Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue. The more familiar our mind is with virtue, the calmer and more peaceful it becomes. When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness.
Meditation described as a state wherein a person is in deep concentration on something, either awareness or some object of thought, meditation can be considered as one of the oldest means of calming the mind and the soul. Usually involving one's attention to be turned into a single point of reference, meditation is practiced by so many people because it can lead a person to a consciousness an inch higher than the ordinary person.
The word meditation comes from the Latin meditatio, which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning "contemplation".
There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation.
When we contemplate the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read we are doing analytical meditation.
By deeply contemplating the instruction, eventually we reach a conclusion or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation.
Having found our object through analytical meditation, we then concentrate on it single-pointedly for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply `contemplation', and placement meditation simply `meditation'. Placement meditation depends upon contemplation, and contemplation depends upon listening to or reading Dharma instructions.
METHODS OF MEDITATION
Breathing meditation: This is one of the simplest meditation techniques and focusing on your breathing is quick and easy.
Walking meditation: Take a leisurely walk. Breathe in the air. Notice the sounds and smells!
Mantra meditation: Repeat your chosen mantra over and over, either out loud or in your head.
Candle meditation: Light a candle somewhere safe, sit down and focus on the candle flame. Let all other thoughts drift out of your mind. Keep focussed on the flickering flame.
Guided meditation: Put on your headphones and listen to a pre-recorded guided meditation talk you through the process of relaxing your body and clearing your mind.
Mirror gazing: Focus on the wall just behind your head. Let all other thoughts fall out of your mind.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
" Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. "
Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)