Meditation is the practice of training one’s mind in order to attain some benefits. Some of these benefits are ethical development, mental cultivation, and a wise understanding of life.
Meditation is often misunderstood to be firstly introduced by Lord Buddha. The truth is meditation was a common practice in India, even before Buddha’s time. However, those meditation practices were mainly focused on developing the concentration power of the mind, by concentrating on one object such as one’s own breath. This meditation practice is commonly known as ‘samatha’.
Lord Buddha introduced a new type of meditation called ‘vipassana’, meaning ‘insight’ meditation. In this type of meditation, one does not try to concentrate on a single object, but rather lets the mind to be obsessed with the senses it receives, and keeps on monitoring the behaviour of the mind. By being invigilated to how the mind reacts to the outside senses it receives and the random thoughts that are formulated by the mind itself, one develops an insight to the true nature of the three characteristics of existence (Thrilakshana), namely anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anatta (non-selfhood).
A comprehensive description on Vipassana meditation can be found in here: