Meditation Essay, Research Paper
By Nick Carroll
Let my work benefit all!!
Pryor High School Students: You would be really dumb to plagiarize this. It ran in the school paper, so you will definitely be caught! Have fun!
Whenenever meditation is mentioned you might picture a buddhist monk sitting in a temple in the Tibetan Himalayas or perhaps a new-age bookstore full of eccentric people. While to some extent these images are accurate, they do not portray a full image of what meditation is. Meditation exists in many different forms for many different purposes. Meditation is used for spiritual reasons such as achieving higher states of conciousness. It is also used for therapeutic purposes such as relaxation. Meditation does, however, have an esoteric side to it. Many sources claim that through meditative processes one can achieve psychic abilities or even have out of body experiences. This side of meditation, unfortunately, tends to reduce its credibility.
Meditation is, for the most part, the focusing of the mind. It is sometimes focusing on nothing, other times on breathing or a steady heart beat, or still yet an image, word, or idea. There are many ways of doing this. Every different book or source that can be read on this subject will describe the process in diferent ways. Some require one to sit in awkward positions and chant a single word; others instruct one to lie down and perform complicated breathing exercises. And, oddly enough, there are even meditative processes that are very similar to self-hypnosis techniques.
Many eastern religions partake in meditation. The buddhist religion, for example, views meditation as a way of purifying the soul. The Transcendental Meditation religion, founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, uses mediation for self-actualization. Meditation also has some Western roots. In ancient Greece the School at Eleusis and the Shrine at Dodona used meditation to train oracles and mystics of the day.
As stated previously, there are many therapeutic benefits from Meditation. Many corporations, such as Marriott, Polaroid, and Pacific Bell, use meditation in stress relief programs. Even NASA incorporates meditation for relaxation and clearing the mind. Meditation can aslo alleviate physical pain. Science has documented that when people practice yoga (a form of meditation), endorphins (a natural pain-killer) are released in the brain. People also use meditation to increase their ability to learn. Meditation helps people keep their concentration levels higher so it is possible to learn easier.
The mystic side of meditation, while perhaps quite interesting, is also quite contraversial. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claimed once that through Transcendental Meditation levitation was possible. When this was investigated it was found that he actually was merely hopping in the lotus position. This, of course, did nothing to improve meditation?s image. Other books and sources claim that astral projection, the removal of the spirit from the body, is possible with meditation. The prospect of leaving the body may sound exciting, however, most people simply will not accept this as very reliable or scientific. Others claim that meditation awakens latent psychic energy within an individual. With proper stimulation they claim people can read auras or see into the future. Many people completely discredit meditation because of such unscientific claims.
It is too bad that the positive side of meditation is little realized by most people. Most people could use itto their benefit. Who isn?t under some kind of stress? Who couldn?t use a bit more concentration? And just imagine how useful it could be if you have a headache but don?t have any Aspirin. Meditation does not require a conversion of religion or belief in supernatural phenomena; it only requires a few minutes a day of simple mental exercises. Isn?t that worth it?