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Better definition?Edit

Please can I suggest "Meditation is a practice in which an individual operates their conscious mind in a way that is different from that used in normal day to day life. " as this includes many other practices widely considered as meditation, e.g. 'no thought' and single point concentration practices.JCJC777 (talk) 18.07, 29 April 2017 (UTC)JCJC777)

Removing evo4soulEdit

The individual is attempting to promote his page through wikipedia and this should not be tolerated as he is unverified and unreliable.

"Piyush Kumar Nahata,[90] an ex-Jain Monk created a meditation technique by the name of evo4soul.[91] He worked more than two decades to understand the process of evolution theory in the context of ancient Indian wisdom provided by Rishis, Tirthankaras and Buddhas. After a deep analysis of both systems he designed a genius system to evolve the soul. It’s a complete guide to align the body, mind and soul." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaias92 (talkcontribs) 16:20, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

  Done, thanks for pointing it out. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 18:05, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

Dictionary definitionEdit

The lead opens witj the following statement:

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.[1]


References

  1. ^ "Definition of meditate". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.

Yet, this is what Merriam-Webster actuualy says:

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in contemplation or reflection He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.

2 : to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness<br.
transitive verb

1 : to focus one's thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over He was meditating his past achievements.

2 : to plan or project in the mind : intend, purpose He was meditating revenge.

So, MW actually gives two definitions, only one of which is being used. And it does not say "to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state," but "reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness." That's not exactly the same. If MW is being used as a source for the lead, then it should reflect this source accurately.

Since the lead summarizes the article, it would be better to move the MW-definition to the definition-section, and expand the three dictionary-statements with this other deifinition: thinking deeply on something. The lead, then, can summarize, the definitions given below the dictionary-definitions. Something like:

While the term "meditation" may refer to prolonged and deep thinking on a subject, in common usage it mostly refers to a family of techniques, such as mindfulness and concentration, to train attention and awareness. These practices bring bodily and mental processes under greater control, fostering subjective well-being, and resulting in a calm and watchful mind.

This is better than a dictionary definition, and a one-sided focus on concentration-meditation, while the scholarly definitions clearly speak about attention-training and heightened awereness. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:34, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

I agree with all of that, but I do think that a definition may be mentioned in the lead and not in the body, because it is the sort of general information that may be mentioned only in the lead.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 20:25, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
That's my intention also. I just think that the lead-definition should be a summary of the extensive scholarly definitions given in the body of the article, and not a dictionary-definition. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:47, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Oh, yes, that's true.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 10:03, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Bond-definitionEdit

I think that the Bond-definition would be better of at the end of the table with often-cited definitions. Theirs is based on other definitions, and, in that respect, more like a 'summa' of previous definitions. Also, the explanatory notes ("*Influential reviews encompassing multiple methods of meditation"; "(The first 3 are cited >80 times in PsycINFO.[30]"; etc.) would better be treated as such, namely notes, and moved into proper notes.

Also, but that's a personal opinion, the Bond-list contains repetitions: "logic relaxation" spunds to me like "mindfulness" (in it's limited meaning as "bare attention"), which is akin to "the use of a self-focus skill or anchor" and "the presence of a state of suspension of logical thought processes"; and "a self-induced state/mode" is basically the same as "a state of psychophysical relaxation" and "a state of mental silence." So, basically their definitoon comes down to 'techniques for self-observation from a religious/spiritual/philosophical context which induce a state of psychophysical relaxation and mental silence. Which pretty much sums up the Pali canon description of dhyana. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:05, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Article length is too long -- looking for feedback on a possible solutionEdit

This article is over 140 kB, whereas according to WP:SIZERULE articles over 60 kB probably should be divided and articles over 100 kB almost certainly should be divided. I think Wikipedia clearly needs an article for meditation, so the best solution seems to be turning the largest sections into articles and leaving shorter versions of them here with links to the new articles.

