History of Meditation

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The Axial Age: the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu tradition of Vedantism around 1500 B.C.E. The Vedas discussed the ancient traditions of meditation which came from India. In the fifth and sixth century, B.C.E. meditation seems to develop other forms in Taoist China and Buddhist India. Dyhana in early Buddhism takes effect in Vedanta somewhere around century B.C.E. Buddhist meditation exact organs are still under debate by most scholars. Multilevel of meditation are seen in Buddhism’s sutra’s Phalli’s Cannons getting all the way back to the first century B.C.E. A basic formula whereby salvation was achieved through observation by means of the rules of morality, concentration, knowledge, and liberation thus placing meditation is stepping salvation in Buddhism. Buddhism spread into China known as the Vimalakirti Sutra dating back to 1000 CE. Philo of Alexandria around 20 B.C.E. in the West had written about spiritual experiences involving concentration and attention, then around the third century, Plotinus was developing techniques of meditation, whichever were not followed by Christian meditators. Then St. Augustine used the methods and failed to achieve ecstasy. Bodhidharma considered to be the transmitter of Zen and China but the first school in East Asia was the contemporary Zhiyl somewhere around the sixth century in central Asia. There they systematically organized the techniques which had been brought from India in such a way that they made sense.

Korean Buddhism in the seventh century was promoted by Wonhyo and Uisang. In Israelite antiquity, there is evidence that Judaism inherited his practices of meditation from his predecessors. “In the Torah, the patriarch Isaac was described as going ‘lasuach’ in the field to meditate”. (np) From the eighth century and onwards with meditation practices being further developed in Japanese Buddhism. The monk Dosho during his visit to China in 653 learned of Zen and upon his return to Japan, he opened the first meditation hall at Nara. The practices of meditation continued to flow into Japan from China which was subject to modification. When Dogen returned from China in 1227 he wrote instructions for Zahen better known as sitting meditation and brought forth a community of monks focused on Zahen practices. Jewish meditation during this period time grew and developed into approaches and to prayer, mitzvot in addition to studies. Some of the meditations involved Jewish philosophy and Kabbalistic practices. Sufi viewed Islamic mysticism as meditative practices with a remembrance of God and Islam.

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This concept was known as Dhikr and was interpreted in two different meditative practices which were known as Sufism. In the 12th and 11th century it became systematized with Fikr or thinking in which knowledge was achieved. While during this time Sufism practices developed breathing control along with holy words. While Eastern Christian meditation repetitive phrases were repeated in a specific physical position which originated in Byzantine. Where Western Christian meditation progressed during the sixth century the practices from reading the Bible amongst Benedictine monks which were called Lectio Divina reading. The ladder consisting of four formal steps as defined by Guigo II a month that lived during the 12th century using terms such aslectio or meditatio or oratio and comtemplatio which when translated into English meant read or ponder or pray and contemplate. Meditations more modern history from the 18th century onward shows a study of Western Buddhism by such scholars as Schopenhauer while Voltaire asked for tolerance towards Buddhist. Yoga meanwhile develops schools and Hindu revivalism starting in the 1890s.

Other yoga schools opened with variance from traditions used by non-Hindus thereby bringing forth the practice of Transcendental Meditation. This became popular in the 1960s numerous forms of Hatha Yoga derived from the schools simply known as Yoga in Western terminology. Secular meditation focuses more on stress relief, relaxation and self-improvement. Scientific analysis and research have been done extensively on both the religious and secular meditative practices. After 60 years of research and scientific study, the mechanisms of meditation are still unclear.

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History of Meditation. (2019, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/history-of-meditation/