In Tibetan there are numerous words for meditation. My favorite being, what I believe, to be the "correct" idea and more aligned with traditional roots.
tingé-dzin (samadhi) is a state of profound attention and gompa to cultivate it.
Meditation really used to be about inward attention and self-awareness. It could probably be said that, once one has reached the perfect attention of self, all other things fade away (perhaps literally). Perfect focus is a filter, really, where we attend to one "thing." THis is why I believe scietists to be some of the most spiritual people, especially physicists (see previous entry).
Scientists, that is experimental scientists, focus so cleanly on their goal that, often times, they lose themselves. When I spent time in the lab, I was tere for hours. It wasn't that finding the next human plague (that actually was a tertiary goal) took hours to conceptualize and test; rather that I would think myself into nothingness while staring at the chromatograph. This usually led to some new revelation about the experiment - this was exceptional. You could ask my friends how I felt at the time I returned from the lab. Tired, one. Elated usually was another descriptor - so say I. Why else would I stay as long as I did? (Even some things are unforgivable, though).
There is no reason why science hasn't a spiritual element. rokkitz made the astounding revelation to me that the four "elements" - earth, water, air, fire - can be equated to the four states of matter - solid, liquid, gas, plasma respectively. That, surely, is something. Fours and threes are spirtual numbers? The combination of science (fours?) and spirit (threes?) gets you to that twelve I was so obsessed with yesterday. I realize it's a weird angle to take, but odditity is the meat of exploration.
Science, though it can be as dogmatic as the best religions, does not negate spirituality. Rather, it sublimates and guides invention. Persperation need no longer be 99% of experimental science (read "genius"). It's the needed blending of theoretical musing and mechanical exploration that requirs an undertone of meditation - attention and focus in the traditional manner. It doesn't need to be as, well mental-mathematical as it has become. "Count your breaths and listen to their cadence. Focus! Vision!" Meditation works just as well with an external focus, often it's much easier when you have something you're supposed to think about - it all just leads back to the self eventually. All roads lead to the self.
Hmm. An egomaniacs dream.
Edit: You guys called the paddy wagon yet? ^_^
Look at the swirlys.. swirlys!