Meditation – What It Is

This is the second in a series of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How to meditate.

What IS meditation? Where is the first place you turn when you are looking for a definition? Usually, Merriam-Websters dictionary, so let's go ahead and start there.

Definition of MEDITATE

intransitive verb

1:to engage in contemplation or reflection

2:to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose

of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

I mentioned earlier that I was going to re-define meditation; it is not so much redefining as it is clarifying Webster's definitions. There seems to be a general misnomer that to meditate has, up until now, always been reserved for the "Spiritually Enlightened"; there has always been the ideology that it requires a specific way that it should be done; like having to sit in a specific posture, breathe a certain way, hold your fingers and thumb in a circle, etc.

I say up until now because it is time to change that belief system for it is by the second definition that most people seem to get stuck as far as whether they are doing it right. "...for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness." What is that? It is different for different people and almost impossible to describe to fit everyone; therefore, how does one know if they are doing it right? Guess what? It truly does not matter. We get so hung up on labels and what other people think that we often cheat ourselves out of the best parts of life. Stop doing that. I do my best to operate from the premise that "what other people think of me is none of my business." And I must say it provides me with a modicum of freedom that wasn't there when I was making sure that everyone liked me. DOH!

However, if you go with the first definition, you very quickly realize that you have been in a state of meditation a large portion of your life already, in other words, contemplation, or thinking, and reflection - is that not remembering? Let's go ahead and throw pondering in there as well since it fits so well. Speaking of pondering, interestingly enough, if you go to the other most common dictionary, Wikipedia, under meditation and to the Etymology and History, you will find that meditate comes from the Latin (imagine that - doesn't just about every word?) root meditatum, i.e. to ponder. My apologies, I am not going any further with definitions - you have the links, have at 'em.

Okay, enough already, get to the point. Have you ever been "lost in thought", that place where time just seemed to disappear, or more aptly, not matter so much? You know, not really thinking about anything in particular. Sometimes it is seen as daydreaming, or spacing out, but no matter what you call it, it is actually a form of meditation. So do your Self a favor, take the mysticism out of meditation and allow your Self the freedom to meditate whenever you see fit. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the bigger the benefits.

Now then, you've given yourself permission to meditate whenever you want, right? Right! Good, because now I want to add one more thing.

I want to put it out there that meditation is also a communication tool. Once you understand that we cannot communicate with our Higher Self, or Super Conscious Mind except through our Unconscious or Subconscious Mind, then you realize how powerful meditation can be in manifesting whatever you desire and deserve, for it is through meditation that we make that connection within Our Three Minds.

Therefore, in the light of redefining meditation, I would like to add to the above definition:

3: to communicate with the Unconscious (or Subconscious) Self for the purpose of gaining insight into true purpose

I would love to hear from you. If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, or feedback, please go to my Contact page and leave me a message. I will respond to all messages at my earliest convenience.

Thank you for being you.

Jon is a Dr. of Metaphysics, an Ordained Minister, a Reiki Master/Teacher, Spiritual Life Coach, Author, Speaker with a passion for helping others learn to be at Peace and rise to fullest potential.

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