A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ~Oscar Wilde

It is my belief that mediation works wonders for the individual, and by extension, to the community at large. I do believe that an ever increasing number of people taking time out their day to meditate, can only benefit the whole circle of existence. In the course of sharing my progress and responding to comments on my posts, I was reminded that meditation can mean different things to different people, as well as be a slightly confusing idea, in itself.

So I thought I needed to answer the question “what is meditation, really?” The first step was just to get on to Google. “The action or practice of meditating”. Right. That then took care of that, but left me in a circle not of my choosing.

Derived from the Latin verb “Meditari” which means to think, to contemplate, to ponder, the word is used these days to describe the act of quietening one’s mind and focussing on an idea or a thought. Or as is also commonly practised, emptying ones mind…

I believe that this sort of trance or contemplative state of mind can be more readily achieved by sitting down in a regular quiet place. If one sits down at the same time, at the same place, with the same candle lit, it is easier to slip into the mode. Hence most mediation classes advocate such a habit.

Most classes teach breathing techniques and relaxation techniques and lead the student down a well practised path of visualisation. My mother taught me to stare at the flame of a candle in a dark room, breathe slow and deep, and then close my eyes and hold the picture of the candle in my mind, and  visualise it come to the centre of my forehead, where the third eye is. She was very insistent that the mind had to be a blank and the image of the flame was all one was allowed to see. Needless to say that at the age of ten, such a feat was completely beyond me, and I did not even try. I just sat with my eyes closed until she said I could open them again. Even then, I knew that what she was trying to teach me had value, I did not realise that I was not attuned to her process. I ended feeling that meditating was for special, wise people.

Through my on again off again yoga journey through the years, each teacher has taught a different way to meditate. Sitting in those classes amidst the calm, vibrant energy of a number of yoga students, I have found each method to be of value.

I have also read and heard about a number of people’s experience with meditation. Some people find their mediative state through some activity or the other, and some people swear by bodily stillness. Also, in monasteries, monks bring the meditative experience to their daily chores and if they are doing it, it must work!

So, it seems to me, that meditation is a process through which one experiences oneself.  To the lay person like me, its value lies in the effect of calm and peace it brings. The increased ability to concentrate, and the slowing down of the heartbeat fills me with an awareness of myself beyond the flesh I can see. It makes me feel, that, I might not be very wise, but I might be getting there!

Some more thoughts on meditation:

Deepak Chopra explains meditation:

What happens during meditation?




How would you define meditation? I am curious. As soon as I tried to define it, it became too broad a question for me.


Comments on: "Radiating the definitions" (9)

  1. I dedicate this post to WarmGinger!

  2. Ummm… yes, I connect.
    To me, meditating is a contemplative zone of ever-expanding self-awareness…. (in spite of how it sounds, it is easy! 😀 )
    It becomes the state of being always aware of yourself…. probably leading to the state of being always yourself… and then, perhaps to just being.
    Who knows! I just stay contemplative.

  3. I learned reiki some 10 years back and would take out time for it everyday,most ppl would say you meditate I would…go…no…never…I don’t know how to,I cannot meditate..it is not for me :)) ran from the very idea of the word for ever and ever…not sure when I stopped running :)))

  4. Thank you so much Bodhimoments, you are an absolute star! I’ve been doing the 21-day meditation challenge you recommended – I need a bit more practise I think, but I am enjoying the moment. I like your mother’s ritual with the dark room and the candle, so I think I’ll try that this evening when the little gingers are in bed.
    You’re taking me down a nice path, so thank you. 🙂

    • Thank you for joining the circle! It is a great experience to have you with me! I am hoping the 21 days will be the grounding I need to form a lifelong habit. 🙂

  5. Hee hee, the eldest Little Ginger is sitting beside me and he wants to add his tuppenceworth (as usual)…he says that meditiation must be difficult as you have to think about not thinking and that must be impossible.:)

    • Hello Eldest Little Ginger! you have spoken truly. Perhaps when you meditate you can just feel the absence of thoughts? Will that help?

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