Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique - such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity - to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Scholars have found meditation elusive to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them.
Meditation is practiced in numerous religious traditions. The earliest records of meditation (dhyana) are found in the ancient Hindu texts known as the Vedas, and meditation plays a salient role in the contemplative repertoire of Hinduism and Buddhism. Since the 19th century, Asian meditative techniques have spread to other cultures where they have also found application in non-spiritual contexts, such as business and health.
Meditation may significantly reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and enhance peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being. Research is ongoing to better understand the effects of meditation on health (psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular) and other areas.