So, finally we have come to the point where you should know the history of meditation. After knowing how to meditate for beginners and every other thing, learn about its history.
We’ll holistically speaking, meditation was discovered in India somewhere around 5000 years ago. The terms meditation and yoga have been imbibed in the religious books such as Shri Bhagawad Geeta.
There are Vedas as well which have shown the inscriptions of Meditation in them. The other forms of meditation have been found in the Taoist China and Buddhist India. Also, regarding this as well, there are debates regarding this.
But, let’s read the most simplified history of meditation on the internet.
Meditation: How we know it
Before the term meditation, in the Hindu scriptures, it used to be known as Dhyana which means to concentrate. Later on, the English tried making their own word for Dhyana and came up with Meditation. The term meditation comes from a Latin word, Meditatum which means to ponder.
Although, many mystics and gurus in India have said that during meditation, one does not ponder. Hence, what know as meditation is something which has more to do with Dhyana and less with Meditatum.
Now, looking at this, in the history of meditation, we’ll be talking about Dhyana and not Meditatum.
Also read, the disadvantages of meditation.
Which meditation came from where
Yes! There are different types of meditation and as per that, there are various mental and physical benefits of meditation. So, all these different forms of meditation came from different places. But, not every form has the same impact.
For example, if somebody wants mindfulness, then there’s a specific form of meditation and if somebody wants some occult powers, then there’s the other form.
Although, the core focus of meditation is to control the powers of your mind. You can’t stop your thoughts but you can definitely think about the other things which stop the other thoughts. Hence, there are such mystical powers of meditation as well.
What one needs to do is, to practice and master the art of meditation like a pro.
Who can master meditation
Buddha lived on this planet around 2600 years ago. He practiced and performed meditation in a way which led him to enlightenment. This is where the Buddha’s history of meditation began from.
Although, there are some disadvantages of meditation as well. Read them here.
Although in the Hindu scriptures, there are three types of human characteristics known as, Rajogun, Satogun and Tamogun. It is said that Buddha had balanced all these three characteristics with meditation and hence, became enlightened.
Therefore, what most people talk about meditation is the Buddhist Meditation.
7th Century Meditation
In the 7th century, a Japanese monk, Dosho travelled to China to learn the art of Buddhism under the great master Hsuan Tsang. Dosho specifically studied Zen meditation under him. Later on, he returned to Japan and started teaching Zen meditation to the people over there. He named it, Zen meditation and particularly deals with sitting meditation.
So, this is where the early-modern history of meditation is known in records.
India and the West on Meditation
Meditation was a topic for the West till the 19th Century. This was the time when the cruel British forces were colonizing the great nation of India. Many students of the West who wanted to learn the art of meditation, invited masters, gurus and sages from across India, China and Japan. This is where the modern history of meditation comes in existence.
Due to an improvement in the communication by the introduction of telephone, FAX and other resources, meditation got itself a decent limelight. Hence, it started gaining popularity very soon.
After this, whatever that has happened in the history of meditation, has always remained in front of us. Although, meditation had already started before its mention in the Vedas and other scriptures. Through, some wall paintings in the excavations, it was found that meditation had already existed even before its inception in the books.
There is a difference between yoga and meditation. Yoga focuses more on postures and flexing meanwhile meditation is more about sitting posture. There are loads of differences between yoga and meditation. In order to experience those differences, one must practice both.