Yoga & Meditation

23 Types of Meditation — Find The Best Meditation Techniques For You

Do you know that there are as many meditation strategies as there are sports activities? And the one method to discover out the most effective varieties of meditation for you is to attempt them.

As you could know, meditation has dozens of advantages, and everyone is doing it. You search for info on-line or on a bookstore, and see that there are a LOT of various types of meditation. You surprise which manner is finest for you.

It is a essential query. Several types of meditation have completely different advantages. A few of them will work higher for you than others—similar to completely different sports activities or diets work higher for some individuals than for others.

There are actually a whole lot—if not hundreds—of varieties of meditation, so right here I’ll discover solely the preferred ones. The aim of this text is that will help you experiment completely different meditation strategies, and discover those that works finest for you.

Discovering the appropriate fashion for you, and practising it with the appropriate method, is without doubt one of the three important Pillars of Meditation.

There isn’t a cookie-cutter method to meditation. It is advisable to experiment many, and discover the one which works finest to your distinctive wants and character. The kind of meditation that’s most useful in opposition to nervousness, as an illustration, isn’t essentially the most effective one in opposition to melancholy or for religious awakening.

In the event you desire extra dynamic meditation strategies, take a look at my  strolling meditation information. 

The recommendation relating to the posture of meditation may be very comparable among the many completely different types of seated apply, so I’ll go in to extra element about it solely as soon as, when speaking concerning the first approach (Zen meditation).

I’ve strived to incorporate a “Is it for me?” part, with normal observations about every apply. Take into accout these are tentative; they’re there to provide some path, and doubtlessly any individual might really feel drawn to any of those modalities.

This text does NOT inform you which is “the most effective” sort of meditation – as a result of there isn’t a such factor, and I’m not right here to create controversy. Additionally, I’ve right here targeted extra on meditative practices; I could write one other article on different comparable practices, which are extra about rest or contemplation.

In case you are a newbie, you might also benefit from the publish on meditation for newbies – methods to construct the behavior.

However, if you’re on the lookout for the historic background of how meditation developed over the centuries, take a look at my historical past of meditation article.

(This text can also be accessible in Russian, Portuguese, Romanian, Croatian and Polish. Translation achieved by LiveAndDare readers.)

Kinds of Meditation PDF

By the best way, do you wish to have a PDF model of this text, for straightforward future reference?

 

GENERAL TYPES OF MEDITATION

Scientists often classify meditation primarily based on the best way they focus consideration, into two classes: Targeted Consideration and Open Monitoring. I’d prefer to suggest a 3rd: Easy Presence.

Targeted consideration meditation

Focusing the eye on a single object throughout the entire meditation session. This object would be the breath, a mantra, visualization, a part of the physique, exterior object, and many others. Because the practitioner advances, his skill to maintain the stream of consideration within the chosen object will get stronger, and distractions change into much less frequent and short-lived. Each the depth and steadiness of his consideration are developed.

Examples of those are: Samatha (Buddhist meditation), some types of Zazen, Loving Kindness Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Sound Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Pranayama, some types of Qigong, and lots of others. 

Open monitoring meditation

As a substitute of focusing the eye on anybody object, we maintain it open, monitoring all facets of our expertise, with out judgment or attachment. All perceptions, be them inside (ideas, emotions, reminiscence, and many others.) or exterior (sound, odor, and many others.), are acknowledged and seen for what they’re. It’s the means of non-reactive monitoring of the content material of expertise from second to second, with out going into them. Examples are: Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana, in addition to some varieties of Taoist Meditation.

Easy Presence

It’s the state the place the eye isn’t targeted on something particularly, however reposes on itself – quiet, empty, regular, and introverted. We are able to additionally name it “Choiceless Consciousness” or “Pure Being”. Many of the meditation quotes you find speak of this state.

This is actually the true purpose behind all kinds of meditation, and not a meditation type in itself. All traditional techniques of meditation recognize that the object of focus, and even the process of monitoring, is just a means to train the mind, so that effortless inner silence and deeper states of consciousness can be discovered. Eventually, both the object of focus and the process itself is left behind, and there is only left the true self of the practitioner, as “pure presence”.

In some techniques, this is the only focus, from the beginning. Examples are: the Self-Enquiry (“I am” meditation) of Ramana Maharishi; Dzogchen; Mahamudra; some forms of Taoist Meditation; and some advanced forms of Raja Yoga. In my point of view, this type of meditation always requires previous training to be effective, even though this is sometimes not expressly said (only implied).

