimes the translation of meditatio in Latin, which is the third of four steps of Lectio Divina, an ancient form of Christian prayer. 'Meditation' may also refer to the second of the three steps of Yoga in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, a step called dhyāna in Sanskrit. Meditation may refer to a mental or spiritual state that may be attained by such practices, and may also refer to the practice of that state.
This article mainly focuses on meditation in the broad sense of a type of discipline, found in various forms in many cultures, by which the practitioner attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind (sometimes called "discursive thinking" or "logic") into a deeper, more devout, or more relaxed state. The terms "meditative practice" and "meditation" are mostly used here in this broad sense. However, usage may vary somewhat by context - readers should be aware that in quotations, or in discussions of particular traditions, more specialized meanings of "meditation" may sometimes be used (with meanings made clear by context whenever possible).
Ornstein noted that "most techniques of meditation do not exist as solitary practices but are only artificially separable from an entire system of practice and belief".:143 This means that, for instance, while monks engage in meditation as a part of their everyday lives, they also engage the codified rules and live together in monasteries in specific cultural settings, that go along with their meditative practices. These meditative practices sometimes have similarities (often noticed by Westerners), for instance concentration on the breath is practiced in both Zen, Tibetan and Theravadan contexts, and these similarities or 'typologies' are noted here.
Progress on the "intractable" problem of defining meditation was attempted by a recent study of views common to 7 experts trained in diverse but empirically highly studied (clinical or Eastern-derived) forms of meditation. The study identified "three main criteria... as essential to any meditation practice: the use of a defined technique, logic relaxation, and a self-induced state/mode. Other criteria deemed important [but not essential] involve a state of psychophysical relaxation, the use of a self-focus skill or anchor, the presence of a state of suspension of logical thought processes, a religious/spiritual/philosophical context, or a state of mental silence".:135 However, the study cautioned that "It is plausible that meditation is best thought of as a natural category of techniques best captured by 'family resemblances'... or by the related prototype model of concepts".:135
In the West, meditation is sometimes thought of in two broad categories: concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. Note that these two categories cover a small scope of the broad variety of meditation techniques. These two categories are discussed in the following two paragraphs, with concentrative meditation being used interchangeably with focused attention and mindfulness meditation being used interchangeably with open monitoring,
direction of mental attention... A practitioner can focus intensively on one particular object (so-called concentrative meditation), on all mental events that enter the field of awareness (so-called mindfulness meditation), or both specific focal points and the field of awareness.:130
"One style, Focused Attention (FA) meditation, entails the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object. The other style, Open Monitoring (OM) meditation, involves non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment."
An example of concentrative meditation is anapanasati, and an example of mindfulness meditation is, of course, mindfulness meditation.
Evidence from neuroimaging studies suggests that the categories of meditation, defined by how they direct attention, appear to generate different brainwave patterns.[additional citations useful] Evidence also suggests that using different focus objects during meditation may generate different brainwave patterns.
Religious and spiritual Meditation
In the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith meditation, along with prayer, is one of the primary tools for spiritual development, and it mainly refers to one's reflection on the words of God. While prayer and meditation are linked where meditation happens generally in a prayerful attitude, prayer is seen specifically as turning toward God, and meditation is seen as a communion with one's self where one focuses on the divine.
The Bahá'í teachings note that the purpose of meditation is to strengthen one's understanding of the words of God, and to make one's soul more susceptible to their potentially transformative power, and that both prayer and meditation are needed to bring about and to maintain a spiritual communion with God.
Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion, never specified any particular form of meditation, and thus each person is free to choose their own form. However, he specifically did state that Bahá'ís should read a passage of the Bahá'í writings twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening, and meditate on it. He also encouraged people to reflect on one's actions and worth at the end of each day. The Nineteen Day Fast, a nineteen-day period of the year, during which Bahá'ís adhere to a sunrise-to-sunset fast, is also seen as meditative, where Bahá'ís must meditate and pray to reinvigorate their spiritual forces.
Buddhist meditation refers to the meditative practices associated with the religion and philosophy of Buddhism. Core meditation techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā and jhāna/dhyāna.
Buddhist meditation techniques have become increasingly popular in the wider world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up for a variety of reasons. There is considerable homogeneity across meditative practices — such as breath meditation and various recollections (anussati) — that are used across Buddhist schools, as well as significant diversity. In the Theravāda tradition alone, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration, while in the Tibetan tradition there are thousands of visualization meditations. Most classical and contemporary Buddhist meditation guides are school-specific.
The Buddha is said to have identified two paramount mental qualities that arise from wholesome meditative practice:
Through the meditative development of serenity, one is able to suppress obscuring hindrances; and, with the suppression of the hindrances, it is through the meditative development of insight that one gains liberating wisdom.
Christian Meditation is a term for form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari which means to concentrate. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (e.g. a biblical scene involving Jesus and the Virgin Mary) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.
Christian meditation contrasts with cosmic styles of eastern meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with discussions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings. Unlike eastern meditations, most styles of Christian meditations do not rely on the repeated use of mantras, but are intended to stimulate thought and deepen meaning. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion.
In Aspects of Christian meditation, the Catholic Church warned of potential incompatibilities in mixing Christian and eastern styles of meditation. In 2003, in A Christian reflection on the New Age the Vatican announced that the "Church avoids any concept that is close to those of the New Age".
Christian meditation is sometimes taken to mean the middle level in a broad three stage characterization of prayer: it then involves more reflection than first level vocal prayer, but is more structured than the multiple layers of contemplation in Christianity.
There are many, many schools and styles of meditation within Hinduism. Yoga is generally done to prepare one for meditation, and meditation is done to realize union of one's self, one's atman, with the omnipresent and non-dual Brahman. This experience is referred to as moksha by Hindus, and is similar to the concept of Nibbana in Buddhism. The earliest clear references to meditation in Hindu literature are in the middle Upanishads and the Mahabharata, which includes the Bhagavad Gita. According to Gavin Flood, the earlier Brihadaranyaka Upanishad refers to meditation when it states that "having becoming calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (ātman) within oneself".
Within Patañjali's ashtanga yoga practice there are eight limbs leading to moksha. These are ethical discipline (yamas), rules (niyamas), physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), withdrawal from the senses (pratyahara), one-pointedness of mind (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and finally samadhi, which is often described as the union of the Self (atman) with the omnipresent (Brahman), and is the ultimate aim of all Hindu yogis.
Meditation in Hinduism is not confined to any school or sect and has expanded beyond Hinduism to the West. Today there is a new branch of yoga which combines Christian practices with yogic postures known popularly as Christian Yoga.
The influential modern proponent of Hinduism who first introduced Eastern philosophy to the West in the late 19th century, Swami Vivekananda, describes meditation as follows:
Meditation has been laid stress upon by all religions. The meditative state of mind is declared by the Yogis to be the highest state in which the mind exists. When the mind is studying the external object, it gets identified with it, loses itself. To use the simile of the old Indian philosopher: the soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the colour of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches ... it has to take its colour. That is the difficulty. That constitutes the bondage.
A Muslim is obligated to pray five times a day: once before sunrise, at noon, in the afternoon, after sunset, and once at night. During prayer a Muslim focuses and meditates on God by reciting the Qur'an and engaging in dhikr to reaffirm and strengthen the bond between Creator and creation, with the purpose of guiding the soul to truth. Such meditation is intended to help maintain a feeling of spiritual peace, in the face of whatever challenges work, social or family life may present.
The five daily acts of peaceful prayer are to serve as a template and inspiration for conduct during the rest of the day, transforming it, ideally, into one single and sustained meditation: even sleep is to be regarded as but another phase of that sustained meditation.
Meditative quiescence is said to have a quality of healing, and—in contemporary terminology—enhancing creativity. The Islamic prophet Muhammad spent sustained periods in contemplation and meditation. It was during one such period that Muhammad began to receive the revelations of the Qur'an.
Following are the styles, or schools, of meditation in the Muslim traditions:
- Tafakkur or tadabbur, literally means reflection upon the universe: this is considered to permit access to a form of cognitive and emotional development that can emanate only from the higher level, i.e. from God. The sensation of receiving divine inspiration awakens and liberates both heart and intellect, permitting such inner growth that the apparently mundane actually takes on the quality of the infinite. Muslim teachings embrace life as a test of one's submission to God.
