Meditation of one style or another can be found in most of the major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Generally, Eastern religions have tended to concentrate on meditation as a means of realising spiritual enlightenment, a fundamental part of which has been the use of many health-promoting practices that go hand in hand with the spiritual ones.

Many millions of people in the West and elsewhere in the world are active meditators. Meditation in the West is practiced for both health and religious or spiritual reasons, although many people regard it mainly as a self-help tool for improving cognitive (thought) performance and for managing stress.

Meditating for spiritual expansion and fulfilment, without a religious basis, is becoming very common.

Meditation produces a clearing of the mind in ways that promote a sense of calm and heightened awareness. Interestingly, measurements using electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show that meditation can alter your brain’s activity.

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