Meditation was known even before the time of Patanjali. In the Vedic and Upanisadic period, people were found sitting under trees, in deep contemplation. It was a way to acquire contact with the higher Reality. Consequently in Yoga, it was made a part of the structure of Yoga studies. In the sequence of yoga study, the external was explained first because it was something in which man could have control and voluntarily act consciously.
The Control of the mind was a difficult process, so they made Yoga into two parts. The psycho-physical processes were referred to as “Bahiranga Yoga”. Any individual could undertake the practise of this external Yoga. Then, there was “Antarang Yoga” the internal Yoga, which dealt with the mind and inner processes, which was more difficult to teach to majority of people. Meditation deals with inner yoga.
There are people who wish to learn everything, and they think that just by paying ‘X’ amount of money they could instantly learn meditation. This demand is generally entertained by unscrupulous individuals or institutions, who for a hefty price, promise to teach instant meditation. Such concepts are perpetuated by the fads just to mint money. Be aware!
Genuine Yoga, as a culture of consciousness is being neglected at the altar of materialism.Sadhak Anshit
Meditation ideally requires a long preparation, and a correct understanding of the stages of consciousness leading up to the supra-normal experience. An ordinary man, sitting with his eyes closed, calling it meditation, can hardly be aware or be in contact with the higher stages of consciousness.
It is very difficult for an average individual, to go beyond his/her normal range of thinking. Therefore various methods and technology have been described by Maharishi Patanjali in Yoga Sutra that helps any level of learner (mild to moderate to advanced learners)
First one has to become aware of himself/herself, and then path has to be chosen by the learner according to his own capacity, which will eventually lead him to the highest levels of consciousness.