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Meditation (Latin: meditatio – meditation, thoughts) is an intellectual process. Before XXth century, this term designated simply deep thinking, concentration on problem, internal worshiping (religious) & also form of philosophical lyrics (literature). At the end of XIX century, since the time of Europeans showing enthusiasm in Buddhism & Indian yoga, people started to understand the term as process of bringing state of mind into special condition of internal concentration – state of conscious,

transitive between corporal & extra-corporal sojourn, often called meditative trans. Description of meditation in negation terms also exist: State, not linked with metal activity (but connected directly with inherent Spirit). State beyond the limits of conditions, as an exit beyond the limits of determinability through mind. Transformation of spirit. Liberation of Spirit from “power” of mind, passions, desires, fears through complete relaxation & dampening of thoughts or through specific technique. Some techniques are connected with contemplation, for example, breathing or actions, which are carried out by people daily. Or special type of breathing (technical free breath).

Preservation of internal vigilance. Purpose of meditation is transition into more “higher” state of consciousness, in which mind is not the centre but only the tool in which Will is formed. History of meditation: Meditation received special development & concrete orientation in Indian yoga & Buddhism (as one of the basic means of achieving religious emancipation). But, it is possible to find meditation even in old “Philosophical ecstasy” of Plato s & neo-Plato(whereas it acted as necessary precondition for theoretical thinking, in particular, mathematical in Platonics), in “exorcism”

(spiritual exercises) of Jesuits, in Jewish Kabbalah, in doctrine about “path” of Sufi Muslims & also even in orthodox “clever spiritual & devotional work making” (so-called. “Logos-meditation” or “Worshipping Jesus”). Nowadays, meditation strongly made its entry into national & religious cultures of many countries, especially Eastern countries. In USA, movement of hippies has provided much stimulus in gaining popularity of meditation in 1960s & 1970s. Hippies considered meditation as one of the basic means for achieving harmony with themselves & surroundings.

And, though popularity of hippie movement gradually died away, but since then meditation gained such widespread distribution in developed western countries. In Russia, interest towards meditation appeared during restructuring (perestroika) & attained peak in the early nineties. Meditative methods are very widely applied in modern psychotherapy. It is considered, that meditation promotes relaxation, distressing, purification of consciousness from unnecessary thoughts & worries, to get peace of mind & internal harmony. In majority of psychotherapeutic techniques, it is recommended to practice meditation on peak of muscular relaxation (so called “Relaxation”).

For example, 10 minutes of meditation after 20 minutes of muscular relaxation according to Jacobson Progressive Muscle Relaxation method. According to modern psychotherapists, for mastering meditation at comprehensive level, it is enough to practice meditation daily for half an hour for six months. Modern psychoanalysis (for example, C.G.Jung’s School of Psychoanalysis), which has set an aim of integrating the personality, also widely uses elements of meditation. Classification of meditation: Principally, meditation is divided into two types: * Meditation on empty mind, which can lead to special condition of understanding, called “Enlightenment” in the east. *

Unidirectional meditation (so called “Meditation on one object”) – meditation, while concentrating on a specific object, for example, own breath, consciousness or visual image. In this case, aim of meditation “on one” is immersing in meditation “on emptiness” to find the Enlightenment condition. Meditative practices: “Meditative Practices” are being used by many experts around the world for achieving the state of Meditative Trans. Such experts are divided into: * Cult; * Religious – philosophical; * Psychotherapeutic; * Didactic- propaedeutic; Hundreds of various methods for plunging into meditative trance condition are described in literature. Researches have shown, that most important (and general for almost all meditative experts) element of such plunging is deep concentration on monotonously repeating actions. Such action can be both physical

(for example, ritual dances in African tribes; exercises in martial arts; run one’s fingers over beads; reading mantra loudly; concentration on breath etc.) as well as mental, imaginary (for example, concentration on Chakra; concentration on pulsation of “Astral body” etc.). Tens of positions for meditation are developed in various cultures. Though, scientific studies do not confirm the relationship between meditation depth and posture. Most known posture for meditation is: sitting with straight back, head slightly lowered, feet crossed, hands on knees with palms up, opened palms, big & index fingers connected. Basically meditative experts are divided according to object of concentration. Most popular objects are: * Chakra (Kundalini meditation); * Mantra (Transcendental meditation, abbr. ТМ); * Inner voice (Naam, Shabd, Anantha Nada); * Breathing (Anapanasati meditation); * Candle or reflection in mirror (Tratak); * Inner consciousness (Vipasana meditation) During unthinking meditation for long periods, after which all kinds of thoughts & desires disappear & conscious of I - practically completely disappears breathing, state of deep peace sets-in, after which inner consciousness of person is illuminated with light, leading to state of inexpressible pleasure. In this state, the person can stay for very long without realizing the surroundings.
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