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Meditation is a state of mind that one can create to achieve concentration on something or relaxation. It is usually associated with eastern cultures as it derived from early Hinduism. It can be used for personal development and a way of connecting ones mind to a spiritual being or presence. Many practice meditation for peace of mind and tranquility and other use it for practicing to become healthier such as part of yoga.

Meditation in the modern sense generally means a form of contemplation. One achieves a meditative state whilst meditating. Theorists adopted the word "meditation" in the late 19th century as a form of contemplation from eastern cultures and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and other practices of the east. People find meditation very harmonious and it is said that through prayer we can talk to a spiritual being and through meditation, the spiritual being can talk to us.

Meditation can be seen as an altered state of consciousness. The different methods of meditation can be organized to their focus although categorizing meditation can be difficult as it is a very unique and individual state of being and can mean different things to different people.

Meditation has always been central to such cultures as Buddhism. Buddhism revolves itself around the idea of tranquility, deep thought and relaxation and meditation plays a key role in this. In Christianity, meditation is considered a type of prayer. Some texts say it is correct to meditate on scriptures and some emphasize other postures that may be used for meditating. Some postures include the seated posture, the cross-legged posture and the standing posture.

Meditation can be beneficial for everyone and many cultures stress the importance of regular and continual practice to achieve longer concentration and increased focus during daily lives. For many people, meditation has been excellent for improved awareness, concentration, relaxation and calmness in their lives. People also report their spiritual growth and awareness of spiritual beings around them.

Recent years have seen a boom in the practice of meditation in western societies. This has sparked arousing interest into psychological studies being carried out to see what kind of effects meditation can have on someone. It has also made its way into many mainstream medicinal practices as a form of relaxation and concentration for many people. De-stressing is very important in today's stressful world. Training someones attention may be beneficial not only for personal gain, but in the business world and the world of education where concentration is key for success.

Principally, there only seem to be positive effects of meditation and little or few side effects exist. This is because it does not involve any type of medication be it artificial or natural, doe not require any expensive equipment, and does not require any instruction. In some severe cases where meditation is practiced intensely and overtakes people's lives, it may lead to some psychological damage and may affect ones physical health, especially if they are not eating. But these circumstances are few and far between. Practiced properly and regularly, meditation can be a rewarding experience.

Eastern cultures drink herbal tea to aid them in meditating and some Middle Eastern cultures drink coffee as part of their meditation routine. Some do a type of fast in order for them to get their bodies ready for something. Some people do not do anything special and just meditate.

Whether you meditate for personal gain, health, relaxation or concentration, meditation can be extremely good for you both emotionally and physically. It is no wonder why so many people are doing it and with the recent rise in alternative therapies, meditation will definitely get more popular in years to come.


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