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Judaism has made use of meditative practices for thousands of years. Classical Jewish texts espouse a wide range of meditative practices, often associated with the cultivation of Kavanah or intention. The first layer of rabbinic law , the Mishnah describes ancient sages "waiting" for an hour before their prayers, "in order to direct their hearts to the Omnipresent One Mishnah Berakhot Other early rabbinic texts include instructions for visualizing the Divine Presence B. Talmud Sanhedrin 22a and breathing with conscious gratitude for every breath Genesis Rabba Aryeh Kaplan has argued that the ultimate purpose of Kabbalistic meditation is to understand and cleave to the Divine.
Meditation has been of interest to a wide variety of modern Jews. The Musar Movement , founded by Rabbi Israel Salanter in the middle of the nineteenth-century, emphasized meditative practices of introspection and visualization that could help to improve moral character. Christian meditation is a term for a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts e.
The Rosary is a devotion for the meditation of the mysteries of Jesus and Mary. The first principle is that meditation is learned through practice. Many people who practice rosary meditation begin very simply and gradually develop a more sophisticated meditation.
According to Edmund P. Clowney , Christian meditation contrasts with Eastern forms of meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with depictions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion.
Salah is a mandatory act of devotion performed by Muslims five times per day. The body goes through sets of different postures, as the mind attains a level of concentration called khushu. A second optional type of meditation, called dhikr , meaning remembering and mentioning God, is interpreted in different meditative techniques in Sufism or Islamic mysticism.
It is juxtaposed with fikr thinking which leads to knowledge. Sufism uses a meditative procedure like Buddhist concentration , involving high-intensity and sharply focused introspection. In the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi Sufi order, for example, muraqaba takes the form of tamarkoz, "concentration" in Persian. Tafakkur or tadabbur in Sufism literally means reflection upon the universe : this is considered to permit access to a form of cognitive and emotional development that can emanate only from the higher level, i.
The sensation of receiving divine inspiration awakens and liberates both heart and intellect , permitting such inner growth that the apparently mundane actually takes on the quality of the infinite. Muslim teachings embrace life as a test of one's submission to God.
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He also encouraged people to reflect on one's actions and worth at the end of each day. Movements which use magic, such as Wicca , Thelema , Neopaganism , and occultism , often require their adherents to meditate as a preliminary to the magical work. This is because magic is often thought to require a particular state of mind in order to make contact with spirits, or because one has to visualize one's goal or otherwise keep intent focused for a long period during the ritual in order to see the desired outcome.
Meditation practice in these religions usually revolves around visualization, absorbing energy from the universe or higher self, directing one's internal energy, and inducing various trance states. Meditation and magic practice often overlap in these religions as meditation is often seen as merely a stepping stone to supernatural power, and the meditation sessions may be peppered with various chants and spells.
New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, yoga , Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence. In the West, meditation found its mainstream roots through the social revolution of the s and s , when many of the youth of the day rebelled against traditional religion as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity to provide spiritual and ethical guidance.
This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object. The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that "Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.
Low-quality evidence indicates that meditation may help with irritable bowel syndrome ,  insomnia ,  cognitive decline in the elderly,  and post-traumatic stress disorder. A review of the literature on spirituality and performance in organizations found an increase in corporate meditation programs.
As of around a quarter of U. Aetna now offers its program to its customers. Google also implements mindfulness, offering more than a dozen meditation courses, with the most prominent one, "Search Inside Yourself", having been implemented since Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School conducted a series of clinical tests on meditators from various disciplines, including the Transcendental Meditation technique and Tibetan Buddhism. In , Benson published a book titled The Relaxation Response where he outlined his own version of meditation for relaxation.
Biofeedback has been used by many researchers since the s in an effort to enter deeper states of mind. The history of meditation is intimately bound up with the religious context within which it was practiced. In the Roman Empire , by 20 BCE Philo of Alexandria had written on some form of "spiritual exercises" involving attention prosoche and concentration  and by the 3rd century Plotinus had developed meditative techniques.
The Islamic practice of Dhikr had involved the repetition of the 99 Names of God since the 8th or 9th century. Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina , i. Its four formal steps as a "ladder" were defined by the monk Guigo II in the 12th century with the Latin terms lectio , meditatio , oratio , and contemplatio i.
Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. Meditation has spread in the West since the late 19th century, accompanying increased travel and communication among cultures worldwide.
Most prominent has been the transmission of Asian-derived practices to the West. In addition, interest in some Western-based meditative practices has been revived,  and these have been disseminated to a limited extent to Asian countries. Ideas about Eastern meditation had begun "seeping into American popular culture even before the American Revolution through the various sects of European occult Christianity",  : 3 and such ideas "came pouring in [to America] during the era of the transcendentalists, especially between the s and the s.
The World Parliament of Religions , held in Chicago in , was the landmark event that increased Western awareness of meditation. This was the first time that Western audiences on American soil received Asian spiritual teachings from Asians themselves. Thereafter, Swami Vivekananda More recently, in the s, another surge in Western interest in meditative practices began.
The rise of communist political power in Asia led to many Asian spiritual teachers taking refuge in Western countries, oftentimes as refugees. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement. Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a subfield of neurological research.
Since the s, clinical psychology and psychiatry have developed meditation techniques for numerous psychological conditions. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of meditation on empathy , compassion , and prosocial behaviors found that meditation practices had small to medium effects on self-reported and observable outcomes, concluding that such practices can "improve positive prosocial emotions and behaviors". Meditation has been correlated with unpleasant experiences in some people. Meditators with high levels of repetitive negative thinking and those who only engage in deconstructive meditation were more likely to report unpleasant side effects.
