What Is a God in Meditation?

When we think of meditation, the first thing that probably comes to mind is some sort of monks sitting in some little hut somewhere, chanting something. While this is an important part of meditation, it is not the only aspect of it, and we should not think of meditation as being at all exclusive. Meditation is simply a process by which an individual utilizes a specific technique including mindfulness, or concentrating the mind on a specific object, activity, or thought – to train attention and consciousness, and attain a mentally calm and psychologically relaxed state. This is not the same thing as psychotherapy, as it does not attempt to diagnose or treat any particular problem within an individual. It is merely a method of using focused awareness to achieve certain beneficial changes within an individual.

While there has been much speculation as to the real meaning and purpose of meditation, especially from the Eastern religions, it is generally accepted that it can be helpful for anyone who wishes to better themselves and their lives. The most commonly practiced form of meditation among these religions is called bah meditation. In general, the bah meditation involves concentrating on certain things, such as a God, a Buddha, an object or thought, and even sound (similar to a spiritual prayer).

What is meant by a God, is simply whatever is believed to create life, whether it be physical existence or some unseen aspect. In a sense, it is like being “praised by your own mind” (Bhakti), and while this can certainly be helpful, in and of itself it cannot lead to enlightenment, (as some would argue). It is my opinion, however, that a God can be considered an aspect of meditation, and is most certainly what helped to shape the methods and techniques used to meditate. Thus, I will edit the main article below, to reflect this fact.

For instance, a God in meditation may be a certain form of ritual, one which involved the focusing of the practitioner’s attention on a specific, small part of the surroundings. This could be anything from a bell to an imagined image of a bird in the tree to a picture drawn by the novice (and often kept in memory), which was to symbolize the meditative state. Such a God may also involve the repetition of a sacred word or phrase, or the visualisation of a divine being.

A God in meditation may also be a personified animal. This can be seen in the practice of Chakra meditation in Ayurvedic traditions. In this method of meditation, it is thought that the practitioner should direct his or her consciousness into the body of the animal, in order to release any karmic blockages there. While this appears to be a simple concept, it is difficult to imagine how such discipline could have been developed in India thousands of years ago. It is my belief that such practices evolved as a result of a need to explain away the use of ritual in everyday life, as outlined in the Hindu text Katha Upanishad.

One of the most common forms of spiritual meditation is “mana meditation”, where the practitioner focuses the mind onto a single point, either on a repetitive mantra, the golden mean, the infinity circle or a still larger object. The object of meditation might be something as mundane as a candle, a seed or a flower. Regardless of the nature of the object, it is supposed to be sufficiently stable that the practitioner does not feel pulled away, but rather allows the meditation to become a pure state of being. Such a state is supposedly achieved when the practitioner relaxes his or her entire body, including the face, and concentrates solely on this object. Practitioners often use a single mantra meditation to focus the mind. I prefer to use a combination of both mantra meditation and purity meditation (namely, progressive relaxation and letting go).

This content is contributed by Guestomatic

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