Is meditation a religion?
Meditation does not necessarily have religious connotations. There are some religions, like Buddhism and Vêdanta that use meditation in their structure, but meditation is very often done outside of a particular religious practice. You can practise meditation independently of your belief, whether you are an atheist or theist. See meditation as a technical practice to explore the limits of your consciousness.
Where does meditation originate from?
The origins of meditation are debatable. One of the more acceptable theories is that it is from the northwest of India, in the Hindu valley, where it is believed that the Dravidians (an ancient civilization) firstly created the techniques. These people did not leave any written books, only fragments of images and stamps, however, there are indications about meditation and similar techniques in the oldest book of our history, the Vêdas, a collection of books dated from 3500 years ago.
How can one enjoy meditation?
I would be surprised if anyone fully enjoys their first meditative experience. Meditation deals with an automatism of your brain activity and any break of conditioning tends to be unpleasant, not because it is bad for you, but actually the opposite, because it consumes an immense quantity of energy. Therefore, these kinds of exercises demand that you persist and work hard in order to achieve their full potential. On this note, it is important to emphasise that you don’t just start your practice of meditation only by doing a meditation technique. It is recommended that you first explore all the supporting techniques, like breathwork, physical techniques and vocalisations of sounds and ultra-sounds. It is not an accident that these techniques are presented together as they are fundamental for development in meditation. In fact, if you are a beginner, start with 80% dedication to the supporting techniques and 20% to meditation.
Are meditation and mindfulness the same thing?
No, they are different and vary in the method of practice and the objective.
Mindfulness is an exercise to focus your mind. It is a skill you can learn and develop that will improve your well-being, as well as your professional performance. It can be understood as a training method in order to achieve a sustainable behavioural change. The aim being to experience a rising awareness of your thoughts, feelings, habits and actions, allowing you to rethink your choices and reach your maximum potential.
Meditation, on the other hand, goes beyond being conscious or just being quiet. It is when you genuinely silence your mind and experience many insights into your life. It is when you are fully aware of your emotions, thoughts and behaviours – a state known as Self-Knowledge.
What questions do you have about meditation? Let us know and we can create a further article to address it.