- Meditation in the Sufi traditions is largely based on a spectrum of mystical exercises, varying from one lineage to another. Such techniques, particularly the more audacious, can be, and often have been down the ages, a source of controversy among scholars. One broad group of ulema, followers of the great Al-Ghazzali, for example, have in general been open to such techniques and forms of devotion, while another such group, those who concur with the Ibn Taymiya, reject and generally condemn such procedures as species of bid'ah (Arabic: بدعة) or mere innovation.
Numerous Sufi traditions place emphasis upon a meditative procedure similar in its cognitive aspect to one of the two principal approaches to be found in the Buddhist traditions: that of the concentration technique, involving high-intensity and sharply focused introspection. In the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi Sufi order, for example, this is particularly evident, where muraqaba takes the form of tamarkoz, the latter being a Persian term that means concentration.
In Jainism, meditation has been a core spiritual practice, one that Jains believe people have undertaken since the teaching of the Tirthankara, Rishabha. All the twenty four Tirthankaras practiced deep meditation and attained enlightenment. They are all shown in meditative postures in the images or idols. Mahavira practiced deep meditation for twelve years and attained enlightenment. The Acaranga Sutra dating to 500 BC, addresses the meditation system of Jainism in detail. Acharya Bhadrabahu of the 4th century BC practiced deep Mahaprana meditation for 12 years. Kundakunda of 1st century BCE, opened new dimensions of meditation in Jain tradition through his books Samayasāra, Pravachansar and others.
Jain meditation and spiritual practices system were referred to as salvation-path. It has three important parts called the Ratnatraya "Three Jewels": right perception and faith, right knowledge and right conduct. Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attaining salvation, take the soul to complete freedom. It aims to reach and to remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure consciousness, beyond any attachment or aversion. The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer (Gyata-Drashta). Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana.
There exists a number of meditation techniques such as pindāstha-dhyāna, padāstha-dhyāna, rūpāstha-dhyāna, rūpātita-dhyāna, savīrya-dhyāna, etc. In padāstha dhyāna one focuses on Mantra. A Mantra could be either a combination of core letters or words on deity or themes. There is a rich tradition of Mantra in Jainism. All Jain followers irrespective of their sect, whether Digambara or Svetambara, practice mantra. Mantra chanting is an important part of daily lives of Jain monks and followers. Mantra chanting can be done either loudly or silently in mind. Yogasana and Pranayama has been an important practice undertaken since ages. Pranayama – breathing exercises – are performed to strengthen the ten Pranas or vital energy. Yogasana and Pranayama balances the functioning of neuro-endocrine system of body and helps in achieving good physical, mental and emotional health.
Contemplation is a very old and important meditation technique. The practitioner meditates deeply on subtle facts. In agnya vichāya, one contemplates on seven facts - life and non-life, the inflow, bondage, stoppage and removal of karmas, and the final accomplishment of liberation. In apaya vichāya, one contemplates on the incorrect insights one indulges into and that eventually develops right insight. In vipaka vichāya, one reflects on the eight causes or basic types of karma. In sansathan vichāya, one thinks about the vastness of the universe and the loneliness of the soul.
Acharya Mahapragya formulated Preksha meditation in the 1970s and presented a well-organised system of meditation. Asana and Pranayama, meditation, contemplation, mantra and therapy are its integral parts. Numerous Preksha meditation centers came into existence around the world and numerous meditations camps are being organized to impart training in it.
There is evidence that Judaism has had meditative practices that go back thousands of years. For instance, in the Torah, the patriarch Isaac is described as going "לשוח" (lasuach) in the field—a term understood by all commentators as some type of meditative practice (Genesis 24:63), probably prayer.
Similarly, there are indications throughout the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) that meditation was used by the prophets. In the Old Testament, there are two Hebrew words for meditation: hāgâ (Hebrew: הגה), which means to sigh or murmur, but also to meditate, and sîḥâ (Hebrew: שיחה), which means to muse, or rehearse in one's mind.
The Jewish mystical tradition, Kabbalah, is inherently a meditative field of study. Traditionally Kabbalah is only taught to orthodox Jews over the age of forty. The Talmud refers to the advantage of the scholar over the prophet, as his understanding takes on intellectual, conceptual form, that deepens mental grasp, and can be communicated to others. The advantage of the prophet over the scholar is in the transcendence of their intuitive vision. The ideal illumination is achieved when the insights of mystical revelation are brought into conceptual structures. For example, Isaac Luria revealed new doctrines of Kabbalah in the 16th Century, that revolutionised and reordered its teachings into a new system. However, he did not write down his teachings, which were recounted and interpreted instead by his close circle of disciples. After a mystical encounter, called in Kabbalistic tradition an "elevation of the soul" into the spiritual realms, Isaac Luria said that it would take 70 years to explain all that he had experienced. As Kabbalah evolved its teachings took on successively greater conceptual form and philosophical system. Nonetheless, as is implied by the name of Kabbalah, which means "to receive", its exponents see that for the student to understand its teachings requires a spiritual intuitive reception that illuminates and personalises the intellectual structures.
Corresponding to the learning of Kabbalah are its traditional meditative practices, as for the Kabbalist, the ultimate purpose of its study is to understand and cleave to the Divine. Classic methods include the mental visualisation of the supernal realms the soul navigates through to achieve certain ends. One of the best known types of meditation in early Jewish mysticism was the work of the Merkabah, from the root /R-K-B/ meaning "chariot" (of God).
In modern Jewish practice, one of the best known meditative practices is called "hitbodedut" (התבודדות, alternatively transliterated as "hisbodedus"), and is explained in Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and Mussar writings, especially the Hasidic method of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav. The word derives from the Hebrew word "boded" (בודד), meaning the state of being alone. Another Hasidic system is the Habad method of "hisbonenus", related to the Sephirah of "Binah", Hebrew for understanding. This practice is the analytical reflective process of making oneself understand a mystical concept well, that follows and internalises its study in Hasidic writings.
New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, Yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence. In the West, meditation found its mainstream roots through the social revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when many of the youth of the day rebelled against traditional belief systems as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity to provide spiritual and ethical guidance. New Age meditation as practiced by the early hippies is regarded for its techniques of blanking out the mind and releasing oneself from conscious thinking. This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object.
In Zen Yoga, Aaron Hoopes talks of meditation as being an avenue to touching the spiritual nature that exists within each of us.At its core, meditation is about touching the spiritual essence that exists within us all. Experiencing the joy of this essence has been called enlightenment, nirvana, or even rebirth, and reflects a deep understanding within us. The spiritual essence is not something that we create through meditation. It is already there, deep within, behind all the barriers, patiently waiting for us to recognize it. One does not have to be religious or even interested in religion to find value in it. Becoming more aware of your self and realizing your spiritual nature is something that transcends religion. Anyone who has explored meditation knows that it is simply a path that leads to a new, more expansive way of seeing the world around us.
In Sikhism, the practices of simran and Nām Japō encourage quiet meditation. This is focusing one's attention on the attributes of God. Sikhs believe that there are 10 'gates' to the body; 'gates' is another word for 'chakras' or energy centres. The top most energy level is called the tenth gate or Dasam Duaar. When one reaches this stage through continuous practice meditation becomes a habit that continues whilst walking, talking, eating, awake and even sleeping. There is a distinct taste or flavour when a meditator reaches this lofty stage of meditation, as one experiences absolute peace and tranquility inside and outside the body.
Followers of the Sikh religion also believe that love comes through meditation on the lord's name since meditation only conjures up positive emotions in oneself which are portrayed through our actions. The first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached the equality of all humankind and stressed the importance of living a householder's life instead of wandering around jungles meditating, the latter of which being a popular practice at the time. The Guru preached that we can obtain liberation from life and death by living a totally normal family life and by spreading love amongst every human being regardless of religion.
In the Sikh religion, kirtan, otherwise known as singing the hymns of God is seen as one of the most beneficial ways of aiding meditation, and it too in some ways is believed to be a meditation of one kind.
Taoism includes a number of meditative and contemplative traditions, said to have their principles described in the I Ching, Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu and Tao Tsang among other texts. The multitude of schools relating to Qigong, Neigong, Internal alchemy, Daoyin and Zhan zhuang is a large, diverse array of breath-training practices in aid of meditation with much influence on later Chinese Buddhism and with much influence on traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese as well as some Japanese martial arts. The Chinese martial art T'ai chi ch'uan is named after the well-known focus for Taoist and Neo-Confucian meditation, the Taijitu (T'ai Chi T'u), and is often referred to as “meditation in motion”.
"The Guanzi essay 'Neiye' 內業 (Inward training) is the oldest received writing on the subject of the cultivation of vapor and meditation techniques. The essay was probably composed at the Jixia Academy in Qi in the late fourth century B.C."
