Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. Meditation often involves turning attention to a single point of reference. It is recognized as a component of almost all religions, and has been practiced for over 5,000 years.It is also practiced outside religious traditions. Different meditative disciplines encompass a wide range of spiritual and/or psychophysical practices which may emphasize different goals — from achievement of a higher state of consciousness, to greater focus, creativity or self-awareness, or simply a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind.

The word meditation originally comes from the Indo-European root med-, meaning “to measure. From the root med- are also derived the English words mete, medicine, modest, and moderate. It entered English as meditation through the Latin meditation, which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning “contemplation.”

When you pray or meditate the brain’s alpha waves change to theta waves, shifting from a state of arousal to one of deep relaxation. This triggers a positive parasympathetic response and results in lowering stress and anxiety.