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Meditation is a form of mental exercise in which one's attention is focused inward upon the mind itself. There are many forms of meditation, most of which are states of relaxation, but not all. Meditation may serve simply as a means of relaxation from a busy daily routine; as a technique for cultivating mental discipline; or as a means of gaining insight into the nature of reality, or of communing with one's God.

Some forms of meditation focus on the field or background perception and experience, also called mindfulness; others focus on a preselected specific object, and are called "'concentrative' meditation." There are also techniques that shift between the field and the object. Many practice meditation in order to achieve peace, while others practice certain physical yogas in order to become healthier. Many people report improved concentration, awareness, self-discipline and equanimity through meditation.