Meditation is a popular practice. However, the representation that we have of it is sometimes imprecise, even erroneous. Hence this proposed definition.
Meditation is a multi-millennial spiritual practice of Buddhist origin that seeks to understand the nature of the human mind, the nature of suffering, and the path to freedom from it. Practised with a secular approach, mindfulness meditation is an intentional process of becoming familiar with the workings of one’s mind and training it towards greater stability and clarity. The regular practice of meditation develops a state of self-presence that helps to clarify the mind and calm one’s emotions, similar to focused breathing meditations.
Statistical studies have shown, for example, that meditation helps to better identify negative thoughts and reduce mental ruminations. It also helps to reduce emotional reactions, thus helping stabilise feelings.
Meditation is also beneficial on attention, stress regulation, prevention of the risk of depressive relapse, etc. Its benefits are not even limited to mental and emotional health, as it can also have a positive impact on physical health.
However, expecting predetermined results from it is not the best approach. Meditation should be seen as a journey in which it is not so much the destination that counts, but the path taken.
To discover the full range of benefits that the practice of meditation is likely to bring, listen to the cross interview with Dr. Fanny Jacq, psychiatrist, and Claire Mizzi, psychologist and psychotherapist, meditation expert and voice of Petit BamBou, in the first episode of our podcast dedicated to meditation.