What is Meditation?
by Jim Malloy, from The World Wide Online Meditation Center

There are many types of meditation. The one definition that fits almost all types is…
“Consciously directing your attention to alter your state of consciousness.” There’s no limit to the things you can direct your attention toward… symbols, sounds, colors, breath, uplifting thoughts, spiritual realms, etc. Meditation is simply about attention… where you direct it, and how it alters your consciousness.

What is the purpose of meditation? Traditionally meditation was (and still is) used for
spiritual growth…i.e. becoming more conscious; unfolding our inner Light, Love, &
Wisdom; becoming more aware of the guiding Presence in our lives; accelerating our
journey home to our True Self… our Spirit.

More recently, meditation has become a valuable tool for finding a peaceful oasis of
relaxation and stress relief in a demanding, fast-paced world.

Other uses include:

Emotional cleansing & balancing
Deepening concentration & insight
Manifesting change
Developing intuition
Unlocking creativity
Exploring higher realities
Finding inner guidance

General Guidelines for Meditation

1. Put your expectations aside, and don’t worry about doing it right. There are infinite
possibilities and no fixed criterion for determining right meditation. There are, however, a few things to avoid. They are…

Trying to force something to happen.
Over-analyzing the meditation.
Trying to make your mind blank or chase thoughts away.
Putting too much emphasis on doing it right.

2.It’s not necessary to meditate on a completely empty stomach. If you’re hungry, eat a little something.

3.Find a quiet, comfortable place to meditate. You can sit in a comfortable chair, on the bed, on the floor… anywhere that’s comfortable.

4.Eliminate as much noise and as many potential distractions as possible. Don’t worry
about those things that you can not control.

5.When you sit to meditate, sit comfortably, with your spine reasonably straight. This
allows the spiritual energy to flow freely up the spine, which is an important aspect of meditation. Leaning against a chair back, a wall, headboard, etc. is perfectly all right. If, for physical reasons, you can’t sit up, lay flat on your back.

6.Place your hands in any position that is comfortable.

7.If it does not go against your beliefs, call on a “higher source” for assistance in your meditation. Any form is all right. This can be quite helpful, but is not absolutely

Some Misconceptions about Meditation

Misconception #1. Meditation is turning off your thoughts or making your mind a blank.

Not True …Inner quietness is experienced in meditation, but not by willfully turning off thoughts. Quieting the mind results naturally from: the effectiveness of the method used… and a force beyond our own efforts.

Misconception #2. Meditation is difficult and takes tremendous discipline.

Not True … Meditation can be easily learned, and can be quite enjoyable. Meditation is only difficult if one tries to do it perfectly, which is not really possible.

Misconception #3. Meditation is not successful unless we see interesting things in our mind.

Not True… Although some meditations are specifically for visualizing, many are not. In those meditations, seeing things may be entertaining, but is not essential. Even
visualization does not necessarily require seeing. Some people sense or feel things
inwardly, and that’s all right.


We should also note that mindfulness is the practice of meditative awareness in the midst of any activity. For more information, see the page entitled “What is Mindfulness?”.

Click here for A Basic Method for Masonic Meditation.

For more information about meditation, visit the websites listed in the “Meditation” section of the ZenMasonry Resources page.)