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What Is Meditation

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Many think sitting with closed eyes and “concentrating” is meditation.

Well. But are you able to “concentrate”?. If yes, then how long?. and on what?…..

Answers to this create a situation of subjective understanding than objective. Why?

Fundamental problem is with defining meditation. Many use the words “mindfulness” and “meditation” interchangeably.

Also many people confuse between the “act of meditation” and “result of meditation”. For example, the deep state of peace is “result of meditation” and not the process / behaviour of meditation.

Even in research it is a chaotic situation because of numerous definitions.

There is no one universal definition of meditation that would fit all techniques.

Another issue is with using “based”. Not clear?

There is “meditation based …..” and “mindfulness based……”.

Mindfulness, again, has many variations but all put together into the same as salad.

Recently I proposed an universal operational definition of meditation. Advantage is that, it clearly describes what is and excludes what is not.

Also it fits all techniques of meditation in vogue and may be developed in future too.

Importantly this definition differentiates meditation from other relaxation techniques too.

Hence, for a universal measurable definition, current author operationally defines Meditation as “the behaviour, of wilful direction of voluntary attention – a psychological independent variable (as against involuntary and habitual attention) toward a preselected single internal static or unchanged stimulus or single external static or unchanged stimulus, such a stimulus in either case be selected and defined by the meditation expert, such a behaviour at any instance continue till attaining a short positive goal or benefit / positive alteration on the duo of cognitive arousal and emotional arousal (internal benefits) distinctively perceived by meditating individual”.
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Explanation for the definition:

1) Meditation is operationally defined as ‘a behaviour’ and not technique. This is because ‘meditation’ is an act common to any
form or technique or variation of meditating – be it so called, eastern, or western or mantra used or Breath focusing or any other
existing or may be developed in future. It is a behaviour and is qualified for meditation whether does once or repeated periodically
or at different intervals – the difference in frequency to reflect on result rather than meditating behaviour itself.

2) Meditation as behaviour of wilful direction of voluntary attention. Meditation is not to be confused with the involuntary
attention or habitual attention, but it is only voluntary attention being directed and is directed wilfully but not unwillingly.

3) Meditation as a behaviour of wilful direction of voluntary attention is directed toward a preselected Single stimulus. That
toward which meditation is done fixed before initiating the behaviour of meditating and cannot be changed after initiation of
meditating, and in such a case it will qualify for probably a variant of relaxation technique and not meditation; that, the selected
stimulus for meditating is single at any given point of time and not in plural.

4) Meditating behaviour is directed toward static / unchanged. The stimulus selected for meditating before initiating meditation
is to be static one and unchanging. That is, when any distraction occurs during the meditating behaviour, then such distraction or
change in preselected stimulus cannot be included as part of the meditating behaviour. Consider two instances – a continuous focus
on static stimulus for two minutes, and in another instance sits in the meditation position for ten minutes, but focus on the
preselected static stimulus was only for around two seconds and intermittently for about five times. In first case, the meditation
duration to be considered as two minutes and in second instance, it is only 10 seconds, though he / she was in the position for ten
minutes – in this second case, meditating did not occur for 10 minutes but it was only the duration of ‘maintaining’ the position.

5) Meditating be directed toward either internal or external stimulus. The meditating behaviour could be either directed toward
internal stimuli such as thought, image, mantra chanting, breathing, feel, feeling (internal emotion), past or future situation (but
static image / thought). On the other hand, meditating can be directed toward external also such as God’s image or meditation
designs etc but static and preselected. Thus, meditating done either in eyes open condition or closed condition as defined by the
meditation expert / Guru.

6) Such a meditating preselected stimulus be defined by meditation expert / Meditation Guru who is being qualified or trained on
the specific stimulus meditating and technique. The stimulus is not preselected by the meditation learner or client. The stimulus
is also part of the technique and the client is only a learner in it. In case, the client needs to have a choice then, the stimulus needs
to be predefined by the expert. In research, the stimulus compatibility will remain an interfering variable. The meditation expert is
not an expert in every technique or every variant of same technique for which he has not specifically be qualified, for ethical

7) A meditating instance is at least till attaining a short positive goal or benefit / positive alteration on the duo of cognitive arousal
and emotional arousal (internal benefits) distinctively perceived by meditating individual.
The duration is differing by individuals,
needs and conveniences. However, any meditating behaviour is qualified for meditation if only continued as to attain at least a
short positive goal or benefit / positive alteration on the duo of cognitive arousal and emotional arousal (internal benefits)
distinctively perceived by meditating individual – as the resultant positive change in the cognitive and emotional due perceived as
distinguished from how it was before initiating meditating behaviour.

These 7 points to be satisfied to call something as “meditation”.

1 thought on “What Is Meditation”

  1. Itís hard to find experienced people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

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