Stemming from Latin roots, meditate means to ponder.  Having been practiced for well over thousands of years now, meditation was initially meant to help deepen the understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life.  Today it is commonly used as a stress reliever and relaxation method.

Generally, an internal, personal practice done with little to no external involvement, mediation involves conjuring a feeling or state of mind, such as compassion.  With more than a dozen specific styles of meditation practice, it has been practiced as a component of numerous religious traditions for years and is gaining in popularity.

A study in 2007 showed nearly 9.4% of U.S. adults (that’s more than 20 million) had practiced meditation at some point over the past 12 months, whereas in 2002 a reported 7.6% were practicing.

Most Common Types of Meditation

Guided: mental images of places or situations you find relaxing are formed, using as many senses as possible.

Mantra: silently repeat a calming word, phrase or thought to prevent distraction.

Mindfulness: based on being mindful and having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment.

Qi gong: combining meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance.

Tai chi: a form of gentle Chinese martial arts where you perform a self-paced series of postures in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.

Yoga: performing a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind.


The benefits of meditation are countless, ranging from emotional to physical well being.  Not only can meditation help you gain a new perspective on situations, but research also suggests meditation can help with mental and anxiety disorders.


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