Buddha has been around for a long, long time!
Eastern meditation techniques have exploded throughout the world. Recently, high profile celebrities like Madonna have adopted some of the concepts of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Spiritual leaders continue to teach the value of increased intuition, awareness, focus and compassion gained through the practice of various forms of meditation.
The practice and power of meditation has been an influence on spiritual leaders and seekers in every religion since the beginning of time. Cave drawings show primitive man seeing visions brought on by the altered state of watching and feeding the ever present fire through the night.
Ancient Hindu texts describe meditation thousands of years ago. Japanese meditation became Zen and Chinese meditation became Taoism. In India, Buddhism was born. Widely distributed ancient art pictures Buddha sitting under a banyan tree gaining enlightenment—Buddha went into the forest to meditate. Jewish meditation has been practiced for centuries and revealed in the Torah’s Book of Genesis.
Before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Native Americans were blending nature and spirit to achieve balance. Many tribes practiced versions of “visioning” where medicine men and women (or shamans) used their meditations to provide forecasts of the future and natural and spiritual medicines. Each warrior was required to go into the wild alone and survive. This “medicine retreat” or visioning process included prayer and meditation to find direction, as well as a spiritual name.
In Christianity, the men and women of the Bible like Noah, Moses and the Virgin Mary all went out alone to meditate and “listen to God.” The Arc was built, the Ten Commandments were handed down, and the news of Jesus’ birth spread. These were all fruits of meditation.
Christianity was founded on the idea that communication with God was a two way street. Daily meditation was taught until the 1600’s. This evolved into shared prayer, singing and sermons until the 1950’s and 60’s when silent meditation made its way back.
Over the last 50 years, extensive research has been done to show the benefits of quiet contemplation and meditation. It is well documented that meditation has a wide variety of positive effects on both physical and emotional wellbeing. Heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, high cholesterol, insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety and compulsive behaviors (like overeating and alcoholism) can all be impacted through practicing meditation.
The wonder of an individual using his or her mind and body to achieve peace and health is as old as time. Picture a lone figure standing on the edge of a great canyon facing the blinding sun. There is a timeless quality to looking down, reaching up and finding God.
by Jackie x8992