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(1,557 words)

Author(s): Fuchs, Christian
1. The concept of meditation is widespread in Western linguistic usage today. Its meaning and interpretation vary strongly. In general, what is understood by ‘meditation’ is a deepened consciousness of concentrated recollection, as distinct from a person's normal everyday consciousness. Frequently, the concept of meditation includes the techniques for the attainment of this special state of mind and spirit. Meditation is both, then: the way and the goal of a concrete spiritual practice. 2. Fundamentally, in Western modernity, the concept of meditation can be distingu…


(926 words)

Author(s): Fuchs, Christian
Origins The concept and practices of yoga come out of India (→ Indian Subcontinent). The Sanskrit word yoga is related to the English ‘yoke.’ In the ancient text of the Veda, accordingly, it meant first, the hitching (therefore, the ‘yoking’) of draught animals to a cart or plow. Then, in the time of the Upanishads (from c. 900 BCE), as a systematic examination of human nature began in India, the concept was broadened to include a mental and religious dimension. A basic premise of the mystics of the days in question was that religious seekers…