Yoga & Meditation

The word Meditation comes from the Latin word “meditatio” and means to think, contemplate, ponder.

A lot of Caucasians think that meditation originates from the Indian Subcontinent and has something esoteric – mythical about it.

So where mediation indeed refers to the seventh of the eight steps of Yoga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a step called Dhyana in Sanskrit. Whereby it’s integrally related to the prior step Dharana.

The later is where one is holding ones mind onto a particular object / Mantra (cloud, tongue, naval, breath etc.) without letting ones mind drift. Dhyana is the next step, where one starts to contemplate, reflect on what one was focused on during the Dharana. So where Dharana is the focus on a Mantra, Dhyana is about thinking about that Mantra. It is a non-judgemental, non presumptuous observation of that Mantra.

Getting back to the term and origin of the term Meditation and it’s Latin origin, it actually refers to the third of the four steps of the Lectio Devina. This is an ancient form of Christian prayer, that originates from the Benedictine monks and is where they try to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of their God. So it’s the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (for example a biblical scene involving Jesus and the Virgin Mary) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.

Christian meditation contrasts with Asian types of meditation as radically as the portrayal of God the Father in the Bible contrasts with depictions of Krishna or Brahman in Indian teachings. In addition most types of Christian meditations do not rely on the repeated use of mantras as they do in Asian meditations. Nonetheless they also focus on the stimulation of though and deeper meaning.

They Christians goal is to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks the Christian communion.

By Niken Nurul Puji Lestari