The practice of meditation dates back to prehistoric times in which civilizations used it to appease the Gods. From the 8th century on meditation grew in Japan and China and was soon practiced in the Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and Christian religions, some using prayer as their form of meditation.
Since the 1960’s meditation has been part of scientific research linking positive changes in bodily processes such as blood pressure and metabolism, in addition to stress and pain reduction, from the practice of consistent meditation. Throughout the years dozens of meditation styles and techniques have surfaced carrying different meanings depending on religious, traditional and even personal beliefs.
Many religions practice their own meditation traditions that are in align with their religion and beliefs. The most commonly known traditions are Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Despite different religious beliefs one thing remains the same and that is that meditation is a mental discipline used to achieve a connection with our “higher self”. This connection enhances our lives with well-being, peace, joy, happiness and most of all compassion and love.
Zen Buddhism is very popular throughout the world as it emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and direct insight into the Buddhist teachings.
The practice of meditation encompasses many styles and traditions throughout the world. Some of which include the use of prayer, meditation or healing beads that are used to count the repetitions of prayer, mantra, chants or devotions. The earliest use of beads is traced to Hindu prayer in India, followed by Buddhism. The use of healing stones has also been incorporated into the practice of meditation in such environments as a meditation retreat and spas.
Today, “New Age” meditation practices are more on a personal level in which one practices meditation in relation to their own personal beliefs versus the beliefs of a specific religion or tradition.
There is no wrong way to practice meditation. It is up to each individual to find a technique that best suits their needs. One of the greatest attractions to meditation is the fact that it is free health care and can be practiced anywhere at anytime!