1) BUDDHIST MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

Zen Meditation (Zazen)

Origin & Meaning

Zazen (坐禅) means “seated Zen”, or “seated meditation”, in Japanese. It has its roots in the Chinese Zen Buddhism (Ch’an) tradition, tracing back to Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century CE). In the West, its most popular forms comes from Dogen Zenji (1200~1253), the founder of Soto Zen movement in Japan. Similar modalities are practiced in the Rinzai school of Zen, in Japan and Korea.

How to do it

It is generally practiced seated on the floor over a mat and cushion, with crossed legs. Traditionally it was done in the so-called lotus or half-lotus position, but this is hardly necessary. Nowadays most practitioners sit like this:

Or on a chair:

Images courtesy of Zen Mountain Monastery

An important facet, as you see within the footage, is retaining the again utterly straight, from the pelvis to the neck. Mouth is saved shut and eyes are saved lowered, together with your gaze resting on the bottom about two or three toes in entrance of you.

As to the thoughts facet of it, it’s often practiced in two methods:

  • Specializing in breath — focus all of your consideration on the motion of the breath going out and in by the nostril. This can be aided by counting the breath in your thoughts. Every time you inhale you rely one quantity, beginning with 10, after which shifting backward to 9, 8, 7, and many others. If you arrive in 1, you resume from 10 once more. In the event you get distracted and lose your rely, gently carry again the eye to 10 and resume from there.
  • Shikantaza (“simply sitting”) — on this kind the practitioner doesn’t use any particular object of meditation; slightly, practitioners stay as a lot as potential within the current second, conscious of and observing what passes by their minds and round them, with out dwelling on something particularly. It’s a kind of Easy Presence meditation

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Zazen is a really sober meditation fashion, and you’ll simply discover numerous robust communities practising it, in addition to loads of info on the web. There may be numerous emphasis in retaining the appropriate posture, as an help for focus. It’s often practiced in Zen Buddhist facilities (Sangha), with robust group help.

In a lot of them you’ll find it coupled with different parts of Buddhist apply: prostrations, a little bit of ritualism, chanting, and group readings of the Buddha teachings. Some individuals will like this, others received’t. Personally, I practiced zazen in a Buddhist group for 3 years, and I discovered that these parts and a bit of ritual may assist create a construction for the apply, and in themselves they’re additionally meditative.

Vipassana Meditation

Origin & That means

“Vipassana” is a Pali phrase tha

t means “perception” or “clear seeing”. It’s a conventional Buddhist apply, courting again to sixth century BC. Vipassana-meditation, as taught in the previous couple of many years, comes from the Theravada Buddhist custom, and was popularized by  S. N. Goenka and the Vipassana movement.

Because of the reputation of Vipassanā-meditation, the “mindfulness of respiration” has gained additional reputation within the West as “mindfulness”.

Easy methods to do it

[There is some conflicting information on how to practice Vipassana. In general, however, most teachers emphasize  starting with mindfulness of breath in the first stages, to stabilize the mind and achieve “access concentration.” This is more like focused attention meditation. Then the practice moves on to developing “clear insight” on the bodily sensations and mental phenomena, observing them moment by moment and not clinging to any. Here goes an introduction, aimed for beginners. To know more I’d suggest following up the links provided or learning from a teacher (perhaps in a Vipassana retreat).]

Ideally, one is to sit down on a cushion on the ground, cross-legged, together with your backbone erect; alternatively, a chair could also be used, however the again shouldn’t be supported.

The primary facet is to develop focus, by samatha apply. That is usually achieved by respiration consciousness.

Focus all of your consideration, from second to second, on the motion of your breath. Discover the delicate sensations of the motion of the stomach rising and falling. Alternatively, one can give attention to the feeling of the air passing by the nostrils and touching the higher lips pores and skin – although this requires a bit extra apply, and is extra superior.

As you give attention to the breath, you’ll discover that different perceptions and sensations proceed to seem: sounds, emotions within the physique, feelings, and many others. Merely discover these phenomena as they emerge within the discipline of consciousness, after which return to the feeling of respiration. The eye is saved within the object of focus (the respiration), whereas these different ideas or sensations are there merely as “background noise”.

