Meditation: A typically self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind. Most meditative techniques have come to the West from Eastern religious practices, particularly India, China, and Japan, but can be found in many cultures of the world. Until recently, the primary purpose of meditation has been religious, although its health benefits have long been recognized. During the past several decades, meditation has been further explored as a way of reducing stress on both the mind and body.
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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016