The "Religious and spiritual meditation" section is by far the longest, so one possibility is to create an article called something like "Meditation in religion and spirituality". The article could also contain the section currently called, "Meditation, religion, and drugs." Shorter versions could stay here. This would be quite a bit of work, though, so I don't want to do it without making sure this would be a durable change. Alternately, the material here could just be integrated into the individual religions' mediation articles (e.g., Christian meditation, Meditation in Buddhism, etc.). Not sure the best way to proceed here so feedback would be great. Gazelle55 (talk) 22:05, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

I agree that the article needs to be trimmed. IMHO, the section Meditation#Forms of meditation should be merged with Meditation#Religious and spiritual meditation. Also, Meditation#Instances of sexual abuse in meditative practices needs to go, not because of whitewashing of course, but because it's way out of scope. On a more general note, there are too many sections and too little integration.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 12:26, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
The sexual abuse thing should probably be made into a separate article. I've made such a thing for Sexual abuse by yoga gurus for the same reason, to avoid cluttering the main articles, but these things need to be covered.
The sections on 'Secular applications', 'History', 'Research in meditation' have "main" links but the text here does not summarise those articles, so the sections should be replaced with actual summaries. With luck that can be done by copying the articles' leads and adding citations, but that demands very good summarizing leads, often not the case. Best is actually to copy the entire article into a sandbox, delete the lead and images, and cut down every other section to a sentence or two, leaving all the important citations. That will shorten this article considerably, and make the tree of articles much better balanced.
The same could be said for the meditation sections with "main" links. I think Buddhist m. and Hindu m. are fairly well summarized, whereas Christian m. probably needs a complete rewrite - in this case I think the lead section of that article could be copied across to replace the current section.
The "Pagan and occult religions" and "Modern spirituality" sections are wholly uncited and clearly need work: these could become longer, and probably deserve main articles of their own.
The "Forms of meditation" section is inadequate, bitty with excessively short sections, and the last part is much too list-like and should probably be moved to a list article and perhaps to a template. The subject is a major one (indeed, it probably should form the meat of the article, or a main article in its own right, leaving yet another summary here), and it needs serious work.
The "History" section is problematic for another reason: it overlaps largely (as it admits) with the religion sections. I suggest these be merged into a single "History" with subsections for the major religions (e.g. the Islamic paragraph in the current History is merged into the Islamic section, etc), with a single subsection at the end of that for "Secular".
I'm sorry to say this, given the amount of work that's been done, but starting off with a lengthy section on what the dictionaries say is rather missing the point for an encyclopedia article. The dictionaries are trying to do one small part of the job of an encyclopedia - identifying alternative senses of the term used for a concept - when what we are trying to do is to explain the concept itself. We should talk not about the word "meditation" and whether it's a substantive referring to a practice or whatever, but what meditation is, suitably sourced, so the definitions fit in naturally as part of the discussion in each section. In short, a hived-off Definitions section is basically always clutter in an encyclopedia article - at best, it duplicates what the rest of the article does; if it's at all effective as a summary, it's a duplicate of the lead; and at worst, it's off-topic as Wikipedia is "not a dictionary". I think we should use the definitions as footnotes at most, elsewhere in the article; or we just keep the citations and use them wherever needed (so the work won't have been wasted).
Overall, the article is trying to cover too many bases; more "main" articles are needed, and this article needs to consist mostly of summaries of those articles. It will then be both shorter and more informative. My tuppence 'orth. I've chopped some of the worst of it, and merged a lot of short sections. And copy-edited a bit. Oh, and the lead needs rewritten to summarize the article now or in some near-future state. Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:29, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, I agree with everything that's been said above except I'm still unsure over what to do with the "Religious and spiritual meditation" section. The two above comments suggest merging it either with the "Forms and techniques" section or with the "History" section. It seems to me, though, that the section as it exists now combines 1) techniques, 2) historical elements, and 3) information on the underlying philosophies—so it will probably have to be split up. The historical elements could be moved into the "History" section (though I think most of it can just go to the specific articles), but the rest would be hard to integrate with the "Forms and techniques" section as it currently exists. This is because the sub-sections (e.g., frequency, posture, use of prayer beads) cut across many religious traditions, and don't cover the underlying philosophies. I wonder if it might be best to merge things together into a large "Forms and techniques" section divided into 1) Classifications (currently 2.1), 2) General elements (currently 2.2-2.6), 3) Religious and spiritual forms (currently 3.1-3.6), and 4) Secular forms (currently 4.1 and 4.3). My concern with that would be that it could be too large a section. Once again, thoughts would be appreciated. --Gazelle55 (talk) 22:26, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
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