Meditation is a spiritual practice that has evolved alongside many of the world's most popular religions. If you are interested in taking up this worthwhile pursuit, you should familiarize yourself with its fascinating history so that you may ultimately obtain greater benefits from its use. The origins of this practice helps modern practitioners explain many of the mysteries surrounding its present use. Once you are familiar with its origins, you will become better acquainted with the many benefits of using advanced meditation techniques. So, where does meditation come from?
In the beginning, it is thought that meditation was practiced through the repeating of mantras. Mantras involve the use of repetitive chanting to a rhythmic beat. These chants are traditionally used, and are still used today, to achieve deep meditative states. The use of these repetitive statements have proven to provide a variety of health benefits, including remarkable psychological benefits too.
Many religious orders and philosophers throughout the ages have used mantras to help practitioners focus on specific concepts. The Buddha for instance practiced the use of many forms of meditation at various stages in his life. One of the first forms of meditating he came across was taught to him by yoga masters. This early education undoubtedly greatly influenced his teachings to the world.
Yoga involves the use of challenges that test both the body and the mind. Complex physical motions are used to stretch the body and induce relaxation. The regular use of yoga has proven to be both physically and psychologically beneficial to its practitioners since it helps them achieve deep meditative states.
While engaging in yoga, it is fairly common for the practitioners to attempt to maintain a mindfulness of their actions. This mindfulness is often combined with altered states of awareness that are achieved by maintaining a variety of physical poses. This type of meditation involves difficult poses that challenge the body while simultaneously helping the mind to relax.
Later developments in Buddhism involve the use of specific postures and seating positions to be used while meditating. This type of meditating is thus a combination of yoga and Buddhist principles that are designed to help the practitioner achieve enlightenment. Meditative practices used by Buddhists would later transform into a culturing of the mind rather than the body to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Zen Buddhism has evolved to be one of the most popular religions to employ advanced meditative principles. The state of nirvana that is said to be achieved through the mastering of Zen Buddhism has become a cliche in popular culture due to its widespread popularity and use. Zen Buddhism is centered around the teachings of the Buddha and involves the daily use of the methods he developed.
While meditative principles are commonly incorporated into religions from the east, other religions have not gone wholly untouched by its inherent wisdom. Meditation has been widely used by people of all religious denominations throughout the ages and continues to play a central role in the lives of people from very diverse backgrounds. Various forms of meditation have been employed by believers in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
While these religions have made use of this practice, the manner in which it is used oftentimes differs significantly from the techniques developed in the Far East. For instance, it has been incorporated into the Christian faith, but it is typically referred to as a form of prayer. Judaism too has demonstrated the effectiveness of meditative principles over a span covering thousands of years. Islam on the other hand uses a form of meditation mostly as a method of introspection.
Overall, the act of meditating has been performed by a varied group of people throughout history. The influence of its many famous practitioners, and the availability of meditation coursesmeditation courses in most major towns and cities, substantially altered the manner in which this spiritual practice has evolved. Modern practitioners now have the option of choosing from a wide variety of meditative techniques to enhance all aspects of their lives.
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