I am wondering whether this is one of the most uselessly misleading words in the English language.
Latin meditari comes from the PIE root med-/mod- meaning to measure, limit or consider (German messen, Dutch meten, cognate with meter), with, for good measure, the Latin frequentative infix -t-
Much more active, mental and ego-driven than this it doesn’t come.
Yet what we mean by meditation is nothing like this at all. This is such a widespread misconception that I really wonder whether this word is actually useful at all, or whether we should not abandon it and find another one.
Although this is true enough of meditation in any spiritual sense, the Osho so-called “active” meditations are particularly obviously nothing to do with measuring, limiting or considering anything whatsoever.
What is a meditation? It seems to me that the Osho meditations are something like a physical embodiment of the Zen koan, a little trick, a seeming paradox to short-circuit the mind and realize a gestalt switch, a momentary discontinuity in the fabric of the personality through which the force of nature can reconfigure it.
Doesn’t anyone have a better word for this than “meditation”?