History and Types of Meditation


Meditation is an ancient discipline, nearly as old as humanity.

No one really knows when meditation began. Experts think it could well have been practiced by hunter-gatherers many thousands of years ago. It might have been reserved for tribal shamans who were believed to be in direct touch with the invisible world of spirits.

Meditation is described in ancient Hindu texts of Vedic Tradition 2000-3000 B.C. It has been part of this religion ever since.

588 B.C. Buddha - Prince Siddhartha Guatama achieved enlightenment after sitting under a banyan tree. The result would be Buddhism in all its many forms.

2nd Century A.D. - a group of early Christian monks known as the Desert Fathers retreated from world to live in simplicity. They used meditation to get closer to God. For more than 1000 years afterward, meditation would be ab increasingly important part of Christian practice.

Circa 1000 A.D. Kabbalistic (Jewish ) Meditation was practiced to commune with God.

1000 A.D. Muslim Meditation - At the same time that some Jews were embracing mysticsm, certain Muslims were doing the same. The Muslim sect known as Sufis incorporated meditation into their worship.

Early 1500s Marthin Luther - In response to the Reformation he inspired, the Roman Catholic church suppressed the influence of monks who taught meditation.

1550 St. Theresa - this Spanish Carmelite nun championed meditation and other mystical practices, in a last gasp of Christian meditation for centuries to come.

1067 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi promoting his own brand of meditation began a resurgence of meditation in the Western world that still flourishes today.

Source: Time Magazine


The practice of meditation can be purely spiritual to mostly physical.

Concentrative - Meditative techniques that direct the mind to a single focus, such as on the breath or a mantra.

Mindfullness Meditation- teaches an evenhanded, accepting awareness to whatever arises in the senses.

Movement Meditaion- Heightens awareness of the sensations of movement, such as in walking or tai Chi.

Visualization - generates a mental image, from symple crosses or a single square of color to complex symbols such as the elaborate mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism.

Lovingkidness Meditation - cultivates a positive mood or beneficent outlook through the contemplation of such feelings as compassion for all people.

Transformative Meditation- seeks solace or the solution to specific problems by turning negative emotions into positive energies.

Source: Time Magazine

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