There are various types of meditation - prayer is probably the best
known, but there is also TM (Transcendental Meditation), mindfulness meditation, and from
the Eastern tradition, Zen meditation, Buddhist meditation, and Taoist meditation.
The meditation encompasses such diverse methods as:
Formal sitting in
which the body is held immobile and the attention controlled. e.g., Zazen,
Expressive practices , in which the body is
let free and anything can happen. e.g., Siddha Yoga, the Latihan, the chaotic meditation of
The practice of going about one's daily round
of activities mindfully. e.g., Mahamudra, Shikan Taza, Gurdjieff's
All these practices have one thing in common - they all
focus on quietening the busy mind. The intention is not to remove stimulation but rather
to direct your concentration to one healing element - one sound, one word, one image, or
one's breath. When the mind is "filled" with the feeling of calm and peace, it
cannot take off on its own and worry, stress out, or get depressed.
According to Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of mind/body
medicine, meditation can be broadly defined as any activity that keeps the attention
pleasantly anchored in the present moment. When the mind is calm and focused in the
present, it is neither reacting to memories from the past nor being preoccupied with plans
for the future, two major sources of chronic stress known to impact health.
"Meditation," says Dr. Borysenko, "helps to keep us from identifying with
the 'movies of the mind."
Next Topic: Types of
Meditation - Classification