Definition of Meditation
There are different definitions of meditations, depending on the religions and groups of people practicing it. Although meditation has nothing to do with God and religion, many people practice it as a religious ritual. Meditation generally is practiced by theists to go closer to God and for getting other benefits, while people belonging to Atheists religions and others practice it to get the benefits that meditating offers.
Some people mix prayers or chanting the name of God with meditation, but such things are not called as meditation.
Then what is meditation?
Meditation is silencing your mind by keeping all the thoughts away from it. Any activity done withawareness is known as meditation. In other words, meditation is staying in present movement and keeping our mind away from thinking about past or future, and also thinking about 'other' persons and things. As we know, our mind is restless and always think about past, future and many useless things.
You can meditate while working, studying, watching, listening or any other activity. You do not need a specific pose of your body to meditate, you can do it while walking, sitting, sleeping, working etc.
In simple words, meditation is being alert about our present actions including thoughts, feeling and emotions. Remember that meditation is not concerned about the actions and activities, but awareness and alertness of our mind. It is not a goal to achieve. Also remember that meditation is not concentrating of mind. Nor it is thinking about God or Praying to God.
Pure meditation is related to self consciousness.
The Origin of Meditation
The origin of meditation can be traced to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization which was prevalent in present day Pakistan and Western India 5000 years ago. The archeologists have found many clay seals at various sites of this civilization with images of persons in meditating poses. It suggests that there were ascetics in Indus valley civilization who were practicing meditation. Later, this practice was spread all over south Asia, as well as in Tibet mainly through the religious traditions like Jainism, Bon Po, Buddhism, Ajivak, Shaivism etc. Practicing meditation was a must thing for ascetics of all these religions. This fact is well preserved in the literature, art and architecture related to various ancient religions of South Asia.
Benefits of Meditation
There are many spiritual and worldly benefits of practicing meditation. The foremost benefit is that we learn to control your mind and keep away yourself from anger, hate, anxiety, greed and a wide range of all such wrong things. We learn to avoid reacting quickly, and reacting without thinking. Our mind stops to irritate by small things. We get peace of mind.
By practicing meditation, we learn to detach ourselves from worldly things, and start to live in simplicity.
By practicing mediation, we learn to take all our day to day decisions carefully, which helps us to be successful.
Meditation helps us to reduce stress and anxiety. On health side, most of the health problems related to stress are automatically cured.
On social side, meditation can help a lot to solve many problems, as society is made out of individuals, and if individuals start to practice meditation, the society will automatically get benefited.
How to Meditate?
There are different ways of meditation depending on the traditions. I suggest you to avoid meditating in the way which is promoted by any religious tradition, as I have experienced that joining any religious tradition can not show you the true path of pure meditation.
Please watch following video clips for getting thorough idea of meditating. But ultimately, you have to choose you own way to meditate.
Dalai Lama, the renowned Buddhist monk says, "Sleep is the Best Meditation"
Osho, the great spiritualist of 20th century said, "To be alone and to be drunk with your own aloneness is what meditation is all about"
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” -Voltaire
"Only one thing is going to remain with you: that is your witnessing, that is your watchfulness. This watchfulness is meditation" -Osho