The word “Meditation” has a dual meaning: it is both a state of awareness and a practice designed to help one attain that state. It is a state in which the mind and body are still, and the heart is open and also a practice designed to still the mind and body, and to open the heart.
Different approaches or traditions aim for different states and use different tools. One might use breath, mantra, point of focus, affirmation, sound…to reach a state of relaxation, calmness, stress relief, higher consciousness or divine connection to mention but a few
Meditation is not a passive state. It is a state of active (yet calm), alert awareness. Meditation results from lifting your level of energy and consciousness to a higher state: super consciousness. It is a practice of stilling the restless thoughts that agitate the mind, thus making the mind completely receptive to reality, so that truth may be clearly reflected in the mind.
It is a practice of disconnecting from sensory awareness and focusing on the Spirit within. connecting with your own Super Conscious Self, Soul or Higher Self. And LISTENING. Prayer is talking to God (or your Higher Self), whereas meditation is listening for the answers.
Meditation is a form of concentration. To concentrate is to withdraw attention from all distractions, and place it wholly on one thing. Meditation is concentration in which that “one thing” is God or an aspect of God; like love, light, peace, joy, wisdom, calmness, vibrations. In short; Meditation is concentration that is focused on the attainment of super consciousness.
So Meditation is both a science and an art. And very much a DISCIPLINE. Meditation requires practice and formation of new habits, attitudes, and thought patterns. It can take time to form those habits, but it’s well worth the effort.
One should meditate daily. The regularity of your meditations is more important than the length of them. And do not stress, if you miss one session, just get back to it the next day.
And beware, because, as my teacher Rose Baudin describes it, meditation will first turn you into a crazy person. You will be dealing straight on with all of you issues. It can be scary to face one self alone within ones head.
When we raise our consciousness through meditation we are unifying the currents of the five senses into a single pointed focus leading us to a path of self knowledge and strengthened intuition. We expand our selves into the space around us. It's like "taking a walk" out from our body leaving thoughts and problems behind. We discover that we and our problems are very small in this endless universe and in fact, quite imaginary.
From this perspective, we begin to let go of things, reaching higher levels of awareness and the natural state where one experiences being out of body. When ones consciousness starts to rise, the effect shows in every aspect of ones life. It is easier to tune into the the things going on around you and in others.
Joy, happiness, love and compassion increases. One truly sees and understands oneself, the mind patterns and beliefs.
And as one fully realizes the truth behind all the feelings and thoughts; the question, Who Am I, emerges.