Often Taoist Internal martial arts, especially T'ai chi ch'uan are thought of as moving meditation. A common phrase being, "movement in stillness" referring to energetic movement in passive Qigong and seated Taoist meditation; with the converse being "stillness in movement", a state of mental calm and meditation in the tai chi form.
In a form of meditation using visualization, such as Chinese Qigong, the practitioner concentrates on flows of energy (Qi) in the body, starting in the abdomen and then circulating through the body, until dispersed.
Indian-born philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti used the term "meditation" to mean something entirely different from the practice of any system or method to control the mind, or to consciously achieve a specific goal or state:
Man, in order to escape his conflicts, has invented many forms of meditation. These have been based on desire, will, and the urge for achievement, and imply conflict and a struggle to arrive. This conscious, deliberate striving is always within the limits of a conditioned mind, and in this there is no freedom. All effort to meditate is the denial of meditation. Meditation is the ending of thought. It is only then that there is a different dimension which is beyond time.
For Krishnamurti, meditation was "choiceless awareness" in the present:
Meditation is a state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention, totally, not just parts of it. And no one can teach you how to be attentive. If any system teaches you how to be attentive, then you are attentive to the system and that is not attention. Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life - perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody, that is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy - if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.
Most of the ancient religions of the world have a tradition of using some type of prayer beads as tools in devotional meditation. Most prayer beads and Christian rosaries consist of pearls or beads linked together by a thread. The Roman Catholic rosary is a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Each set of ten is separated by another bead. The Hindu japa mala has 108 beads, as well as those used in Jainism and Buddhist prayer beads. Each bead is counted once as a person recites a mantra until the person has gone all the way around the mala, which is counted as 100, with an extra 8 there to compensate for missed beads. The Muslim mishbaha has 99 beads. Specific meditations of each religion may be different.
As stated by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a U.S. government entity within the National Institutes of Health that advocates various forms of Alternative Medicine, "Meditation may be practiced for many reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological balance, to cope with illness, or to enhance overall health and well-being."
Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School conducted a series of clinical tests on meditators from various disciplines, including the Transcendental Meditation technique and Tibetan Buddhism. In 1975, Benson published a book titled The Relaxation Response where he outlined his own version of meditation for relaxation.
Over the past 20 years, mindfulness-based programs have become increasingly important to Westerners and in the Western medical and psychological community as a means of helping people, whether they be clinically sick or healthy. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in 1979, has defined mindfulness as 'moment to moment non-judgmental awareness.':626 Several methods are used during time set aside specifically for mindfulness meditation, such as body scan techniques or letting thought arise and pass, and also during our daily lives, such as being aware of the taste and texture of the food that we eat. Scientifically demonstrated benefits of mindfulness practice include an increase in the body's ability to heal and a shift from a tendency to use the right prefrontal cortex to a tendency to use the left prefrontal cortex, associated with a trend away from depression and anxiety and towards happiness, relaxation, and emotional balance.
Jacobson's Progressive Muscle Relaxation was developed by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the early 1920s. In this practice one tenses and then relaxes muscle groups in a sequential pattern whilst concentrating on how they feel. The method has been seen to help people with many conditions especially extreme anxiety.
Modern cross-cultural dissemination
Methods of meditation have been cross-culturally disseminated at various times throughout history, such as Buddhism going to East Asia, and Sufi practices going to many Islamic societies. Of special relevance to the modern world is the dissemination of meditative practices since the late 19th century, accompanying increased travel and communication among cultures worldwide. Most prominent has been the transmission of numerous Asian-derived practices to the West. In addition, interest in some Western-based meditative practices has also been revived, and these have been disseminated to a limited extent to Asian countries.
Ideas about Eastern meditation had begun "seeping into American popular culture even before the American Revolution through the various sects of European occult Christianity,":3 and such ideas "came pouring in [to America] during the era of the transcendentalists, especially between the 1840s and the 1880s.":3 But
The World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, was the landmark event that increased Western awareness of meditation. This was the first time that Western audiences on American soil received Asian spiritual teachings from Asians themselves. Thereafter, Swami Vivekananda... [founded] various Vedanta ashrams... Anagarika Dharmapala lectured at Harvard on Theravada Buddhist meditation in 1904; Abdul Baha ... [toured] the US teaching the principles of Bahai, and Soyen Shaku toured in 1907 teaching Zen...:4
More recently, in the 1960s, another surge in Western interest in meditative practices began. Observers have suggested many types of explanations for this interest in Eastern meditation and revived Western contemplation. Thomas Keating, a founder of Contemplative Outreach, wrote that "the rush to the East is a symptom of what is lacking in the West. There is a deep spiritual hunger that is not being satisfied in the West.":31 Daniel Goleman, a scholar of meditation, suggested that the shift in interest from "established religions" to meditative practices "is caused by the scarcity of the personal experience of these [meditation-derived] transcendental states - the living spirit at the common core of all religions.":xxiv
Another suggested contributing factor is the rise of communist political power in Asia, which, "set the stage for an influx of Asian spiritual teachers to the West,":7 oftentimes as refugees.
In a Western context
In the late 19th century, Theosophists adopted the word "meditation" to refer to various spiritual practices drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and other Indian religions. Thus the English word "meditation" does not exclusively translate to any single term or concept, and can be used to translate words such as the Sanskrit dhāraṇā, dhyana, samadhi and bhavana.
Meditation may be for a religious purpose, but even before being brought to the West it was used in secular contexts. Beginning with the Theosophists meditation has been employed in the West by a number of religious and spiritual movements, such as Yoga, New Age and the New Thought movement.
Meditation techniques have also been used by Western theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Relaxation training works toward achieving mental and muscle relaxation to reduce daily stresses. Jacobson is credited with developing the initial progressive relaxation procedure. These techniques are used in conjunction with other behavioral techniques. Originally used with systematic desensitization, relaxation techniques are now used with other clinical problems. Meditation, hypnosis and biofeedback-induced relaxation are a few of the techniques used with relaxation training. One of the eight essential phases of EMDR (developed by Francine Shapiro), bringing adequate closure to the end of each session, also entails the use of relaxation techniques, including meditation. Multimodal therapy, a technically eclectic approach to behavioral therapy, also employs the use of meditation as a technique used in individual therapy.
From the point of view of psychology and physiology, meditation can induce an altered state of consciousness. Such altered states of consciousness may correspond to altered neuro-physiologic states.
Meditation, religion, and drugs
Many traditions in which meditation is practiced, such as Transcendental Meditation, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions, advise members not to consume intoxicants, while others, such as the Rastafarian movements and Native American Church, view drugs as integral to their religious lifestyle.
The fourth of the five precepts of the Pancasila, the ethical code in the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, states that adherents must not ingest, "intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness."
On the other hand, the ingestion of psychoactives has been a central feature in the rituals of many religions, in order to produce altered states of consciousness. In several traditional shamanistic ceremonies, drugs are used as agents of ritual. In the Rastafari movement, cannabis is believed to be a gift from Jah and a sacred herb to be used regularly, while alcohol is considered to debase man. Bob Marley 'meditated' daily on his long hammock in a corridor-like room with wooden floor and shutters. Salvia divinorum had a long history of use amongst the Mazatec shamans, who used it to produce visionary states of consciousness in spiritual healing rituals. Native Americans are known to use peyote, as part of religious ceremony, continuing today. In India, the soma drink has a long history of use alongside prayer and sacrifice, and is mentioned in the Vedas.
During the 1960s, eastern meditation traditions and psychedelics, such as LSD, became popular in America, and it was suggested that LSD use and meditation were both means to the same spiritual/existential end. Many practictioners of eastern traditions rejected this idea, including many who had tried LSD themselves. In The Master Game, Robert S de Ropp writes that the "door to full consciousness" can be glimpsed with the aid of substances, but to "pass beyond the door" requires yoga and meditation. Other authors, such as Rick Strassman, believe that the relationship between religious experiences reached by way of meditation and through the use of psychedelic drugs deserves further exploration. Also see Psychedelic psychotherapy.
Various postures are taken up in meditation. Sitting, supine, and standing postures are used. The bodily positions applied during yoga are described at the Wikipedia page Asana.
