Meditation is a word that people frequently hear nowadays. The media and the internet talk a lot about the benefits of meditation. And since most people have hectic lives these days, so practicing meditation has become more prominent. The first image that comes to mind when thinking about meditation is sitting still with folded legs and eyes closed. But meditation is not an activity, it’s a state of mind. The true meaning of meditation is when the mind is in a relaxed and aware state.
The main aim of meditation is to relax the body, free the mind from all thoughts and to learn to control it. So there are two main things that meditation focuses on. First, one needs to relax their body completely, and gradually attain a state where the mind is free from all thoughts. The second goal is to calm the mind and control it over time. That is why mediation is not something that a person practices for just a few days or occasionally. It must be done regularly, and with discipline and commitment.
The History Of Meditation
Everyone knows what meditation is, but most people don’t know its history. The most common name associated with meditation is Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. But people were practicing meditation long before Buddha was even born. So let’s discuss the origins and history of meditation in detail.
Meditation seems to have originated in India in ancient times. The exact origin of meditation is difficult to trace because it happened at a time when people didn’t record such events. In those ages, people used to pass down their knowledge and teachings through word of mouth.
Earliest Records Of Meditation
The oldest records of the art of meditation were during the period of 5000 to 3000 BCE. In those times, people would make drawings and sculptures on the walls. Some of the wall arts from this period depict people sitting with folded legs in the typical meditation posture.
After that, the next significant record is the written information in Vedas at around 1500 BCE. It mentions meditation as an act to calm the mind and attain a higher state of awareness. So this implies that meditation was an important cultural aspect of India at that time.
Meditation is often associated with the religion of Buddhism. During the 6th century in the BCE era, Gautam Buddha had set out to attain enlightenment. He gathered the knowledge and concepts of meditation from different learned people and sages. Then he started mediating himself, and eventually gained enlightenment. After that, he began sharing his wisdom and teaching people. This gave rise to Buddhist meditation techniques.
The followers of Buddha and his teachings were gradually increasing in Asia. And the religion of Buddhism slowly came into existence. So meditation became an essential aspect for Buddhists, which they still practice until this day. Most of the meditation techniques adopted by Western Countries are also focused on Buddhist meditation. Thus, the spread of Buddhism is also a vital part of the history of meditation.