In the West, the word meditation, means a concentrated state of mind in serious reflection. The Latin root of the word meditation mederi means to heal. It is an effort to heal afflictions of the mind, the hurt ego, by trying to understand the cause of the problem and finding a way to solve it, that is, by knowing what countermeasures to take. To meditate is to deepen a state of understanding.
In the East, however, meditation does not mean thinking at all but fixing the mind in a spiritual ideal, to be one with it, or the thought-process dissolving in the consciousness of it. According to Zen, meditation does not involve any concept but is an awareness of an inner silence. As per the Yoga of Patanjali, meditation is a combination of three steps: Pratyahara, or abstraction or withdrawal of the mind from the sense-objects or attention to their memory, Dharanaor concentration, and Dhyana or contemplation which, however, is not a thought-process but an absorption of the feeling of oneness with the ideal.