Popular in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism are the full-lotus, half-lotus, Burmese, and kneeling positions. Meditation is sometimes done while walking, known as kinhin, or while doing a simple task mindfully, known as samu.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has been linked to a variety of health benefits. In a study conducted on college students by Oman, Shapiro, Thoresen, Plante, and Flinders (2008), they were able to demonstrate findings that meditation may tend to changes in the neurological process cultivating physiological health benefits. This finding was supported by an expert panel at the National Institutes of Health. The practice of meditation has also been linked with various favourable outcomes that include: “effective functioning, including academic performance, concentration, perceptual sensitivity, reaction time, memory, self control, empathy, and self esteem.”(Oman et al., 2008, pg. 570) In their evaluation of the effects of two meditation-based programs they were able to conclude that meditating had stress reducing effects and cogitation, and also increased forgiveness. (Oman et al., 2008)
A cross sectional survey research design study lead by Li Chuan Chu (2009), Chu demonstrated that benefits to the psychological state of the participants in the study arose from practicing meditation. Meditation enhances overall psychological health and preserves a positive attitude towards stress. (Chu, 2009)
Mindfulness Meditation has now entered the health care domain because of evidence suggesting a positive correlation between the practice and emotional and physical health. Examples of such benefits include: reduction in stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, pain, elevated blood pressure, etc. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that those who meditated approximately half an hour per day during an eight week period reported that at the end of the period, they were better able to act in a state of awareness and observation. Respondents also said they felt non-judgmental. (Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch, 2011)
Over 1,000 publications on meditation have appeared to date. Many of the early studies lack a theoretically unified perspective, often resulting in poor methodological quality, as discussed in Meditation#Definitions and scope.
A review of scientific studies identified relaxation, concentration, an altered state of awareness, a suspension of logical thought and the maintenance of a self-observing attitude as the behavioral components of meditation; it is accompanied by a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body that alter metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain activation. Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction. Meditation has also been studied specifically for its effects on stress.
In June, 2007 the United States National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine published an independent, peer-reviewed, meta-analysis of the state of research on meditation and health outcomes. The report reviewed 813 studies in five broad categories of meditation: mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, yoga, T'ai chi and Qigong. The result was mixed. The report concluded that "firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in healthcare cannot be drawn based on the available evidence. However, the results analyzed from methodologically stronger research include findings sufficiently favorable to emphasize the value of further research in this field.":210 More rigor in future studies was called for.:v
More recent research suggests that meditation may increase attention spans. A recent randomized study published in Psychological Science reported that practicing meditation led to doing better on a task related to sustained attention.
In popular culture
Various forms of meditation have been described in popular culture sources. In particular, science fiction stories such as Frank Herbert's Dune, Star Trek, Artemis Fowl, Star Wars, Maskman, Lost Horizon by James Hilton, and Stargate SG-1 have featured characters who practice one form of meditation or another. Meditation also appears as overt themes in novels such as Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha.
- ^ Lutz et. al; Slagter, HA; Dunne, JD; Davidson, RJ (2008). "Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation". Trends in cognitive sciences 12 (4): 163–9. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.005. PMC 2693206. PMID 18329323. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2693206. The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices, ranging from techniques designed to promote relaxation to exercises performed with a more far-reaching goal such as a heightened sense of well-being. It is thus essential to be specific about the type of meditation practice under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions would be akin to the use of the word 'sport' to refer to all sports as if they were essentially the same. For example, the overly generic description of meditation as a mere relaxation technique12 becomes extremely problematic when one attends to the details of many practices (see 7 and Box 1 and Box 2)7,13,14. In contrast, here we conceptualize meditation as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory strategies developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance"
- ^ "MacMillan Reference Encyclopedia of Buddhism", the article entitled, "Meditation"
- ^ a b There are many different types of meditation, at least dozens, or perhaps many more: For descriptions of some of the more prominent approaches, both eastern and western, see Goleman's (1988) Meditative Mind, ISBN 0-87477-833-6 and Shear's (2006) Experience of Meditation, ISBN 9781557788573, both listed in this article's bibliography.
- ^ a b c Feuerstein, Georg. "Yoga and Meditation (Dhyana)." Moksha Journal. Issue 1. 2006. ISSN 1051-127X, OCLC 21878732
- ^ "NCAAM, Meditation: An Introduction "Uses of Meditation for Health in the United States". nccam.nih.gov. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#research. A 2007 national Government survey that asked about CAM use in a sample of 23,393 U.S. adults found that 9.4 percent of respondents (representing more than 20 million people) had used meditation in the past 12 months—compared with 7.6 percent of respondents (representing more than 15 million people) in a similar survey conducted in 2002. The 2007 survey also asked about CAM use in a sample of 9,417 children; 1 percent (representing 725,000 children) had used meditation in the past 12 months."
- ^ a b c d Ospina MB, Bond K, Karkhaneh M, et al. (June 2007). "Meditation practices for health: state of the research" (pdf). Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep) (155): 1–263. PMID 17764203. http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/meditation/medit.pdf.
- ^ a b A. B. Newberg & J. Iversen (2003). "The neural basis of the complex mental task of meditation: Neurotransmitter and neurochemical considerations". Medical Hypotheses (Elsevier) 61 (2): 282–291. doi:10.1016/S0306-9877(03)00175-0. ISSN 0306-9877. PMID 12888320.
- ^ a b c d B. Rael Cahn & John Polich (2006). "Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies". Psychological Bulletin (American Psychological Association) 132 (2): 180–211. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.132.2.180. ISSN 0033-2909. PMID 16536641.
- ^ a b A clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 ISBN 0306466201 pages 201-202
- ^ Wilkinson, G. Understanding Stress, Poole, Family Doctor Publications in association with British Medical Association, p111.
- ^ An universal etymological English dictionary 1773, London, by Nathan Bailey ISBN 1002377870. Note: from the 1773 edition on Google books, not earlier editions.[clarification needed]
- ^ Christian spirituality: themes from the tradition by Lawrence S. Cunningham, Keith J. Egan 1996 ISBN 0809136600 page 88
- ^ The Oblate Life by Gervase Holdaway, 2008 ISBN 0814631762 page 115
- ^ The verb root "dhyai" is listed as referring to "contemplate, meditate on" and "dhyāna" is listed as referring to "meditation; religious contemplation" on page 134 of Macdonell, Arthur Anthony (1929 (1971 reprint)). A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation and etymological analysis throughout. London: Oxford University Press.
- ^ Mirahmadi, Sayyid Nurjan; Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani Naqshbandi, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani & Hedieh Mirahmadi (2005). The healing power of sufi meditation. Fenton, MI: Naqshbandi Haqqani Sufi Order of America. ISBN 1930409265. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip057/2005001975.html.
- ^ a b c d e Goleman, Daniel (1988). The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. New York: Tarcher. ISBN 0-87477-833-6.
- ^ Jonathan Shear, ed (2006). The experience of meditation: Experts introduce the major traditions. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House. ISBN 9781557788573. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip066/2005037743.html.
- ^ Joel Stein (2003). "Just say Om". Time 162 (5): 48–56. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1005349,00.html. In the print edition (pp. 54-55), the "Through the Ages" box describes "Christian Meditation", "Cabalistic (Jewish) Meditation", "Muslim Meditation", and others.
- ^ Jean L. Kristeller (2010). Ruth A. Baer & Kelly G. Wilson. ed. "Spiritual engagement as a mechanism of change in mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies". Assessing mindfulness and acceptance processes in clients: Illuminating the theory and practice of change (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger): 152–184. ISBN 9781572246942. http://books.google.com/?id=8K41STQ06MMC&pg=PA162&dq=isbn:9781572246942+easwaran+passage&q=isbn%3A9781572246942%20easwaran%20passage. . Page 161 states "In Christianity, the term 'contemplation' is parallel to the term 'meditation' as it has entered contemporary usage"
- ^ a b A clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 ISBN 0306466201 page 199
- ^ Joseph, M. 1998, The effect of strong religious beliefs on coping with stress Stress Medicine. Vol 14(4), Oct 1998, 219-224.[clarification needed]
- ^ Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace has argued that focused attention is a basis for the practice of mindfulness. He writes that "Truly effective meditation is impossible without focused attention... the cultivation of attentional stability has been a core element of the meditative traditions throughout the centuries" (p. xi) in Wallace, B. Alan (2006). The attention revolution: Unlocking the power of the focused mind. Boston: Wisdom. ISBN 0861712765. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip065/2005037195.html.
