Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Meditation I have to admit I've never really given the act of meditation much thought. I have heard a number of times that meditation helps you focus or help you relax. I'm not saying that I have never meditated before, because I know that would be a flat out lie. The truth is, I have either been introduced into a large group of meditation, such as church prayer or during a class. I have often found myself "meditating"� for a passing grade before a test.

The first time that I have been in a meditation that actually had an effect on or any relevance with my life was on during a church youth group retreat. The retreat is basically a weekend where the church's youth organization organizes a "get-away"� from worries of school, work, parents, and basically anything else you want to just forget about for a couple of days.

The meditation stared as any other would; we were asked to sit with our eyes closed, and to just relax. The room was completely dark, except for several flickering candles scattered across the room, and music softly playing in the background. Once everyone was quit and relaxed in their groups the group leader began to read a long mediation that seemed to have many separate parts to get to the desired step of the mediation. The first couple of steps were to ensure that we were relaxed and cooperating. We were asked to think of a quiet place and just breath and engulf ourselves with the environment, then a treasured place from childhood so that the thoughts of these places would open our minds to the mediation. Once our minds were opened we were told of the "desired"� meditation. One that started with a knock on the door, a welcomed...