A word is just like a finger. A finger can be used to point at different objects. Likewise, a word can be used to point at different concepts. “Meditation” can be used to mean “the practice or prolonged awareness” or it could mean “spiritual practice” or “spiritual cultivation”. It is called Sadhna in Sanskrit. The word meditation is overused in the western culture. It can literally mean almost anything. The meaning can range from daydreaming to imaging to stress reduction and others. Here, meditation will be used to mean either prolonged awareness or spiritual practice.
In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, prolonged one-pointedness or concentration is called dharana. The practice of prolonged awareness is called dhyana. Unfortunately, in many west wen books, the work of Patanjali in relation to dhyana has been translated to mean a “longer period of concentration” which is incorrect. Unless this concept is corrected, the spiritual development of the disciple will be adversely affected.
When you practice Sahana, it is important that there must be a balance between concentration (prolonged one-pointedness) and meditation (prolonged awareness). Concentration is necessary to avoid ” drifting of the mind” or “wavering of the mind”. Dhyana or prolonged awareness is necessary in order to register and respond to inner and higher stimuli. The practice of Sadhana is like playing a guitar or a sitar. If you make the strings too tight, the sound produced is not good. If you make the strings too loose, the sound is also not good. So there must be proper balance between one-pointedness and awareness during one’s Sadhana.
Reference : Achieving Oneness with the Higher Soul. Master Choa Kok Sui.