Meditation has been practiced throughout the world for thousands of years. Practiced by ancient civilizations across the globe, it is generally accepted that the practice originated within the Eastern religions, more particularly within Vedic Hinduism. The main purpose of meditation is to allow the individual to discover a place of inner peace and quiescence. It is a form of personal and spiritual development that acts to free one's mind from the trappings of the physical plain of existence.
In many cases, the act of meditation is an effort to reacquaint oneself with the higher powers. The motivation behind the act of meditation differs from person to person, but it would appear that meditation is performed in a way similar to prayer in western religions. The notion of becoming closer to one's God plays a significant role in most forms of meditation.
Developing into modern times, there has been a significant change in the way individual's approach meditation. Meditation has always been intimately connected to the principles of religion and spirituality. In the west, one gets the sense that practitioners of meditation have little connection to the major organized religions. Meditation, in a sense, has supplanted religion as a way to stay connected with the higher powers.
While meditation has become extremely popular outside of the hierarchy of the church and faith, it is generally accepted that it still exists within the realm of spirituality and ethics. One common thread between modern practitioners of meditation would appear to be the notion of living an ethical lifestyle. In essence, this refers to the ability of the individual to exemplify their internal, spiritual insights in their external, material life.
Meditation has shown to have incredible benefits for committed practitioners. Many people have reported improved concentration, self-discipline, and awareness as a consequence their meditative practices. It has also been known to induce a sense of calm, inner peace and harmony. From a health and fitness perspective, meditation has the ability to relieve stress, and to assist with proper cardiovascular and respiratory function.
Meditation may not be for everyone. But for those individuals that are motivated to make some positive changes in their lives, Meditation may be the key to unlocking the potential within. Do not be eager to dismiss the claims made above. Do some research, and talk to your friends and family. There is a good chance that somebody you know has benefited from meditative practice. It could help you, too.