When did humans start meditating?

on 20/03/2017

Origins of Meditation

The history of meditation is a long one, it is believed that it is as ancient as our primitive hunter-gatherer days of old – almost 200,000 years ago. According to some researchers, when we first discovered fire the human brain started to develop the capacity for focused attention – a direct result from staring at the flames that we so love to do to this day.

Flame-watching is speculated to have contributed to our species latest phases of biological development. Focus – a key aspect of meditation may have helped our species evolve to what we are today.

Some of the latest research into human evolution claims that humans used fire as far back as 1 million years ago!

Our earliest human ancestors might have been the first to practice meditation. In other words –

meditation may be as old as 1 million years, when we first started to use fire.

The earliest recordings of meditation as a spiritual practice comes from the Hindu sacred texts of The Vedas from Nepal and India. Meditation is known for being a practice coming primarily from the east, but it was also a western practice, both worlds have practiced it but in different ways.

In the west, by 20 BCE Philo of Alexandria had written on some form of “spiritual exercises” involving attention (prosoche) and concentration and by the 3rd century Plotinus had developed meditative techniques. It seems that the ancient Greeks and Romans also practiced exercises such as meditation and yoga.

The ancient Western world known for the advancement of science and technology had also cultivated esoteric and spiritual teachings and practices such as “Meditation”. Most of this inner lore that the West also developed has been lost and forgotten through the ages – fortunately the East preserved these beliefs and has since reintroduced them to us. Meditation and teachings of spirituality are a universal human tradition shared by all cultures and times, the attainment of inner peace, wisdom, purpose and the desire to lead a meaningful life shares a common thread.

Next time you sit down and meditate – remember “fire” connects us all

Written by Joseph Harry Rapsomanikis