- ^ Matt J. Rossano (2007). "Did meditating make us human?". Cambridge Archaeological Journal (Cambridge University Press) 17 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1017/S0959774307000054. This paper draws on various lines of evidence to argue that "Campfire rituals of focused attention created Baldwinian selection for enhanced working memory among our Homo sapiens ancestors.... this emergence was [in part] caused by a fortuitous genetic mutation that enhanced working memory capacity [and] a Baldwinian process where genetic adaptation follows somatic adaptation was the mechanism for this emergence" (p. 47).
- ^ "Online Bible". http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%201:8&version=NIV. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
- ^ "Joshua". Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
- ^ Hadot, Pierre; Arnold I. Davidson (1995) Philosophy as a way of life ISBN 0631180338 pages 83-84
- ^ Zen Buddhism : a History: India and China by Heinrich Dumoulin, James W. Heisig, Paul F. Knitter 2005 ISBN 0941532895 pages 15
- ^ Zen Buddhism : a History: India and China by Heinrich Dumoulin, James W. Heisig, Paul F. Knitter 2005 ISBN 0941532895 pages 50
- ^ Zen Buddhism : a History: Japan by Heinrich Dumoulin, James W. Heisig, Paul F. Knitter 2005 ISBN 0941532909 page 5
- ^ Soto Zen in Medieval Japan by William Bodiford 2008 ISBN 0824833031 page 39
- ^ The Cambridge History of Japan: Medieval Japan by Kōzō Yamamura, John Whitney Hall 1990 ISBN 0521223547 646
- ^ Prayer: a history by Philip Zaleski, Carol Zaleski 2005 ISBN 0618152881 page 147-149
- ^ Global Encyclopaedia of Education by Rama Sankar Yadav & B.N. Mandal 2007 ISBN 9788182202276 page 63
- ^ Spiritual Psychology by Akbar Husain 2006 ISBN 8182200954 page 109
- ^ An introduction to the Christian Orthodox churches by John Binns 2002 ISBN 0521667380 page 128
- ^ "Hesychasm". OrthodoxWiki. http://orthodoxwiki.org/Hesychasm. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- ^ "Mount Athos: History". Macedonian Heritage. http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/Athos/General/AthosHistory.html. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- ^ Christian Spirituality: A Historical Sketch by George Lane 2005 ISBN 0829420819 page 20
- ^ Christian spirituality: themes from the tradition by Lawrence S. Cunningham, Keith J. Egan 1996 ISBN 0809136600 page 38
- ^ The Oblate Life by Gervase Holdaway, 2008 ISBN 0814631762 page 109
- ^ After Augustine: the meditative reader and the text by Brian Stock 2001 ISBN 0812236025 page 105
- ^ Abelson, Peter (April 1993) Schopenhauer and Buddhism. Philosophy East and West Volume 43, Number 2, pp. 255-278. University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved on: 12 April 2008.
- ^ Enlightenment and reform in 18th-century Europe by Derek Edward Dawson Beales 2005 ISBN 1860649491 page 13
- ^ Shakya, Tsering "Review of Prisoners of Shangri-la by Donald Lopez". online
- ^ A clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 ISBN 0306466201 page 200
- ^ Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion by David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan 2009 ISBN page 559
- ^ a b Murphy, Michael. "1". The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: Scientific Studies of Contemplative Experience: An Overview. http://www.noetic.org/research/medbiblio/ch1.htm.
- ^ a b Roger Walsh & Shauna L. Shapiro (2006). "The meeting of meditative disciplines and western psychology: A mutually enriching dialogue". American Psychologist (American Psychological Association) 61 (3): 227–239. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.61.3.227. ISSN 0003-066X. PMID 16594839.
- ^ a b R. Jevning, R. K. Wallace & M. Beidebach (1992). "The physiology of meditation: A review: A wakeful hypometabolic integrated response". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 16 (3): 415–424. doi:10.1016/S0149-7634(05)80210-6. PMID 1528528.
- ^ Number of citations in PsycINFO: 69 for Walsh & Shapiro, 2006 (2 July 2010); 95 for Cahn & Polich, 2006 (2 July 2010); 57 for Jevning et al (1992) (3 July 2010); 103 for Goleman, 1988 (2 July 2010).
- ^ Claudio Naranjo (1972, originally published 1971), in: Naranjo and Orenstein, On the Psychology of Meditation. New York: Viking.
- ^ a b c d Kenneth Bond, Maria B. Ospina, Nicola Hooton, Liza Bialy, Donna M. Dryden, Nina Buscemi, David Shannahoff-Khalsa, Jeffrey Dusek & Linda E. Carlson (2009). "Defining a complex intervention: The development of demarcation criteria for "meditation"". Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (American Psychological Association) 1 (2): 129–137. doi:10.1037/a0015736. (a journal published by the American Psychological Association)
- ^ Mary Carroll (2005). "Divine therapy: Teaching reflective and meditative practices". Teaching Theology and Religion (Wiley) 8 (4): 232–238. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9647.2005.00249.x. ISSN 1467-9647.
- ^ a b Lutz, Dunne and Davidson, "Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness: An Introduction" in The Cambridge handbook of consciousness by Philip David Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch, Evan Thompson, 2007 ISBN 0521857430 page 499-551 (proof copy) (NB: pagination of published was 499-551 proof was 497-550).
- ^ a b "John Dunne's speech". http://ccare.stanford.edu/node/21.
- ^ a b c d e Eugene Taylor (1999). Michael Murphy, Steven Donovan & Eugene Taylor. ed. "Introduction". The physical and psychological effects of meditation: A review of contemporary research with a comprehensive bibliography 1931-1996 (Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences): 1–32. http://www.noetic.org/research/medbiblio/index.htm.
- ^ Besides Lectio and Yoga, examples include Herbert Benson's (1975) Relaxation Response ISBN 0-380-00676-6, Jon Kabat-Zinn's (1990) Full Catastrophe Living ISBN 0385298978, and Eknath Easwaran's (1978) Passage Meditation ISBN 9781586380267
- ^ This does not mean that all meditation seeks to take a person beyond all thought processes, only those processes that are sometimes referred to as "discursive" or "logical" (see Shapiro, 1982/1984; Bond, Ospina, et al, 2009; Appendix B, pp. 279-282 in Ospina, Bond, et al, 2007).
- ^ An influential definition by Shapiro (1982; republished 1984, 2008) states that "meditation refers to a family of techniques which have in common a conscious attempt to focus attention in a nonanalytical way and an attempt not to dwell on discursive, ruminating thought" (p. 6, italics in original); the term "discursive thought" has long been used in Western philosophy, and is often viewed as a synonym to logical thought (Rappe, Sara (2000). Reading neoplatonism : Non-discursive thinking in the texts of plotinus, proclus, and damascius. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521651585. http://books.google.com/?id=_DrXt-7UGkkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn=9780521651585#v=onepage&q&f=false. ).
- ^ Bond, Ospina et al (2009) -- see fuller discussion elsewhere on this page -- report that 7 expert scholars who had studied different traditions of meditation agreed that an "essential" component of meditation "Involves logic relaxation: not 'to intend' to analyze the possible psychophysical effects, not 'to intend' to judge the possible results, not 'to intend' to create any type of expectation regarding the process" (p. 134, Table 4). In their final consideration, all 7 experts regarded this feature as an "essential" component of meditation; none of them regarded it as merely "important but not essential" (p. 234, Table 4). (This same result is presented in Table B1 in Ospina, Bond, et al, 2007, p. 281)
- ^ Robert Ornstein (1972, originally published 1971), in: Naranjo and Orenstein, On the Psychology of Meditation. New York: Viking. LCCN 76149720
- ^ "members were chosen on the basis of their publication record of research on the therapeutic use of meditation, their knowledge of and training in traditional or clinically developed meditation techniques, and their affiliation with universities and research centers.... Each member had specific expertise and training in at least one of the following meditation practices: kundalini yoga, Transcendental Meditation, relaxation response, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and vipassana meditation" (Bond, Ospina et al, 2009, p. 131); their views were combined using the "The Delphi technique... a method of eliciting and refining group judgments to address complex problems with a high level of uncertainty" (p. 131).
- ^ The full quotation from Bond, Ospina et al (2009, p. 135) reads: "It is plausible that meditation is best thought of as a natural category of techniques best captured by 'family resemblances' (Wittgenstein, 1968) or by the related prototype model of concepts (Rosch, 1973; Rosch & Mervin, 1975)."
