The practice of meditation has been around in one form or another for millennia. The word itself comes from ‘medha’ which in Sanskrit (an ancient language from the Indian subcontinent), means wisdom. While in Latin, the root word is ‘meditari’ which means to ‘ponder.’ Written record dates it back to 1500 BCE. While variations in meditation started emerging around 5th or 6th century with Daoism and Buddhism.
Meditation simply is a process of going inwards. It primarily involves sitting in silence with oneself and training the mind in moment to moment awareness. Its focus is on cultivating states of mind that are conducive to peace. It allows one to shift from an autopilot life or constantly doing, into stillness, or being.
Meditation has many benefits as it directly impacts our central nervous system for the better. It is known to lower blood pressure, reduce heart disease and strengthen the immune system. It helps to regulate the endocrine system, reduce mental health ailments and improves mental clarity.
Some challenges to meditation include the emergence of suppressed emotions and unresolved internal conflicts. In order to access sustaining peace, meditation provides a platform to work with difficult life experiences and unhealthy conditioned behavior and thought patterns. Incorporating mindfulness tools can be most helpful in engaging with internal struggles in a compassionate and non-judging manner.