The History and Origin of Meditation

What is one thing that people will always wish to have? At first blush, one might guess ‘money’ or ‘fame’ or ‘lovers,’ and they might be right. But the true desires underpinning each of these Earthly pleasures spring from one true source: peace of mind. Financial security ensures we’ll never worry for our material needs like food or shelter. Prestige ensures we’re valued by our community. Romance promises to keep our emotional needs cared for. Society is fast−paced and often fear-based, pushing a scarcity mindset that keeps us chasing false idols. You may be too busy to hear your thoughts, to notice what you really want. In a world rife with uncertainty, stability begins within, with surrender to life’s rhythms.     

When was the last time that you really witnessed your own thoughts?  If you cannot think of a time when you have tried to reach out deep within your soul, then you know that you need to make some changes.

Meditation can provide a stronger connection between mind, body, and soul. Its practice brings an emotional awareness that allows us to understand how our feelings can also affect our behavior, how unchecked thoughts manifest in our real world surroundings     

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How Did Meditation Begin?

It is tricky to know the exact time when meditation began to be practiced. Svend Davager, MD, PhD, is a researcher who has always been interested in topics related to meditation. According to Davanger,      there is a possibility that Neanderthals have been practicing it ever since they started looking for ways to cope with the stresses of everyday life. There are various sets and techniques that have been adopted      and introduced to the general public over time.

Forms of Meditation in India

There are written records in India dating back to 1500 BCE stating that their ancestors did “Dhyana,” a practice closely related to meditation that improves the state of one’s mind. In ancient India, there are some practices that may be similar to meditation. Yet, there are some people who feel that the details about these practices are a bit ambiguous. 

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Forms of Meditation in China

In the 3rd and 6th centuries, there are some references to people doing meditation. Different Chinese philosophers have done their best to develop different meditation techniques. Some of these meditation techniques include:

  • Shou Jing: Meditation practice to guard tranquility.
  • Shou Zhong: Meditation practice to “guard the middle.”
  • Bao Yi: Meditation practice to embrace your belief in “The One.”
  • Bao Pu: Meditation practice to encourage simplicity in life.

The main issue with these practices is they may not be as widely used as people convey them to be. The terms may not be as old as when they were first practiced, so there is always a possibility that they have been altered over time.

With these things said, it is wise to note that no one knows when meditation actually started. People’s culture and religion have allowed different versions to resurface. Still, there is one thing that remains true: meditation has allowed many to get in touch with their inner selves and become better people.


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Focusing on Sufi Meditation

While Raise Karma prides itself on being a multi-culutral, multi-faith artist collective, our mission stems from Sufism, an Islam belief system that elevates the pursuit of purity in forging a mystical union with Allah. People who practice Sufism are called “Sufis.” They are trained to do different spiritual practices based on the techniques that were done by the “Yogis” in India.

Sufi Meditation differs from all the other meditation techniques because it is purposefully spiritual. Sufis hold different goals beyond inner peace while practicing meditation, including:

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  • Aim to remember the Supreme
  • Fill the heart with the love of the Supreme being
  • Unite oneself with the Supreme

People who practice Sufism are on their way to go back to the arms of the Supreme. In the process, the ego will die, but this is necessary for people to achieve peace of mind with the realization of love coming from the Supreme.

Origin of Sufi Meditation

Sufi meditation started more than 1000 years ago and has been practiced for centuries. It was only during the 20th century when it started to be replaced by more modern meditation techniques. Fortunately, there are people who are doing their best to keep this technique alive. They aim to show different exercises that will allow people to embody the love of the Supreme. This way, they can explore the inner world of their mind, heart, and soul. At the same time, they can function better in the society that we live in right now.

The Core of Sufi Meditation

The core of this type of meditation technique is to remember that the Divine is always present. People who do this aim to remember that their daily lives cannot be separated from the Supreme. There are two specific goals that best encapsulate the essence of this type of meditation:

  • Opening the heart to more easily connect with the Beloved.
  • Maintaining a mindset that’s open to the Divine at all times. This way, good thoughts coming from the Supreme can freely enter the mind.
Raise Karma, meditation, sufism, art collective

When you learn to focus your thoughts on the Divine, you will be able to improve the way your heart works. You will begin to feel that everything in the world is interconnected. The things that you will do out of love will be passed on by other people that you have helped. The time will come when the world will be filled with love and there will be no more room for negativity to linger.

Importance of Sufi Chanting

Sufi Chanting is also known as Dhikr. This is a type of spiritual cleansing needs to be done to further purify not only the mind but also the heart. There are different phrases and words that are used with specific meanings. The chants are repeated to improve rhythm and create sound vibrations that will allow the soul to start healing.

By doing Sufi meditation often, people will begin to act based on their spiritual learning. The purification of the soul and the further belief in the Divine will allow them to find their purpose in spreading goodness and love. Regardless of faith or beliefs, this is the natural extension of peace of mind -- bringing positive action and light into the world. 

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