The word “Meditation” can be tricky to explain, because it is an umbrella term covering an endless variety of methods, practices and states of consciousness. The diversity of methods can range from a three minute “on the go” breathing “meditation”, to techniques of channeling, all the way to profound and life-changing out-of-body experiences.
These and many other variations all fall under the term “meditation.” Today more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of spiritual development. So, what is meditation about and how can it help us in our evolution?
In the last century meditation was relatively uncommon and rather exotic to western society. When it started to become a subject of study, increasing numbers of people turned to eastern meditation techniques in their pursuit of spiritual experiences.
Meanwhile business people and managers started to practice meditation secretly to gain emotional and psychological benefits. By now, however, it has become normal and even socially approved to integrate meditation into a modern life-style.
How did Meditation become Popular?
The reason I believe it has become so popular is because meditation can be easily integrated into almost every life style, it is manageable in safe environments and can be practiced at a self chosen pace. It has become socially accepted and, to a certain degree, even respected due to role models such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama.
Meditation is a method of connecting with the subconscious, as well as the spiritual world. One can maintain control over the pace of the practice and progress and have enough time to integrate the experiences. Meditation has many facets, and different techniques focus on different aspects and results. Due to the universal nature of our consciousness and the anatomy of our subtle bodies, similarities across cultures and conceptual methods are common.
In traditional context from Asian culture, meditation was an essential part of spiritual development and a way of contemplating on and connecting with nature and the universe.
In Taoist philosophy, the word “Yi” in Chinese (meaning intention or will-power) is being focused on and trained in the course of meditation. In Taoism it is said that “Yi” controls the “Qi” (life energy) and the “Qi” fuels the physical functionality of our body. Consequently meditation in those cultures was known to be beneficial for health within the context of a holistic philosophy and worldview.
When the effects of meditation were being researched by western medicine, the focus was more on documenting the different brain activities, positive influences on the psyche and healing effects on the body. Based on the results of this research many products and workshops were created and, with time, a whole market developed around result-oriented meditation programs for attracting wealth and abundance, a soulmate, curing anxiety, insomnia, increasing concentration, energy and so on.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing, fixing common life problems was not the original intention of meditation. These developments have, however, helped to make meditation a somewhat marketable and popular commodity.
Meditation for Mystical Experience
As a result of the above we have to make a main distinction between meditation as a way of achieving transcendental experiences beyond the limited self, and meditation as a tool for solving certain problems in life. There is no judgement in this differentiation and, certainly, both have their advantages.
We should keep in mind, though, that many of the physical, emotional and psychological benefits are side-effects of the calming and relaxation process.
Many meditation tracks based on research are designed to alter our states of consciousness through technologies like Brainwave Entrainment to aid us in spiritual development and having experiences such as astral traveling, remote viewing, channeling, energy working, distant healing, out of body experiences, etc.
In these cases the meditator enters the state of universal perception, where worldly issues like wealth, career, finances and even health are not present. In this state measurable brainwaves go below the so called alpha state down to the range of theta and delta waves (to see the frequency bandwidth and their correlations, see my article about Brainwave Entrainment).
In this state astral projection and inner journeys can occur – in other words when consciousness is outside of the body. Our consciousness can tune into different frequencies of reality and enter other spaces and realms. We can then have a range of experiences and receive new information inputs that are beyond the normal perceptions of our physical five senses.
Once we have entered that state of boundlessness, it can be humbling to realize how vast these spaces are. From there we can keep exploring and at the same time learn how astral and ethereal realms are interconnected and interact with the physical world.
On these planes it is possible and not unlikely to meet other forms of intelligence – some similar to ourselves, some so different or advanced that we can barely conceive of them. Communicating with these entities can greatly expand our horizons and perceptions of creation, intelligence and life. Those experiences can put us and our life on Earth into a different perspective and a new context.
So What is Meditation about Now and How can You Get into it?
People who are just beginning usually want to be informed about what meditation is and what it is not. Many websites on meditation show images of people sitting cross-legged, with their eyes closed, doing mudras and smiling softly. Although this imagery is probably the most common association with the term “meditation”, I believe it is a superficial representation and does not do justice to the true meaning of meditation.
This is rather like explaining the concept of dreaming by showing a picture of a person in bed sleeping instead of showing imagery of dream states.
Topics related to meditation, such as quieting the mind, altering brainwave states and breathing techniques etc., are more tangible and easy to communicate, but they only touch on some of the “stuff around” and do not really convey the essence of the experience. In the end, if you really want to know what meditation is, you have to create your own experiences and see for yourself what direction is most suitable for and applicable to you.
How do I get started?
1. Follow your intuition to find the right methods
If you feel attracted to a certain form or a particular context of meditation, I recommend that you follow this intuition. This can lead you to the correct methodologies, conditions and situations for you.
2. Define the meaning of meditation for you
If you are not yet aware of any tendencies or intuition, my suggestion is that you try to clarify first what you want from meditation. The more precise your personal definition is, the easier you will find something that suits you.
3. Integrate meditation into your life
If you want to improve certain aspects or your general life through meditation, it is advisable that you make meditation an integral part of your life. You can implement meditation at home or during a break at work, and at a time that best suits your schedule.
4. Meditate with other people
If you are looking for a social and connectivity component, meditation in a group can be the right setting for you. Group meditation can greatly enhance the intensity of the experience and create closeness with other practitioners.
5. Create a sacred space to meditate
If , however, you are rather seeking deep spiritual experiences, it is advisable to take a bigger block of time outside of your daily routines. Making preparations can be very helpful in creating a protected and sacred space, in which extraordinary experiences can occur. Needless to say, you need to be completely undisturbed in these sessions.
Voice guided meditation tracks can be very helpful, especially in the beginning. As you progress, though, you will need to rely less on these. Though music tracks and Brainwave Entrainment can always be very useful for shutting out the outside world and getting rid of distractions.
Are you eager to get started? You can download our Free Meditation Video and I will pass on an Ebook “How to meditate for beginners” as a gift to you in my emails.
What does meditation mean for you personally? Are you just starting out or already familiar with it? Tell us in the comments below!