Meditation: Then & Now

Posted on December 7, 2012 by


Hello! I did my final project on meditation and how it has changed throughout time. I created a Prezi that covers my topic and then wrote more about it in this blog post. Hope you enjoy it!

Meditation is defined as “self regulation of attention, in the service of self-inquiry, in the here and now.” Meditation used to be used in a way to practice one’s religion. Now, meditation has become more westernized and is used in many different ways. Meditation can be used scientifically, religiously, and recreationally.

Practitioners in Western society have taken the original form of mindfulness meditation and gradually transformed it in to a meditative practice well-suited for the busy lifestyle and emotional/mental health needs of the average American. 

Meditation is now being used to relive chronic pain. One article talks about a Buddhist practitioner and how she is suffering from a chronic illness. She uses meditation because it helps her keep her mind off the pain. Buddhism speaks about suffering and gives the choice to either suffer through it or reduce it. She meditates by thinking of all the other people who are going through the same suffering or even worse. The idea is to think that you are taking on their sufferings to lessen it for them. Another way of meditating on the pain itself. If you focus on what the pain is, you’ll be able to feel where the pain is coming from. 

Some people don’t use meditation religiously but uses it as a way to relax. Researchers have found that  Chinese mindfulness meditation practice is linked with actual physical changes in the brain. They discovered that after two weeks of practicing this kind of meditation, the study participants had an increase in the number of signaling connections in the brain, called axonal density. This also shows that meditation is now used differently nowadays.

By looking at the many examples of how meditation is used in the present day, it’s evident that meditation has evolved throughout time. It doesn’t have to be only used in a religious way, but can be used in a variety different ways. 



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