Short answer: Anything you want it to be … 🙂
These days you have many types of meditation: Full moon meditation, stress free meditation, Meditation on God, Mediation on the self, meditation with the flame, meditation to improve your concentration, Transcendental meditation, Peaceful meditation, after yoga class meditation, Zen meditation, Raja yoga meditation, Buddhist meditation….etc.
A car takes you from point A to point B while protecting the passenger from the elements. That is some definition of meditation, if it was like a car. There are many types of cars to choose from, however.
Meditation moves your consciousness. That is all.
Where it gets moved, varies according to mileage… 🙂
That is according to your experience.
Nevertheless, meditation as it is known today, is another attempt to free the self from the continuous turmoil caused by the incessant amount of thoughts…. Yes, it is the mind again.
Since most individuals are leading a stressful life style where there are many places to go and so little time to get there; then any chance we have to stop ( Stop light for the car) and “take the time to smell the roses,” would be highly appreciated by the inner self, which could be experienced as an “inner smile” of bliss which could be called an experience with God, with the self, with Nature, with the world, with angels, with whoever you believe in or feel connected to…
It is interesting to see how some people pay to “learn how to meditate,” here is the “how” for free: 🙂
Sit there and enjoy the moment. Be present. Let your mind go for a hike away from your feelings. That is all folks! Ohh yeah… if you expect to get something out of it, you will be disappointed. That is the catch!
So, what about the mantra or the hocus pocus environment with the chanting of “Om” … Those are the car colors to pick for your own car. Some like it bright, others not too showy…
What about posture? If you sit down, make sure that you know how to sit properly… The car needs to be aligned in its 4 wheels for the passenger to be comfortable in the ride…Easy enough?
In those moments that we afford to give ourselves a little break from mundane business, is when the experience of fulfillment, enjoyment, bliss etc. could be felt. Some may get addicted to those experiences and very disappointed if they do not come very often… Again is the mind comparing, trying to achieve something and not allowing things to unfold naturally, as they are supposed to be.
Is meditation able to change someone?
It depends what we mean by “changing someone.”
Meditation is not inner observation, although it could be used in that way and that could bring lasting changes in the self, when there is experience of “inner silence,” “inner peace” which could be described as “when you are not there” (your mind) that is the experience of being one with the totality of life.
This experience could be called as “emptiness” or the experience of being “a-temporal” as my friend Mathias calls it.
Many names and labels to describe the indescribable… As we integrate those moments of “chilling out” into our lives; meditation becomes living life as long as there is awareness.
Mediation then, is no longer a 30 minutes routine of sitting someplace while listening to New age music, but living life itself turns into a meditative state of being.