Although meditation is nearly always associated with New Age philosophy it is far more mainstream than what most people would imagine. Meditation simply means the practice of meditating. Meditating is according to Webster “to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation”.
I see it as a method of focus. A technique to concentrate the mind. There are many forms or methods of meditation. You probably think of a yogi sitting cross legged with his eyes closed meditating but this is just one way of doing it. Meditation has become a mainstream technique used in medicine to help with chronic pain, serious illness and psychological disorders.
One of the main reasons people meditate is to relax. Destressing is one of the hardest things to do in modern life. Meditation can be used as a method to still the mind which means taking your focus away from those nagging thoughts that keep popping into your mind.
Common ways of maintaining the focus are:
Chanting. Either aloud or silently a word or group of words (commonly called a Mantra) are repeated over and over again. Although many people use Sanskrit it can be any word or words that you like to use. By constantly repeating the words you are focusing your mind away from the thoughts you don’t want.
Guided. With this system an external source such as a group leader or listening to a recording guides you through the meditation. You focus on the voice and any images or thoughts they put forward. This is probably one of the easiest forms of meditation and the one I use the most.
Breath. Full concentration is put into your breathing usually with an effort to slow the rate of breaths and to achieve deep, full breaths. This is a very relaxing and physically beneficial style of meditation.
I personally enjoy the system put out by hypnotist Steve G Jones which is a guided form of relaxation and meditation. If interested click on the website link to go there.