Many people can agree that meditation has many benefits for your mental and physical health. There are several types of meditation that you can choose from depending on who you are and what you’re looking to achieve. The different meditation practices come from different traditions, cultures, spiritual disciplines and religions.
There is no “correct” form of meditation. You just have to find the right practice(s) that is best suited for you and your needs. You can combine different meditation practices (as much of them already do) to help find calmness and mental quiet.
By mixing and combining meditation practices, you will also get a sense of well-being, improved feelings, happiness and empathy for others. Here are a few popular ones to help you get started on your journey.
Guided meditation is when you meditate with a guide, a professional or a teacher. It can be done either in person, through audio or video. If you would like to be around like-minded people or think this would help motivate you, opt in for meditation classes.
If you are first starting out, it may be best to start with guided meditation for having an experienced teacher we can trust and relate to is important. The guide will be able to guide you through the basic steps of your meditation practices.
It is also important to know what you want to achieve through meditation before starting this life-long journey. You want to know this so you can choose the best narrator or teacher to help guide you to your goals. that can explain.
The narrator will be able to describe to you the approach or the dynamics of the mind and how it’s likely to behave during your meditation. They will be able to describe the practice or the meditation techniques. And they will also be able to describe the integration or how you will be able to take the techniques into your very day life.
When using unguided meditation, you will be able to customize the ways you wish to meditate. This would include the duration, space you meditate in, the degree of silence or if you wish to use enhancements for your meditation. You may also choose to meditate alone or with someone else.
If you have used unguided meditation before using guided meditation, you can choose to use what you have learned in the guided practices. You can incorporate different forms of meditation if you would like. This is why it is best to start with guided meditation so you can get a feel of how to get into a meditative state, and different paths you can take to get you closer to your goals.
Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular forms of meditation. In this form of meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind without judging or becoming involved in them. You simply observe and take note of the patterns. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts or feelings.
Spiritual meditation is similar to prayer. You use this form of meditation to reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection to a higher power or the universe. Essential oils are often used to heighten the spiritual experience. Spiritual mediation can be practiced at home or in a place of worship.
Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses. You can focus on your internal breath, or can bring in external influences such as mala beads, singing bowls or watching candle flames to help focus your attention.
Movement meditation involves gentle forms of motion. Yoga is one of the number one practices, but you can go for a walk through the woods, gardening, or qigong. It is an active form of meditation where movement guides you.
Mantra meditation uses repetitive sound to clear the mind. The sounds can be words, phrases or sound. Mantras are often associated with this type of meditation, the most popular being “Om.” The mantra can be spoken loudly or quietly and after chanting for a while, you will be more alert and in tune with your environment.
The idea is to use subtle vibrations associated with the repeated mantra to encourage positive change and help you enter an even deeper meditative state.
Transcendental meditation is the most popular form of meditation around the world. When practicing transcendental meditation, you can customize it more easily than with mantra meditation by using a mantra or a series of words that are specific to you.
This form of meditation is designed to sync your body and mind by performing a mental scan. You begin at the top of your head and slowly work your way down to your toes bringing attention to any discomfort, sensations tension or aches that may be present in the body
We often times have thoughts that swirl around in our mind. We can get so caught up in these thoughts or emotions that we have lost our awareness of the breath or whatever we have chosen to focus on during meditation. This technique is designed to “note” what is distracting your mind. We “note” the thought or emotion to restore awareness, create some space or a way to let the thought or feeling go. Through this, we are also able to learn more about our thought patterns, tendencies and conditioning.
In this technique, the one meditating is to picture something or someone in their mind. Essentially, we are replacing the focus of our breath onto a mental image. This technique can be challenging at first to some, but it is no different than vividly recalling a face of someone we know. By focusing on a specific visualization, we can observe the mind and also get to focus on physical sensations we may get.
Loving and Kindness
This meditation practice is similar to visualization where we focus the mind on someone or people. Even if you don’t know them or even like them. We want to direct positive energy and goodwill from ourselves onto the other person. This allows us to let go of any unhappy feelings we may be experiencing.
This meditation also focuses on a person, but instead, it is a person you know or love. Pay attention to the sensations you feel coming from the heart. We are opening our hearts and minds for the benefit for other people and we now will have the opportunity to feel a feeling of happiness in our own minds.
Instead of focusing on our senses or an object, resting awareness allows our minds to truly rest. Of course thoughts will enter our mind, but instead of trying to pull away from them and focus back on an object, we let them drift away. It is almost like we are clearing our minds to create peace and tranquility from within.
When using the reflection technique, we are invited to ask ourselves a question such as “What are we most grateful for?”. You want to ask in first person (I) to avoid not answering the question rationally, which our mind subconsciously doesn’t want to answer (when we use the word “you”). Be aware of the feelings and not the thoughts that come to you when you focus on the question.
Zen meditation is an ancient Buddhist tradition. It involves sitting up right and following the breath; the way it moves in and out of the abdomen. We want to let the mind “just be”. The idea of this technique is to foster a sense of presence and alertness in this moment of time.
Yoga is a fast and up and coming meditation technique and for great cause. Kundalini yoga is aimed at strengthening the nervous system, so we are able to better cope with our every day stress and problems. Plus, it’s a great way to stay in shape.
Vipassana meditation is another ancient tradition that allows us to use our concentration to intensely examine certain aspects of our existence. We want to focus with the intention of eventual transformation. We are pushed to find insight into the true meaning of reality through contemplation of key areas of the human existence. Existence such as suffering, unsatisfactory, emptiness and non-self.
Chakra meditation is used to keep the body’s core chakras open, aligned and fluid. Often times, our chakras can become blocked or imbalanced and this can result in uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms. Through chakra meditation, we can unblock and balance our chakras.
Qigong meditation is yet another ancient meditation practice used by the Chinese. It helps in harnessing energy in the body by allowing energy pathways (meridians) to be open and fluid. When we send these energies inward during meditation, it is thought to heal the body and help the function of the body. When the energy is sent outward, we can help heal others.
Sound Bath Meditation
Through the use of singing bowls, gongs and other vibration instruments, we can help focus the mind and bring it back to focus. It is similar to mantra meditation, but instead, an outside source is used instead of us chanting mantras to create the vibrations.
Summing it Up
As mentioned before, there are hundreds of different forms of meditation, each specifically designed to get you to your same destination; peace and tranquility of the mind. Try a few different techniques to find the best one that is suited for you. Integrate several different meditation practices to get more out of your meditation sessions. If you are trying a new type meditation, it’s a good idea to start with guided meditation to help you better understand the way the meditation practice will affect you.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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