- ^ Lutz, A., Slagter, H. Dunne, J. and Davidson, R. (8 March 2010). Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. "The term ‘meditation’ refers to a broad variety of practices...In order to narrow the explanandum to a more tractable scope, this article uses Buddhist contemplative techniques and their clinical secular derivatives as a paradigmatic framework (see e.g., 9,10 or 7,9 for reviews including other types of techniques, such as Yoga and Transcendental Meditation). Among the wide range of practices within the Buddhist tradition, we will further narrow this review to two common styles of meditation, FA and OM (see box 1–box 2), that are often combined, whether in a single session or over the course of practitioner’s training. These styles are found with some variation in several meditation traditions, including Zen, Vipassanā and Tibetan Buddhism (e.g. 7,15,16)....The first style, FA meditation, entails voluntary focusing attention on a chosen object in a sustained fashion. The second style, OM meditation, involves non-reactively monitoring the content of experience from moment to moment, primarily as a means to recognize the nature of emotional and cognitive patterns"
- ^ The full quote from Bond, Ospina et al (2009, p. 130) reads: "The differences and similarities among these techniques is often explained in the Western meditation literature in terms of the direction of mental attention (Koshikawa & Ichii, 1996; Naranjo, 1971; Orenstein, 1971): A practitioner can focus intensively on one particular object (so-called concentrative mediation), on all mental events that enter the field of awareness (so-called mindfulness meditation), or both specific focal points and the field of awareness (Orenstein, 1971)."
- ^ Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation by Antoine Lutz, Heleen A. Slagter, John D. Dunne, and Richard J. Davidson online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2693206/
- ^ a b Antoine Lutz, Heleen A. Slagter, John D. Dunne & Richard J. Davidson (2008). "Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation". Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (4): 163–169. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.005. PMC 2693206. PMID 18329323. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2693206.
- ^ a b Fred Travis & Jonathan Shear (2010). "Focused attention, open monitoring and automatic self-transcending: Categories to organize meditations from Vedic, Buddhist and Chinese traditions". Consciousness and Cognition 19 (4): 1110–8. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2010.01.007. PMID 20167507.
- ^ a b c Perez-De-Albeniz, Alberto; Jeremy Holmes (March 2000). "Meditation: concepts, effects and uses in therapy". International Journal of Psychotherapy 5 (1): 49–59. doi:10.1080/13569080050020263. http://onwww.net/trancenet.org/research/2000perezdealbeniz.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- ^ Dietrich Lehmann, P. L. Faber, Peter Achermann, Daniel Jeanmonod, Lorena R. R. Gianotti & Diego Pizzagalli (2001). "Brain sources of EEG gamma frequency during volitionally meditation-induced, altered states of consciousness, and experience of the self". Psychiatry Research 108 (2): 111–121. doi:10.1016/S0925-4927(01)00116-0. PMID 11738545.
- ^ a b "Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting". Bahá'í International Community. 2011. http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-7.html. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- ^ a b c d Smith, Peter (2000). "Meditation". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 243–44. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
- ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Prayer". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 274. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
- ^ Effendi, Shoghi (1983). Hornby, Helen (Ed.). ed. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India. p. 506. ISBN 81-85091-46-3. http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance.
- ^ Effendi, Shoghi (1973). Directives from the Guardian. Hawaii Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 28. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/DG/dg-71.html#pg28.
- ^ For instance, Kamalashila (2003), p. 4, states that Buddhist meditation "includes any method of meditation that has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim." Likewise, Bodhi (1999) writes: "To arrive at the experiential realization of the truths it is necessary to take up the practice of meditation.... At the climax of such contemplation the mental eye ... shifts its focus to the unconditioned state, Nibbana...." A similar although in some ways slightly broader definition is provided by Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 142: "Meditation – general term for a multitude of religious practices, often quite different in method, but all having the same goal: to bring the consciousness of the practitioner to a state in which he can come to an experience of 'awakening,' 'liberation,' 'enlightenment.'" Kamalashila (2003) further allows that some Buddhist meditations are "of a more preparatory nature" (p. 4).
- ^ The Pāli and Sanskrit word bhāvanā literally means "development" as in "mental development." For the association of this term with "meditation," see Epstein (1995), p. 105; and, Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 20. As an example from a well-known discourse of the Pali Canon, in "The Greater Exhortation to Rahula" (Maha-Rahulovada Sutta, MN 62), Ven. Sariputta tells Ven. Rahula (in Pali, based on VRI, n.d.): ānāpānassatiṃ, rāhula, bhāvanaṃ bhāvehi. Thanissaro (2006) translates this as: "Rahula, develop the meditation [bhāvana] of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing." (Square-bracketed Pali word included based on Thanissaro, 2006, end note.)
- ^ See, for example, Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), entry for "jhāna1"; Thanissaro (1997); as well as, Kapleau (1989), p. 385, for the derivation of the word "zen" from Sanskrit "dhyāna." PTS Secretary Dr. Rupert Gethin, in describing the activities of wandering ascetics contemporaneous with the Buddha, wrote:
- "...[T]here is the cultivation of meditative and contemplative techniques aimed at producing what might, for the lack of a suitable technical term in English, be referred to as 'altered states of consciousness'. In the technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed 'meditations' ([Skt.:] dhyāna / [Pali:] jhāna) or 'concentrations' (samādhi); the attainment of such states of consciousness was generally regarded as bringing the practitioner to deeper knowledge and experience of the nature of the world." (Gethin, 1998, p. 10.)
- ^ Goldstein (2003) writes that, in regard to the Satipatthana Sutta, "there are more than fifty different practices outlined in this Sutta. The meditations that derive from these foundations of mindfulness are called vipassana..., and in one form or another — and by whatever name — are found in all the major Buddhist traditions" (p. 92). The forty concentrative meditation subjects refer to Visuddhimagga's oft-referenced enumeration. Regarding Tibetan visualizations, Kamalashila (2003), writes: "The Tara meditation ... is one example out of thousands of subjects for visualization meditation, each one arising out of some meditator's visionary experience of enlightened qualities, seen in the form of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas" (p. 227).
- ^ Examples of contemporary school-specific "classics" include, from the Theravada tradition, Nyanaponika (1996) and, from the Zen tradition, Kapleau (1989).
- ^ These definitions of samatha and vipassana are based on the "Four Kinds of Persons Sutta" (AN 4.94). This article's text is primarily based on Bodhi (2005), pp. 269-70, 440 n. 13. See also Thanissaro (1998d).
- ^ See, for instance, AN 2.30 in Bodhi (2005), pp. 267-68, and Thanissaro (1998e).
- ^ The Rosary: A Path Into Prayer by Liz Kelly 2004 ISBN 082942024X pages 79 and 86
- ^ Christian Meditation for Beginners by Thomas Zanzig, Marilyn Kielbasa 2000, ISBN 0884893618 page 7
- ^ An introduction to Christian spirituality by F. Antonisamy, 2000 ISBN 8171094295 pages 76-77
- ^ Christian Meditation by Edmund P. Clowney, 1979 ISBN 1573832278 page 12
- ^ Christian Meditation by Edmund P. Clowney, 1979 ISBN 1573832278 pages 12-13
- ^ The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2003 ISBN 9004126546 page 488
- ^ EWTN: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Letter on certain aspects of Christian meditation (in English), October 15, 1989
- ^ Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2003 New Age Beliefs Aren't Christian, Vatican Finds
- ^ BBC Feb 4, 2003 Vatican sounds New Age alert
- ^ Vatican website
- ^ Simple Ways to Pray by Emilie Griffin 2005 ISBN 0742550842 page 134
- ^ Alexander Wynne, The Origin of Buddhist Meditation. Routledge 2007, page 51. The earliest reference is actually in the Mokshadharma, which dates to the early Buddhist period.
- ^ The Katha Upanishad describes yoga, including mediation. On meditation in this and other post-Buddhist Hindu literature see Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Harvard University Press, 2000, page 199.
- ^ a b Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-521-43878-0. http://books.google.com/?id=KpIWhKnYmF0C&pg=PA94.
- ^ Wheeler, Deborah (22 July 2010). "Yoga with a Christian twist". waltonsun.com. http://www.waltonsun.com/news/christian-5144-practice-yoga.html. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- ^ "Swami Vivekananda. Complete Works Vol 4". http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_4/Lectures_and_Discourses/Meditation.
- ^ 3 Al Emran, verses 189-194; 6 Al Anaam verses 160 to 163.
- ^ Dwivedi, Kedar Nath. Review:Freedom from Self, Sufism, Meditation and Psychotherapy. Group Analysis, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 434-436, December 1989
- ^ Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam. Its History, Teaching, and Practices. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 111. ISBN 0253343151.
- ^ The Final Testament by Rashad Khalifa, Appendix 28 - Muhammad Wrote God's Revelations With His Own Hand submission.org. Retrieved on: January 8, 2009.
- ^ Khalifa, Rashad (2001). Quran: The Final Testament. Universal Unity. pp. 536. ISBN 1881893057.
- ^ "01.01 Traditions of shramanas". Bhagwan Mahavira. JVB, Ladnun, India. 1995. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=66251. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- ^ "1 History and Tradition". Introduction to Jainism. JVB, Ladnun, India. 2007.
- ^ "04.04 accomplishment of sadhana". Bhagwan Mahavira. JVB, Ladnun, India. 1995. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=66251. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- ^ Ahimsa - The Science Of Peace: by Surendra Bothra 1987
- ^ "Achraya Bhadrabahu Swami". http://www.ejainism.com/bhadrabahuswami.html. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- ^ Jain Yoga by Acharya Mahapragya 2004
- ^ "Foreword". Jain Yog. Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh. 2004.
- ^ "blessings". Sambodhi. Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh. 2004.
- ^ a b "07 Yoga and Meditation (2)". Introduction To Jainism. Prakrit Bharti Academy, jaipur, India. 2006. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=66251. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- ^ "07 Yoga and Meditation (2)". Introduction To Jainism. Prakrit Bharti Academy, jaipur, India. 2006. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=66251. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- ^ Preksha Dhyana: Yogic Exercises. Jain Vishva Bharati. 2007. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=71578. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- ^ "Preksha Meditation". Preksha International. http://www.preksha.com/. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- ^ The history and varieties of Jewish meditation by Mark Verman 1997 ISBN 9781568215228 page 1
- ^ Jacobs, L. (1976) Jewish Mystical Testimonies, Jerusalem, Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd.
- ^ Kaplan, A. (1978) Meditation and the Bible, Maine, Samuel Weiser Inc, p 101.
- ^ The history and varieties of Jewish meditation by Mark Verman 1997 ISBN 9781568215228 page 45
- ^ Kaplan, A. (1982) Meditation and Kabbalah, Maine, Samuel Weiser, Inc.
- ^ Matt, D.C. (1996) The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism, San Francisco, HarperCollins.
- ^ Scholem, G. G. (1988) Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, New York, Schocken Books, pp 244-286
- ^ Kaplan, A. (1985) Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide, New York Schocken Books.
- ^ Kaplan, A. (1978) op cit p2
- ^ Kaplan, (1982) op cit, p13
- ^ Time Magazine, Youth: The Hippies Friday, Jul. 07, 1967
- ^ Barnia, George (1996). religioustolerance.org The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators. Dallas TX: Word Publishing. http://www.religioustolerance.org/newage.htm religioustolerance.org.
- ^ Hoopes, Aaron (2007). Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment though Breathing, Movement and Meditation. Kodansha International. ISBN 9784770030474.
- ^ Harper, Donald; Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy (1999/2007). The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC.. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. pp. 880. ISBN 9780521470308. http://books.google.com/?id=cHA7Ey0-pbEC&dq=cambridge++history+of+ancient+china&printsec=frontcover&q=.
- ^ Jiddu, Krishnamurti (2002) [Originally published 1979. New York: Harper & Row]. "Preface". Meditations. Blau, Evelyne ed. Boston: Shambhala Publications. Paperback. ISBN 978-1570629419.
- ^ Jiddu, Krishnamurti (1975). (Reprint ed.) [Originally published 1969]. Freedom from the Known. Lutyens, Mary ed. HarperSanFrancisco. p. 116. ISBN 0-06-064808-2. J.Krishnamurti Online. Serial No. 237. Para. 312. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- ^ a b Mysteries of the Rosary by Stephen J. Binz 2005 ISBN 1585955191 page 3
- ^ a b The everything Buddhism book by Jacky Sach 2003 ISBN 9781580628846 page 175
- ^ For a general overview see Beads of Faith: Pathways to Meditation and Spirituality Using Rosaries, Prayer Beads, and Sacred Words by Gray Henry, Susannah Marriott 2008 ISBN 1887752951
- ^ a b Meditation and Mantras by Vishnu Devananda 1999 ISBN 8120816153 pages 82-83
- ^ "Meditation: An Introduction". NCCAM. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm.
- ^ Herbert Benson, Miriam Z. Klipper. The Relaxation Response. Amazon.com. ISBN 0517091321. http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Response-M-D-Herbert-Benson/dp/0380815958/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280405037&sr=8-1. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- ^ "The Healing History of EEG Biofeedback". Eagle Life Communications. http://www.eaglelife.com/biofeedbackmeditation.html. Retrieved March 2007.
- ^ "In the last 20 years, mindfulness has become the focus of considerable attention for a large community of clinicians and, to a lesser extent, empirical psychology." - Mindfulness: A Proposed Operation Definition
- ^ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Elizabeth Wheeler, Timothy Light, Anne Skillings, Mark J. Scharf, Thomas G. Cropley, David Hosmer & Jeffrey D. Bernhard (1998). "Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (uvb) and photochemotherapy (puva)". Psychosomatic Medicine 60 (5): 625–632. ISSN 0033-3174. PMID 9773769. http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/60/5/625.
- ^ Kabat-Zinn gives the body scan and food meditations in "Mindfulness for Beginners" the 2CD set, and Matthieu Ricard gives the letting thoughts arise and pass away in his 2CD set "Happiness: A Guide to Cultivating Life's Most Important Skill"
- ^ "Jon Kabat-Zinn gives a Google Tech Talk about introductory mindfulness practice online". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSU8ftmmhmw.
- ^ see Progressive muscle relaxation from where these two references were taken showing that this method reduces extreme anxiety, 1) Craske & Barlow (2006). Worry. Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN 0-19-530001-7 and 2) Chen WC; Chu H; Lu RB; Chou YH; Chen CH; Chang YC; O'Brien AP; Chou KR. (Aug 2009). "Efficacy of progressive muscle relaxation training in reducing anxiety in patients with acute schizophrenia". Journal of Clinical Nursing 18 (15): 2187–96. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02773.x. PMID 19583651.
- ^ Gustave Reininger, ed (1997). Centering prayer in daily life and ministry. New York: Continuum. ISBN 9780826410412. http://books.google.com/?id=xEhaEDm7jsIC&pg=PT1&dq=isbn=9780826410412+Centering+prayer+in+daily+life+and+ministry&q.
- ^ The organization Contemplative Outreach, which teaches Christian Centering Prayer, has chapters in non-Western locations in Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea (accessed 5 July 2010)
- ^ Keating, Thomas (1986/1997). Open mind, open heart. New York: Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-0696-3.
- ^ Taylor (1999, p. 7) stated that "the increased Soviet influence in India, the Cultural Revolution in China, the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet and Mongolia, and the increased political influence of Chinese Communism in Korea and Southeast Asia were key forces that collectively set the stage for an influx of Asian spiritual teachers to the West. An entirely new generation of them appeared on the American scene and they found a willing audience of devotees within the American counter-culture. Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Swami Satchitananda, Guru Maharaji, Kerpal Singh, Nayanaponika Thera, Swami Rama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chogyam Trungpa, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Swami Muktananda, Sri Bagwan Rujneesh, Pir Viliyat Kahn, and the Karmapa were but a few of the names that found followers in the United States... [and] the most well known and influential... today remains Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989."
- ^ Corey, G. (March 2000). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (6th ed.).. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.. pp. 550. ISBN 0534348238.
- ^ Deane Shapiro "Towards an empirical understanding of meditation as an altered state of consciousness" in Meditation, classic and contemporary perspectives by Deane H. Shapiro, Roger N. Walsh 1984 ISBN 0202251365 page 13
- ^ New developments in consciousness research by Vincent W. Fallio 2006 ISBN 1600212476 page 151
- ^ Denise Denniston and Peter McWilliams, The TM Book: How to Enjoy the Rest of Your Life, pp. 179-180, Three Rivers Press, ISBN 0-8431-0520-8
- ^ O'Brien, Barbara. "The Buddhist Precepts. An Introduction". buddhism.about.com. http://buddhism.about.com/od/theprecepts/a/preceptsintro.htm.
- ^ Weil, Andrew (1998). The natural mind: an investigation of drugs and the higher consciousness. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0395911567, 9780395911563.
