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Relaxation Music CDs to Nurture Body, Mind, and Spirit
The tradition of meditation dates back to the beginning of human history.
Thousands of years ago, Patanjali, an Indian Sage of legend, described
the process by which the capacity to meditate is actualised. He called
it "Self Realisation" since, in the state of meditation, he experienced
an absolute awareness of his "Self".
The mechanism by which "Self Realisation" occurred was a closely kept
secret that was handed down from a Guru to his disciple after long
penances, discipline and purification.
In the 14 th century the great saint Gyaneshwara of Central India took
permission from his Guru to translate the secret texts written in
Sanskrit into the popular vernacular. Thus the tradition of mysticism and
meditation began within the populace in India.
Meditation is both an ancient spiritual practice and a
contemporary mind-body technique for relaxing the body and calming the
mind. Most meditative techniques have come to the West from Asian
religious practices, particularly India, China, and Japan, but similar
techniques can be found in many cultures around the world. Until
recently, the primary purpose of meditation has been religious, although
its health benefits have long been recognized in these cultures where
these methods originated.
In the West, the first view was that meditation induced
a type of dissociative state or a type of catatonia. Thirty years ago, meditation was
still considered a religious practice, not appropriate for healthcare
settings. The first articles on the health benefits of meditation
appeared in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology in 1970. Meditation
is the first mind-body intervention to be widely adopted in mainstream
health care. Meditation is now widely taught at medical settings such as
the VA clinics and Kaiser Permanente where it is prescribed as a
technique for relaxing the body and calming mind.
The search for the true self through the meditative process is not
something recently discovered, nor is it in any way alien to the
basically rationalistic philosophical and spiritual traditions of the
West. Although Western civilization has for the most part directed its
energies outward in various efforts to control and exploit the resources
of nature, there have always been inner-directed philosophers, saints,
and mystics who have dedicated themselves to
a higher purpose than
material well-being, which is in all cases temporary.