Whether it’s prayer, meditation, tai chi, or just chanting, every major religion weaves some form of contemplative practice into its rituals.

You don’t even have be religious to enjoy the widely acknowledged benefits of contemplation. Meditation is commonplace in the secular world too, as a way to develop insight and transformation by stilling the mind.

But what’s really going on in our mind when we meditate?

And what about when our mind “wanders” or when we’re suffering from delusion? Could these conscious states have benefits too?