The item that’s the focus of the apply (as an illustration, the motion of the stomach) is known as the “major object”. And a “secondary object” is anything that arises in your discipline of notion – both by your 5 senses (sound, odor, itchiness within the physique, and many others.) or by the thoughts (thought, reminiscence, feeling, and many others.). If a secondary object hooks your consideration and pulls it away, or if it causes need or aversion to seem, you must give attention to the secondary object for a second or two, labeling it with a psychological observe, like “pondering”,  “reminiscence”, “listening to”, “wanting”. This apply is usually known as “noting”.

A psychological observe identifies an object generally however not intimately. If you’re conscious of a sound, for instance, label it “listening to” as an alternative of “motorbike,” “voices” or “barking canine.” If an disagreeable sensation arises, observe “ache” or “feeling” as an alternative of “knee ache” or “my again ache.” Then return your consideration to the first meditation object. When conscious of a perfume, say the psychological observe “smelling” for a second or two. You don’t must determine the scent.

When one has thus gained “entry focus”, the eye is then turned to the thing of apply, which is generally thought or bodily sensations. One observes the objects of consciousness with out attachment, letting ideas and sensations come up and go away of their very own accord. Psychological labeling (defined above) is usually use as a method to forestall you from being carried away by ideas, and maintain you in additional objectively noticing them.

Consequently one develops the clear seeing that the noticed phenomena is pervaded by the three “marks of existence”: impermanence (annica), insatisfactoriness (dukkha) and vacancy of self (annata). Consequently, equanimity, peace and interior freedom is developed in relation to those inputs.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Vipassana is a superb meditation that will help you floor your self in your physique, and perceive how the processes of your thoughts work. It’s a very fashionable fashion of meditation. You will discover loads of academics, web sites, and books about it, in addition to 3~10 days retreats (donation primarily based). The educating of it’s at all times free. There aren’t any formalities or rituals connected to the apply.

In case you are utterly new to meditation, Vipassana or Mindfulness are most likely good methods so that you can begin.

Mindfulness Meditation

Origin & That means

Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation from conventional Buddhist meditation practices, particularly Vipassana, but in addition having robust affect from different lineages (such because the Vietnamese Zen Buddhism from Thich Nhat Hanh). “Mindfulness” is the frequent western translation for the Buddhist time period sati. Anapanasati, “mindfulness of respiration”, is a part of the Buddhist apply of Vipassana or perception meditation, and different Buddhist meditational practices, equivalent to zazen (supply: Wikipedia).

One of many fundamental influencers for Mindfulness within the West is John Kabat-Zinn. His Mindfulness-Based mostly Stress Discount program (MBSR) – which he developed in 1979 on the College of Massachusetts Medical Faculty – has been utilized in a number of hospitals and well being clinic on the previous many years.

Easy methods to do it

Mindfulness meditation is the apply of deliberately specializing in the current second, accepting and non-judgmentally listening to the sensations, ideas, and feelings that come up.

For the “formal apply” time, sit on a cushion on the ground, or on a chair, with straight and unsupported again. Pay shut consideration to the motion of your breath. If you breath in, bear in mind that you’re inhaling, and the way it feels. If you breath out, bear in mind you might be respiration out. Do like this for the size of your meditation apply, continually redirecting the eye to the breath. Or you’ll be able to transfer on to be listening to the sensations, ideas and emotions that come up.

The hassle is to not deliberately add something to our current second expertise, however to pay attention to what’s going on, with out dropping ourselves in something that arises.

Your thoughts will get distracted into going together with sounds, sensations, and ideas. Each time that occurs, gently acknowledge that you’ve been distracted, and produce the eye again to the respiration, or to the target noticing of that thought or sensation. There’s a large completely different between being inside the thought/sensation, and easily being conscious of it’s presence.

Be taught to take pleasure in your apply. As soon as you might be achieved, admire how completely different the physique and thoughts really feel.

There may be additionally the apply of mindfulness throughout our day by day actions: whereas consuming, strolling, and speaking. For “day by day life” meditation, the apply is to concentrate to what’s going on within the current second, to pay attention to what is going on – and never residing in “computerized mode”. In case you are talking, meaning listening to the phrases you converse, the way you converse them, and to pay attention with presence and a focus. In case you are strolling, meaning being extra conscious of your physique actions, your toes touching the bottom, the sounds you might be listening to, and many others.

Your effort in seated apply helps your day by day life apply, and vice-versa. They’re each equally vital.
 
Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

For most people, that is maybe essentially the most advisable method to get began with meditation. It’s the kind of meditation that’s most taught at faculties and hospitals, so far as I’m conscious. The “mindfulness motion” as practiced these days in society at giant, isn’t Buddhism, however an adaptation of Buddhist practices because of their advantages in good bodily and psychological well being and normal wellbeing.

For most individuals, Mindfulness Meditation would be the solely sort of meditation they may like, particularly if their focus is just the bodily and psychological advantages of meditation, as it’s often taught dissociated from a number of of the jap ideas and philosophies that historically accompanied the apply. And for that it’s nice – it can carry many good issues to your life.

In case your focus is a deeper transformation and religious growth, nevertheless, then mindfulness meditation could also be simply an preliminary step for you. From right here you’ll be able to then transfer into Vipassana, Zazen, or different varieties of meditation.

Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)

Origin & That means

Metta is a Pali phrase meaning kindness, benevolence, and good will. This apply comes from the Buddhist traditions, particularly the Theravada and Tibetan lineages. “Compassion meditation” is a recent scientific discipline that demonstrates the efficacy of metta and associated meditative practices.

Demonstrated advantages embrace: boosting one’s skill to empathize with others; growth of optimistic feelings by compassion, together with a extra loving perspective in direction of oneself; elevated self-acceptance; higher feeling of competence about one’s life; and elevated feeling of goal in life (learn extra in our different publish).

Easy methods to do it

One sits down in a meditation place, with closed eyes, and generates in his thoughts and coronary heart emotions of kindness and benevolence. Begin by growing loving-kindness in direction of your self, then progressively in direction of others and all beings. Normally this development is suggested:

  1. oneself
  2. a great pal
  3. a “impartial” individual
  4. a troublesome individual
  5. all 4 of the above equally
  6. after which step by step all the universe

The sensation to be developed is that of wishing happiness and well-being for all. This apply could also be aided by reciting particular phrases or sentences that evoke the “boundless warm-hearted feeling”, visualizing the struggling of others and sending love; or by imagining the state of one other being, and wishing him happiness and peace.

The extra you apply this meditation, the extra pleasure you’ll expertise. That’s the secret of Mathieu Richard’s happiness.

For one who attends correctly to the liberation of the guts by benevolence, unarisen ailing will doesn’t come up and arisen ailing will is deserted.” – The Buddha

In this article, Emma Seppälä, Ph.D explores the 18 scientifically confirmed advantages of Loving-Kindness meditation.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Are you generally too exhausting on your self or on others? Or really feel like you should enhance your relationships? Loving-kindness meditation will show you how to. It’s useful each for selfless and self-centered individuals, and it’ll assist improve your normal stage of happiness. You can not really feel loving-kindness and melancholy (or some other destructive feeling) on the identical time.

It is usually typically really useful, by Buddhist academics, as an antidote to insomnia, nightmares, or anger points.

2) HINDU MEDITATION TECHNIQUES (Vedic & Yogic)

Mantra Meditation (OM Meditation)

Origin & That means

A mantra is a syllable or phrase, often with none specific which means, that’s repeated for the aim of focusing your thoughts. It’s not an affirmation used to persuade your self of one thing.

Some meditation academics insist that each the selection of phrase, and its appropriate pronunciation, is essential, as a result of “vibration” related to the sound and which means, and that for that reason an initiation into it’s important. Others say that the mantra itself is just a software to focus the thoughts, and the chosen phrase is totally irrelevant.

Mantras are utilized in Hindu traditions, Buddhist traditions (particularly Tibetan and “Pure Land” Buddhism), as nicely as in Jainism, Sikhism and Daoism (Taoism). Some individuals name mantra meditation “om meditation”, however that’s simply one of many mantras that can be utilized. A extra devotion oriented apply of mantras is known as japa, and consists of repeating sacred sounds (identify of God) with love.

Easy methods to do it

As most sort of meditations, it’s often practiced sitting with backbone erect, and eyes closed. The practitioner then repeats the mantra in his thoughts, silently, again and again throughout the entire session.

Generally this apply is coupled with being conscious of the respiration or coordinating with it. In different workouts, the mantra is definitely whispered very flippantly and softly, as an help to focus.