- ^ "Salvia divinorum Scotland ~ Salvia Section". salvia-divinorum-scotland.co.uk. http://www.salvia-divinorum-scotland.co.uk/salvia/ethnopharmacology.htm. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- ^ "PUBLIC LAW 103-344 [H.R. 4230; October 6, 1994"]. http://www.nativeamericanchurch.com/law.html. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- ^ "A Zen Life" a documentary film about the life of D.T. Suzuki
- ^ Rick Strassman, DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, 320 pages, Park Street Press, 2001, ISBN 0-89281-927-8
- ^ Lutz, Dunne and Davidson, "Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness: An Introduction" in The Cambridge handbook of consciousness by Philip David Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch, Evan Thompson, 2007 ISBN 0521857430 pages 498-499
- ^ Kabat-Zinn, Jon; Lipworth L, Burney R. (1985). "The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain". Journal of Behavioral Medicine 8 (2): 163–190. doi:10.1007/BF00845519. PMID 3897551.
- ^ Davidson, Richard J.; Kabat-Zinn, Jon; Schumacher, Jessica; Rosenkrantz, Melissa; Muller, Daniel; Santorelli, Saki F.; Urbanowski, Ferris; Harrington, Anne; Bonus, Katherine; Sheridan, John F. (2003 July–August). "Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation". Psychosomatic Medicine 65 (4): 564–570. doi:10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3. PMID 12883106.
- ^ Katherine A. MacLean, Emilio Ferrer, Stephen R. Aichele, David A. Bridwell, Anthony P. Zanesco, Tonya L. Jacobs, Brandon G. King, Erika L. Rosenberg, Baljinder K. Sahdra, Phillip R. Shaver, Alan Wallace, George R. Mangun & Clifford D. Saron (2010). "Intensive Meditation Training Improves Perceptual Discrimination and Sustained Attention". Psychological Science 21 (6): 829–839. doi:10.1177/0956797610371339. ISSN 0956-7976. PMC 3132583. PMID 20483826. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=3132583. "Our findings suggest that training-related improvements in perception can decrease resource demands and thus improve vigilance" (p. 836). Study participants in the meditation condition practiced 5 hours per day over 3 months.
- Austin, James H. (1999) Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999, ISBN 0-262-51109-6
- Azeemi, Khawaja Shamsuddin Azeemi (2005) Muraqaba: The Art and Science of Sufi Meditation. Houston: Plato, 2005, ISBN 0-9758875-4-8
- Bennett-Goleman, T. (2001) Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart, Harmony Books, ISBN 0-609-60752-9
- Benson, Herbert and Miriam Z. Klipper. (2000 ). The Relaxation Response. Expanded Updated edition. Harper. ISBN 0-380-81595-8
- Bond, Kenneth; Maria B. Ospina, Nicola Hooton, Liza Bialy, Donna M. Dryden, Nina Buscemi, David Shannahoff-Khalsa, Jeffrey Dusek & Linda E. Carlson (2009). "Defining a complex intervention: The development of demarcation criteria for "meditation"". Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (American Psychological Association) 1 (2): 129–137. doi:10.1037/a0015736. (NB: Bond, Ospina et al., 2009, has substantial overlap with the full report by Ospina, Bond et al., 2007, listed below. Overlap includes the first 6 authors of this paper, and the equivalence of Table 3 on p. 134 in this paper with Table B1 on p. 281 in the full report)
- Craven JL (October 1989). "Meditation and psychotherapy". Can J Psychiatry 34 (7): 648–53. PMID 2680046.
- Goleman, Daniel (1988). The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. New York: Tarcher. ISBN 0-87477-833-6.
- Hayes SC, Strosahl KD, Wilson KG. (1999) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.
- Kutz I, Borysenko JZ, Benson H (January 1985). "Meditation and psychotherapy: a rationale for the integration of dynamic psychotherapy, the relaxation response, and mindfulness meditation". Am J Psychiatry 142 (1): 1–8. PMID 3881049.
- Lutz, Antoine; Richard J. Davidson; et al. (2004). "Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (November 16): 16369–73. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407401101. PMC 526201. PMID 15534199. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/101/46/16369.
- Metzner R. (2005) Psychedelic, Psychoactive and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness. In Mind-Altering Drugs: The Science of Subjective Experience, Chap. 2. Mitch Earlywine, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- MirAhmadi, As Sayed Nurjan Healing Power of Sufi Meditation The Healing Power of Sufi Meditation Paperback: 180 pages Publisher: Islamic Supreme Council of America (June 30, 2005) Language: English
- Nirmalananda Giri, Swami (2007) Om Yoga: It's Theory and Practice In-depth study of the classical meditation method of the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and the Upanishads.
- Ospina Maria B., Kenneth Bond, Mohammad Karkhaneh, Lisa Tjosvold, Ben Vandermeer, Yuanyuan Liang, Liza Bialy, Nicola Hooton, Nina Buscemi, Donna M. Dryden & Terry P. Klassen (June 2007). "Meditation practices for health: state of the research" (pdf). Evidence Report / Technology Assessment (Full Report), prepared by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0023) (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) (155): 1–263. PMID 17764203. http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/meditation/medit.pdf.
- Perez-De-Albeniz, Alberto & Holmes, Jeremy (2000) Meditation: Concepts, Effects And Uses In Therapy. International Journal of Psychotherapy, March 2000, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p49, 10p
- Shalif, Ilan et al. (1989) Focusing on the Emotions of Daily Life (Tel-Aviv: Etext Archives, 2008)
- Shapiro, Deane H. (1982). "Overview: Clinical and physiological comparison of meditation with other self-control strategies". American Journal of Psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association) 139 (3): 267–274. ISSN 0002-953X. PMID 7036760. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/3/267. ; Reprinted as chapter 1 (pp. 5–10) in Shapiro, Deane H.; Roger N. Walsh (1984). Meditation, classic and contemporary perspectives. New York: Aldine. ISBN 0202251365. http://books.google.com/?id=2IGg9aYNeBQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn=9780202362441#v=onepage&q&f=false. (the book was republished in 2008: ISBN 9780202362441, ISBN 0202362442)
- Shapiro DH (1992). "Adverse effects of meditation: a preliminary investigation of long-term meditators". Int J Psychosom 39 (1–4): 62–7. PMID 1428622.
- Shear, Jonathan, ed (2006). The experience of meditation: Experts introduce the major traditions. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House. ISBN 9781557788573. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip066/2005037743.html.
- Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, ISBN 0-06-250834-2
- Smith, Fritz Frederick (1986): Inner Bridges: A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure, Humanics Ltd. Partners, ISBN 978-0-89334-086-5.
- Tart, Charles T., editor. Altered States of Consciousness (1969) ISBN 0-471-84560-4
- Trungpa, C. (1973) Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Shambhala South Asia Editions, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Trungpa, C. (1984) Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Shambhala Dragon Editions, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Erhard Vogel. (2001) Journey Into Your Center, Nataraja Publications, ISBN 1-892484-05-6
- Wenner, Melinda. "Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works." LiveScience.com. 30 June 2007.
- Ajahn Brahm, Mindfulness Bliss and Beyond. ISBN 978-0-86171-275-5
- Baba, Meher (1995). Discourses. Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Sheriar Foundation. ISBN 1-880619-09-1. http://www.discoursesbymeherbaba.org.
- Cooper, David. A. The Art of Meditation: A Complete Guide. ISBN 81-7992-164-6
- Easwaran, Eknath. Meditation (see article). ISBN 0-915132-66-4 new edition: Passage Meditation. ISBN 978-1-58638-026-7. The Mantram Handbook ISBN 978-1-58638-028-1
- Glickman, Marshall (2002) Beyond the Breath: Extraordinary Mindfulness Through Whole-Body Vipassana. ISBN 1582900434
- Goenka, S. N.. Meditation Now: Inner Peace through Inner Wisdom, ISBN 1-928706-23-1, ISBN 978-1-928706-23-6
- Hart, William. Art of Living, Vipassana Meditation, ISBN 0-06-063724-2, ISBN 978-0-06-063724-8
- Krishnamurti, Jiddu. This Light in Oneself: True Meditation, 1999, Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-442-9
- Levin, Michal. Meditation, Path to the Deepest Self, Dorling Kindersley, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7894-8333-1
- Long, Barry. Meditation: A Foundation Course — A Book of Ten Lessons. ISBN 1-899324-00-3
- Meiche, Michele. Meditation for Everyday Living. ISBN 0-9710374-6-9
- Monaghan, Patricia and Eleanor G. Viereck. Meditation: The Complete Guide. ISBN 1-57731-088-8
- Vethathiri Maharishi. Yoga for Modern life.
- Wood, Ernest. Concentration - An Approach to Meditation. Theosophical Publishing House 1949. ISBN 0-8356-0176-5.
- Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi.
- Understanding Confucianism by Jennifer Oldstone-Moore.
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