Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself, in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Although meditation is an important spiritual practice in many religious and spiritual traditions, it can be practiced by anyone regardless of its religious or cultural background to relieve stress and pain.
Generally speaking, there are two main types of meditation. These types are:- concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation. Concentration meditation practices involve focusing attention on a single object. Objects of meditation can include the breath, an inner or external image, a movement pattern (yoga), or a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated silently (mantra). The purpose of concentrative practices is to learn to focus one's attention or develop concentration. When thoughts or emotions arise, the meditator gently directs the mind back to the original object of concentration.
Mindfulness meditation practices involve becoming aware of the entire field of attention. The meditator is instructed to be aware of all thoughts, feelings, perceptions or sensations as they arise in each moment. Mindfulness meditation practices are enhanced by the meditator's ability to focus and quiet the mind. Many meditation practices are a blend of these two forms.