As you repeat the mantra, it creates a psychological vibration that enables the thoughts to expertise deeper ranges of consciousness. As you meditate, the mantra turns into more and more summary and vague, till you’re lastly led into the sphere of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose.
Repetition of the mantra helps you disconnect from the ideas filling your thoughts in order that maybe you could slip into the hole between ideas. The mantra is a software to help your meditation apply. Mantras might be seen as historical energy phrases with delicate intentions that assist us connect with spirit, the supply of every thing within the universe. (Deepak Chopra)

OM is a well known instance of a mantra. However there are thousadns of others. Listed below are a few of the most well-known mantras from the Hindu & Buddhist traditions:

  • om
  • so-ham
  • om namah shivaya
  • om mani padme hum
  • rama
  • yam
  • ham

You could apply for a sure time frame, or for a set variety of “repetitions” – historically 108 or 1008. Within the latter case, beads are usually used for retaining rely.

Because the apply deepens, you could discover that the mantra continues “by itself” just like the buzzing of the thoughts. Or the mantra might even disappear, and you might be left in a state of deep interior peace.

There are numerous strategies of mantra meditation. I clarify them intimately, along with why mantras are highly effective, on my article on mantra meditation.
 
Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Individuals often discover that it’s simpler to focus with a mantra than with the respiration. As a result of a mantra is a phrase, and ideas are often perceived as phrases, it may be simpler to maintain the give attention to a mantra slightly than on the respiration. It’s helpful particularly when the thoughts is racing with many ideas, because it mantra meditation calls for fixed consideration.

Meditating with a mantra may make it less complicated to  combine your meditative state into your day by day life. In no matter exercise you end up into, it may be so simple as repeating the mantra in your thoughts.

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

Origin & That means

Transcendental Meditation is a particular type of Mantra Meditation launched by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955 in India and the West. Within the late Nineteen Sixties and early Seventies, the Maharishi achieved fame because the guru to the Beatles, The Seaside Boys and other celebrities.

It’s a extensively practiced type of meditation, with over 5 million practitioners worldwide, and there may be numerous scientific analysis, many sponsored by the group, demonstrating the advantages of the apply. There are over 600 scientific papers, a lot of them peer-reviewed, and I’ve used a part of their analysis when composing my advantages of meditation web page. Nonetheless, there are additionally critics of the Maharishi and his group, and a few accusation of cultish habits and uncertain analysis practices.

[Image from NurseTalkSite.com]

Easy methods to do it

Transcendental meditation isn’t taught freely. The one manner of studying it’s to pay to study from one in all their licensed instructors. The help given appears to be good, although.

Typically, nevertheless, it’s identified that TM includes the usage of a mantra and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day whereas sitting with one’s eyes closed. The mantra isn’t distinctive, and is given to the practitioner primarily based on his gender and age. They’re additionally not “meaningless sounds” – slightly, they’re Tantric names of Hindu deities. This most likely is irrelevant for most individuals.

That is the official website of the motion: TM site.

Easy methods to study transcendental meditation by your self?

It isn’t potential. In response to the TM group, you’ll be able to solely study Transcendental Meditation by a registered teacer.

Nonetheless, there may be one other comparable approach, known as Pure Stress Aid, which was created in 2003 by a former TM Instructor, and is less expensive to study (47 USD as an alternative of 960 USD), and has stripped out some mystical parts of the apply of TM, such because the initiation (puja) and yogic flying (a part of TM-Siddhi). You may study extra about NSR compared to TM here and here.

Is it for me?

Personally I don’t really feel snug advising anybody to attempt Transcendental Meditation anymore, particularly if you’re seeking to go deep into meditation. To know extra, take a look at this answer I wrote in Quora and this in-depth video review.

In the event you want to attempt one thing comparable, for a fraction of the fee or without cost, take a look at NSR (above), or Mantra Meditation.

Yogic Meditations

Origin & That means

There may be not one sort of meditation which is “Yogic Meditation”, so right here it’s meant the a number of meditation varieties taught within the yoga custom. Yoga means “union”. Custom goes so far as 1700 B.C, and has as its highest aim religious purification and Self-Information. Classical Yoga divides the apply into guidelines of conduct (yamas and niyamas), bodily postures (asanas), respiration workouts (pranayama), and contemplative practices of meditation (pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi).

The Yoga custom is the oldest meditation custom on earth, and likewise the one with the widest number of practices.

Easy methods to do it

Listed below are some varieties of meditation practiced in Yoga. The commonest and common Yoga meditation one is the “third eye meditation”. Different fashionable ones contain concentrating on a chakra, repeating a mantra, visualization of sunshine, or gazing meditations.

