Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and many religious traditions have used some variety of meditation. Buddhist meditation is perhaps the best-known form of meditation, and has heavily influenced Western meditation practices. Buddha emphasized that meditation could help a person develop serenity and insight.
Modern meditation as practiced by many in mainstream U.S. culture often focuses on attaining calmness and mindfulness and is not necessarily designed to seek religious enlightenment. Deep-breathing and focus on a single object or a complete emptying of the mind may be involved.