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Meditation is indeed learning to work with the mind. The Cambridge dictionary defines meditation as “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religions activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed,” or “serious thought or study, or the product of this activity.” So meditation can involve focusing, relaxing, pondering or the expression of these, as in the famed Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, for example.
The Meaning of Mind and Meditation
Before asking yourself what is meditation? You might want to understand what meditation isn’t. It isn’t about zoning out, or having earth-shattering experiences, or even controlling the mind. Meditation, as a spiritual practice, is more about working with the mind and training in awareness. Simply working with the mind leads to an improved sense of presence, calm, attentiveness, and an increase in valued human qualities such as empathy and patience.
A lot of things in life are beyond our control, but it’s quite possible to have greater control over our actions and how we respond to the situations we find ourselves in. To do this, we need to cultivate awareness of how the mind works and the ability to maintain focus. And nothing cultivates awareness better than meditation does.