  • Third Eye Meditation — focusing the eye on the “spot between the eyebrows” (known as by some “the third eye” or “ajna chakra”). The eye is continually redirected up to now, as a way to silence the thoughts. By time the “silent gaps” between ideas get wider and deeper. Generally that is accompanied by bodily “trying”, with eyes closed, in direction of that spot.
  • Chakra Meditation — the practitioner focuses on one of many seven chakras of the physique (“facilities of vitality”), usually doing a little visualizations and chanting a particular mantra for every chakra (lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om). Mostly it’s achieved on the guts chackra, third eye, and crown chackra.
  • Gazing Meditation (Trataka) — fixing the gaze on an exterior object, usually a candle, picture or a logo (yantras). It’s achieved with eyes open, after which with eyes closed, to coach each the focus and visualization powers of the thoughts. After closing the eyes, you must nonetheless maintain the picture of the thing in your “thoughts’s eye”. This meditation is so vital and highly effective, that I wrote this publish on the topic.
  • Kundalini Meditation — it is a very complex system of apply. The aim is the awakening of the “kundalini vitality” which lies dormant on the bottom of the backbone, the event of a number of psychic facilities within the physique, and, lastly, enlightenment. There are a number of risks related to this apply, and it shouldn’t be tried with out the steering of a certified yogi.
  • Kriya Yoga — is a set of energization, respiration, and meditation workouts taught by Paramahamsa Yogananda. That is extra suited for individuals who have a devotional temperament, and are in search of the religious facets of meditation. To study it, you’ll be able to apply to obtain the Self-Realization classes, free of charge.
  • Sound Meditation (Nada Yoga) — specializing in sound. Begins with meditation on “exterior sounds”, equivalent to calming ambient music (like Native American flute music), whereby the coed focuses all his consideration on simply listening to, as a assist to quieten and acquire the thoughts. By time the apply evolves to listening to the “inside sounds” of the physique and thoughts. The last word aim is to listen to the “Final Sound” (para nada), which is a sound with out vibration, and that manifests as “OM”.
  • Tantra — not like the favored view within the West, most Tantra practices don’t have anything to do with ritualized intercourse (this was practiced by a minority of lineages. Tantra is a really wealthy custom, with dozens of various contemplative practices. The textual content Vijnanabhairava Tantra, as an illustration, lists 108 “meditations”, most of them extra superior (already requiring a sure diploma of stillness and thoughts management). Listed below are some examples from that textual content:
    • Merge the thoughts and the senses within the inside area within the religious coronary heart.
    • When one object is perceived, all different objects change into empty. Focus on that vacancy.
    • Focus on the area which happens between two ideas.
    • Repair consideration on the within of the cranium. Shut eyes.
    • Meditate on the event of any nice delight.
    • Meditate on the sensation of ache.
    • Dwell on the truth which exists between ache and pleasure.
    • Meditate on the void in a single’s physique extending in all instructions concurrently.
    • Focus on a bottomless nicely or as standing in a really excessive place.
    • Hearken to the Anahata [heart chakra] sound.
    • Hearken to the sound of a musical instrument because it dies away.
    • Ponder on the universe or one’s personal physique as being full of bliss.
    • Focus intensely on the concept the universe is totally void.
    • Ponder that the identical consciousness exists in all our bodies.
  • Pranayama — respiration regulation. It isn’t precisely meditation, however a superb apply to calm the thoughts and put together it for meditation. There are a number of several types of Pranayama, however the easiest and mostly taught one is the 4-4-4-4. This implies inhaling counting as much as 4, holding for 4 seconds, respiration out for 4 seconds, and holding empty for 4 seconds. Breathe by your nostril, and let the stomach (and never the chest) be the one which strikes. Undergo just a few cycles like this. This regulation of respiration balances the moods and pacifies the physique, and might be achieved wherever.

Yoga is a really wealthy custom, with completely different lineages, so there are various different strategies. However the ones above are essentially the most well-known; the others are extra particular or complicated.

For a begin, this video is a superb useful resource on methods to do Yoga fashion meditation, and it combines respiration, physique consciousness, mantra, and chakra meditation.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

With all some of these meditation in Yoga, you might be more likely to discover one that you simply like. In case you are a musician, maybe nada yoga is one thing that may appeal to you. In case you are a devotional individual, kriya yoga is an efficient possibility. Kundalini and Chakra meditation ought to solely be tried with a instructor.

