What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxationfocus, and awareness. Meditation is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body. The practice is usually done individually, in a still seated position, and with eyes closed.

Meditation is practiced in one of three modes:

  • Concentration: focusing attention on a single object, internal or external (focused attention meditation)
  • Observation: paying attention to whatever is predominant in your experience in the present moment, without allowing the attention to get stuck on any particular thing (open-monitoring meditation)
  • Awareness: allowing awareness to remain present, undistracted, and not engaged with either focusing or observing

Meditation is good for several things, and it’s different things for different people.  However, it is usually one of these three things that drive people to practice:

  • Specific benefit: improving your health, wellbeing, performance, focus.
  • Growth: emotional healing, self-knowledge, self-discipline, letting go.
  • Spirituality: connecting with God, inner peace, and other spiritual goals.

Whatever drives you to meditate, that is good. You will get the benefits you seek, in the proportion of your consistency and commitment to building this habit. But the wider you cast your net, the more fish you will get.

Your motivation may also evolve as the practice starts to unfold in your life.