What is Meditation ?
The word meditation is derived from two Latin words: meditari (meaning “to think” or “to dwell upon”, or “to exercise the mind”) and mederi (“to heal”). The Sanskrit derivation “medha” means wisdom.
The ancient tradition of yoga and meditation began in Indian prehistory as a system of mental, physical, and spiritual exercises. In approximately 500BC the physician and sage, Patanjali formalized this tradition into a science, with four major, and four lesser branches involving ethical restraint, self-discipline, mental focus, physical exercise and meditation.
The entire system was used in an integrated fashion and directed at the attainment of a unique state of spontaneous, psychological integration. Modern psychologists have described this state as “individuation” (Van der Post, 1975) or “self-actualization” (Maslow, 1964) and it has been traditionally termed “self-realization”.There may be some people who consider meditation as a form of worship or prayer. Although there can be a religious connotation, and application of meditation, generally speaking, means awareness. For example; focusing on your breathing is an awareness state, and is meditation.
Sitting and listening to the birds in your garden is meditation. It is meditation for as long as these activities are absolutely free from any other distraction to the mind. Meditation is not a technique, a mechanically learned and practiced skill, like switching a light on and off. On the contrary meditation can be a way of life. To meditate means to create a state in which all thought processes cease.
The meditative state is a state of consciousness, in which the mind is free of extraneous thoughts and patterns. In meditation all the activity of the mind is reduced to the one state of absolute calm.
The purpose of this course
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the meaning and practise of meditation. In particular, the course will be setting meditation in a, holistic framework’ so that the value of meditation, in healing, becomes apparent.
On completion of this course you should have an understanding of:
• the overall nature of meditation
• the different ideas and schools of meditation
• how to meditate
• how to teach meditation to others
One cannot study meditation in the abstract. During the course you will be expected to carry out prescribed meditation exercises, in order to gain experience and understanding.
There are hundreds of benefits of meditation For example, some of the conditions in which meditation can help are:
• Panic attacks
• Irritability and moodiness
• Memory impairment
• Self esteem and Self confidence
• Relationship issues.
Meditation can also assist with general therapies in the relief for the following physical illnesses:
• Heart disease
• Angina pains
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• High blood pressure