7 Types of Meditation & How To Choose
Meditation may be deeply rooted in ancient culture, but its benefits have never been more relevant.
Regular meditation can be transformative; its impact goes far beyond temporary stress relief. It provides crucial time for relaxation and awareness, cultivating inner peace and harmony while elevating us both physically and mentally.
And in a fast-paced society bursting with pressures and stress, it really can be your golden ticket towards greater health and wellbeing.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate: but there are different types of meditation to guide you on your healing journey.
It’s important that you find a form of meditation that caters to your personality and needs. This might mean trying a few until you find a type that truly works for you.
To help, we’ve gathered information about 7 of the most common types of meditation and how they compare.
Mindfulness meditation urges you to stay present and pay attention – without judgement – to any thoughts as they pass through your mind. This means letting go of past feelings and events and focusing solely on the present moment.
It originates from Buddhist teachings and is arguably the most popular meditation technique in Western society.
It is the state of simply being and noticing existing surroundings and patterns without allowing your thoughts to be skewed by perception.
It’s a type of meditation that can be performed anywhere – even standing in a shopping queue – and allows you to reassess and ground yourself back in the moment.
Similar to mindfulness meditation is Zen meditation (sometimes called Zazen). While it requires you to mindfully take in and observe your thoughts and surroundings without judgement, it does so in a more structured way.
Often performed with the guidance of a teacher, you will take a seated position and focus on your breathing. This – combined with interaction from your teacher on how to maintain your eyes, hands and posture – allows you to acquire a deeper insight into your inner being, dispensing all judgemental thoughts and images.
The result is both incredible relaxation and movement through your unique spiritual journey.
Sound meditation is the practice of deepening meditation and strengthening enlightenment through the incorporation of sound and music.
Often referred to as “Sound Healing” or “Sound Baths”, it uses the sound of ancient Tibetan instruments – such as gongs, harps and crystal singing bowls – to bring balance and harmony to the body.
For those who may struggle with the silence of meditation, this not only guides your practice but brings forth positive, powerful energy that helps cultivate a sense of wellbeing.
Also rooted in the power of sound is mantra meditation. This form of meditation focuses on a repetitive sound – either spoken loudly or quietly – to evoke clarity of the mind. A popular sound used in this method is “Om”.
Once you have chanted the mantra over a period of time, you’ll find yourself more aware of your environment and alert to your surroundings. This can be an easier method for focus as it requires concentration on the word rather than the breath.
This clears the mind and can be a fundamental source of inner balance.
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION
Also known as Metta meditation, loving-kindness meditation is centred on the act of cultivating love and kindness towards everything. This includes anything that may be a source of pain or stress in your life.
You are asked to open your mind to receiving loving-kindness while sending out your own messages of loving-kindness to either the world or specific people. This will bring forth feelings of compassion and love, both for the individual and the world around them.
This is a particularly powerful form of meditation for those affected by anxiety, depression or PTSD.
Not all meditation has to be performed in total stillness. Movement meditation takes the very act of movement and turns it into a spiritual, healing practice.
This is an active form of meditation guided entirely by movement; this could be through yoga, walking, gardening or any other forms of calm motion.
Through movement meditation, you will experience a cathartic shift in your consciousness. It is best suited for those who enjoy letting their minds wander and find joy and peace in action.
Transcendental meditation is a form of silent mantra meditation with the ultimate goal of rising above the individual’s current state of being.
It’s a very spiritual approach to the practice, with each meditation session built around a mantra or a repeated series of words. These words will be carefully selected to bring about a natural state of calm and alertness.
You remain seated – with your eyes closed – throughout the process, breathing slowly and mindfully as you let the mantra repeat over and over in your mind.
It is suggested that this form of meditation should last twenty minutes and be performed twice a day to realise its full potential.
Meditation is a personal practice that will help you feel less stressed, better equipped to deal with life’s stresses and complexities, and at greater peace and harmony.
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