This is a group for anyone interested in meditation - particularly in the western tradition. I am starting this group since I want to share and explore my experience on the practise with like-minded people.
Meditation is “hip”, there is no question. Not only because of its large benefit for health, but also as a means to obtain relief from stress and even a more meaningful life. However, there does exist an extensive diversity of different styles, which can vary considerably from each other.
Today, when we speak of meditation, we almost always mean the Eastern style of meditation. Nevertheless, the West boasts its own distinct heritage.
Occidental meditation is traditionally more object-focused. Objects can be perceived both in abstract and concrete terms, both as a theoretical thoughts or as natural objects. While this content-based meditation style may, at first glance, seem more difficult to grasp, this is only due to its relative unfamiliarity when compared to its Eastern counterpart. This better known Oriental approach, seen in yogic and Tai Chi practises, emphasizes a more technical tradition that focuses on breathing techniques, mindfulness and movements.
Western content-based meditation focuses our attention on an object, such as a passage from a meaningful text, a mantra, a sacred word or an interesting inspiring text. Therein, the meditative process, the consciousness becomes calm and focused on the object. A mind so concentrated on a single object is already a demanding discipline in itself. It also produces many beneficial effects.
Over time, the meditation‘s initial thought or verse develops into a broad, more vivid and animated idea, creating a multiplicity of connections to the world around us.
Meditation in this sense can be a means of achieving knowledge as we develop a new and authentic relationship with the object and thereby discover its true meaning. Identifying the essence of any object is therefore not informed by the intellect, but defined by reason.