Where Did Meditation Begin?

The question of where did meditation begin is a baffling one. According to Davanger (2008:1), the ancient Chinese philosopher who lived around the sixth century BCE, it is possible that meditation may be as old as mankind itself. Yet, some schools of thought place its origins in an organized system of practices and references in Eastern countries. The most common theories about the beginning of meditation include the shamanic cult, Hinduism, and Buddhist traditions.

Where Did Meditation Begin

Although there are many different beliefs about where meditation started, some historians and scholars believe that it began thousands of years ago in India. In the 18th century, the only known pictures of meditation were in Hindu and Buddhist paintings. These depict people seated in meditative positions with their eyes closed. The first written text about meditation came from the Hindu traditions of Vendatism. These texts were passed down orally for centuries. While it’s difficult to determine the exact origin of the practice, most researchers agree that it originated in the ancient world.

The esoteric tradition of Kabbalah grew into its own forms of meditation. The Jewish esoteric tradition was also interested in the meditative practices and techniques and encouraged their followers to practice them. In the 1700s, the Europeans started to study Eastern philosophy and began translating the Upanishads, a series of religious texts in India. This paved the way for meditation to spread to the Western world. In the early 18th century, the philosopher Schopenhauer and his disciples began to study Buddhism and its spiritual practices.

As the history of meditation continues to expand, it has become more popular in the West. Throughout history, it has been used by many religious groups. Among the most influential of these is the Catholic Church, which has a meditation practice centered around active voluntary thinking, which involves focusing on biblical topics and empathizing with Biblical figures. The nineteenth century saw the emergence of Eastern religious practices involving controlled thought. In the midst of this, the Buddhist Book of the Dead was translated into English and began to influence Westerners to practice meditation. The focus of these two books was to increase spirituality, reduce stress, and relax. From there, the practice of meditation spread to the West. This paved the way for further research on the benefits of the practice.

When meditation first reached the West, it was considered a highly sophisticated and complex practice. However, in Eastern cultures, meditation has long been practiced by monks for thousands of years. The first Western shamans, or Buddhist monks, meditated to calm their minds, which is why it is so popular in the West today. The modern practice of meditation is based on the principles of various religions. It can also be considered a type of prayer.

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