Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. Meditation often involves turning attention to a single point of reference. It is a component of many religions, and has been practiced since antiquity. It is also practiced outside religious traditions. Different meditative disciplines encompass a wide range of spiritual or psychophysical practices that may emphasize different goals-from achievement of a higher state of consciousness, to greater focus, creativity or self-awareness, or simply a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind.
The word meditation comes from the Indo-European root med-, meaning "to measure". From the root med- are also derived the English words mete, medicine, modest, and moderate. It entered English as meditation through the Latin meditatio, which originally indicated any type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning "contemplation".
Eastern meditation techniques have been adapted and increasingly practiced in Western culture.