Adverse effects were less frequently reported in women and religious meditators. The psychologist Thomas Joiner argues that modern mindfulness meditation has been "corrupted" for commercial gain by self-help celebrities, and suggests that it encourages unhealthy narcissistic and self-obsessed mindsets. Many major traditions in which meditation is practiced, such as Buddhism  and Hinduism,  advise members not to consume intoxicants , while others, such as the Rastafarian movements and Native American Church, view drugs as integral to their religious lifestyle.
The fifth of the five precepts of the Pancasila , the ethical code in the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, states that adherents must: "abstain from fermented and distilled beverages that cause heedlessness. On the other hand, the ingestion of psychoactives has been a central feature in the rituals of many religions, in order to produce altered states of consciousness. In several traditional shamanistic ceremonies, drugs are used as agents of ritual. In the Rastafari movement , cannabis is believed to be a gift from Jah and a sacred herb to be used regularly, while alcohol is considered to debase man.
Native Americans use peyote , as part of religious ceremony, continuing today. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the induction of specific modes or states of consciousness. For other uses, see Meditation disambiguation. Various depictions of meditation. Main article: Asana.
Main article: Hindu meditation. See also: Yoga. Main article: Jain meditation. Main article: Buddhist meditation. Play media. Main article: Daoist meditation. Main article: Jewish meditation. Main article: Christian meditation. Main article: Muraqaba. See also: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Main article: History of meditation. Main article: Research on meditation.
Further information: Entheogen , Religion and drugs , and Psychedelic psychotherapy. The term "discursive thought" has long been used in Western philosophy, and is often viewed as a synonym to logical thought Rappe, Sara In their final consideration, all 7 experts regarded this feature as an "essential" component of meditation; none of them regarded it as merely "important but not essential" p. This same result is presented in Table B1 in Ospina, Bond, et al. Each member had specific expertise and training in at least one of the following meditation practices: kundalini yoga , Transcendental Meditation , relaxation response, mindfulness-based stress reduction , and vipassana meditation" Bond, Ospina et al.
Goleman's book has 33 editions listed in WorldCat: 17 editions as The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience  and 16 editions as The varieties of meditative experience  Citation and edition counts are as of August and September respectively. At the climax of such contemplation the mental eye Sariputta tells Ven.
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Rahula in Pali, based on VRI, n. In the technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed "meditations" [Skt. Gethin, , p. The meditations that derive from these foundations of mindfulness are called vipassana The forty concentrative meditation subjects refer to Visuddhimagga 's oft-referenced enumeration. Regarding Tibetan visualizations, Kamalashila , writes: "The Tara meditation Shapiro American Psychologist Submitted manuscript.
Rael Cahn; John Polich Psychological Bulletin. Jevning; R. Wallace; M. Beidebach The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. New York: Tarcher. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 25 December Oxford Dictionaries — English. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Personality and Individual Differences. Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper. Retrieved 2 February Issue 1. A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation and etymological analysis throughout. London: Oxford University Press.
The healing power of sufi meditation.
Teaching Theology and Religion. Zelazo, P. Cambridge University Press. Carlson Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
New York: Viking. Cambridge English Dictionary. Archived from the original on November 20, April Trends in Cognitive Sciences. In order to narrow the explanandum to a more tractable scope, this article uses Buddhist contemplative techniques and their clinical secular derivatives as a paradigmatic framework see e. Among the wide range of practices within the Buddhist tradition, we will further narrow this review to two common styles of meditation, FA and OM see box 1—box 2 , that are often combined, whether in a single session or over the course of practitioner's training.
The first style, FA meditation, entails voluntary focusing attention on a chosen object in a sustained fashion. Nilgiri Press. However, in order to develop samadhi itself we must cultivate principally concentration meditation. In terms of practice, this means that we must choose an object of concentration and then meditate single-pointedly on it every day until the power of samadhi is attained.
International Journal of Psychotherapy. Retrieved Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This is a refined, refreshing and nourishing state of consciousness. But it is not the goal. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 28 May Consciousness and Cognition.
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The Secret to Overcoming Writer’s Block: Meditation | Writer's Digest
Times of India. Roots of Yoga. Penguin Books. Retrieved 4 March An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Routledge , p. The earliest reference is actually in the Mokshadharma, which dates to the early Buddhist period. Harvard University Press, , p. Jain Yog. Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh. Rudi Jansma; Dr. Sneh Rani Jain Key Introduction To Jainism. Prakrit Bharti Academy, Jaipur, India. This article's text is primarily based on Bodhi , pp. See also Thanissaro d.
Cultural and Religious Heritage of India: Sikhism. Mittal Publications. Ethics And The Sex-King. The Prescribed Sikh Prayers Nitnem. Abhinav Publications. Philosophy of Sikhism: Reality and Its Manifestations. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. Schocken Books. Conservative Judaism 63, no.
A review of Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write by Mark David Gerson
Little, Brown. The Forward. Archived from the original on Group Analysis. Quran: The Final Testament. Universal Unity. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. Hornby, Helen ed. Directives from the Guardian. The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators. Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing. New York: Harmony Books. Retrieved 22 August Noel; Davidson, Richard J. Journal of the American Heart Association.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Even after three published books, one of which was an award winning novel, I tend to shrug and dismiss my writing as an all-consuming hobby, rather than a vocation or career. We need only listen, open our hearts, and keep writing, and those stories will naturally take shape. Much of Voice of the Muse is an incantation. There are a number of guided meditations designed to help you listen to your voice, rather than fight it, so you can approach the place inside of you where creativity begins.
The first rule is that there are no rules. The second is that you must get out of your own way. Leap into the void, and then just write. You believe your inner place is devoid of ideas? Trust in the darkness and silence of the earth. Trust in the fertility of your creative process. Trust in the seeds that lie dormant beneath the surface. There are also some useful suggestions and exercises designed to help you work through your fears, and find out exactly what you need to write.