In all probability the best one to attempt is the “third eye meditation”, which is easy and yields outcomes pretty shortly. For the opposite varieties you’ll most likely want extra instruction, both of a instructor or a great guide (see references above). Apart from, Pranayama is certainly one thing anybody can profit from.

Self-Enquiry and “I Am” Meditation

Origin & That means

Self-Enquiry is the English translation for the Sanskrit time period atma vichara. It means to “examine” our true nature, to seek out the reply to the “Who am I?” query, which culminates with the intimate information of our true Self, our true being. We see references to this meditation in very outdated Indian texts; nevertheless, it was tremendously popularized and expanded upon by the Twentieth-century Indian sage Ramana Maharshi (1879~1950).

The trendy non-duality motion (or neo-advaita), which is tremendously impressed in his teachings – in addition to these of Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897~1981) and Papaji – strongly makes use of this method and variations. Many modern academics to make use of this method, essentially the most well-known ones being Mooji  (whom I’ve personally been with and suggest), Adyashanti, and Eckhart Tolle.

Easy methods to do it

This apply may be very easy, but in addition very delicate. When explaining it, nevertheless, it might sound very summary.

Your sense of “I” (or “ego”) is the middle of your universe. It’s there, in some kind or one other, behind all of your ideas, feelings, recollections, and perceptions. But we aren’t clear about what this “I” is – about who we really are, in essence – and confuse it with our physique, our thoughts, our roles, our labels. It’s the largest thriller in our lives.

With Self-Enquiry, the query “Who I’m?” is requested inside your self. You could reject any verbal solutions which will come, and use this query merely as a software to repair your consideration within the subjective feeling of “I” or “I’m”. Grow to be one with it, go deep into it. This can then reveal your true “I”, your actual self as pure consciousness, past all limitation. It isn’t an mental pursuit, however a query to carry the eye to the core aspect of your notion and expertise: the “I”. This isn’t your character, however a pure, subjective, feeling of present – with none photographs or ideas connected to it.
Each time ideas/emotions come up, you ask your self, “To whom does this come up?” or “Who’s conscious of _____ (anger, worry, ache, or no matter)?” The reply shall be “It’s me!”. From then you definitely ask “Who am I?”, to carry the eye again to the subjective feeling of self, of presence. It’s pure existence, objectless and choice-less consciousness.

One other manner of explaining this apply is to simply focus the thoughts in your feeling of being, the non-verbal “I’m” that shines inside you. Hold it pure, with out affiliation with something you understand.

With all different varieties of meditation, the “I” (your self) is specializing in some object, inside or exterior, bodily or psychological. In self-enquiry, the “I” is specializing in itself, the topic. It’s the consideration turned in direction of its supply.
There isn’t a particular place to apply, though the final options about posture and setting are useful for newbies.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

This meditation may be very highly effective in bringing interior freedom and peace; but, for those who don’t have earlier expertise with meditation, you could discover it very exhausting to observe by. As an preliminary help to provide you a sense for it, I’d advise following some guided meditations from Mooji, in YouTube.

3) CHINESE MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

Taoist Meditations

Origin & That means

Daoism is a Chinese language philosophy and religion, courting again to Lao Tzu (or Laozi). It emphasizes residing in concord with Nature, or Tao, and it’s fundamental textual content is the Tao Te Ching, courting again to sixth century B.C. Afterward some lineages of Taoism have been additionally influenced by Buddhist meditation practices introduced from India, particularly on the eighth century C.E..

The chief attribute of this kind of meditation is the technology, transformation, and circulation of interior vitality. The aim is to quieten the physique and thoughts, unify physique and spirit, discover interior peace, and harmonize with the Tao. Some types of Taoist Meditation are particularly targeted on bettering well being and giving longevity.

Picture from InternalArtsInternational.com

Easy methods to do it

There are a number of several types of Taoist meditation, and they’re generally categorised in three: “perception”, “concentrative”, and “visualization”. Here’s a transient overview:

  • Vacancy meditation (Zuowang)— to sit down quietly and empty oneself of all psychological photographs (ideas, emotions, and so forth), to “neglect about every thing”, with the intention to expertise interior quiet and vacancy. On this state, very important power and “spirit” is collected and replenished. That is much like the Confucius self-discipline of “heart-mind fasting”, and it’s thought to be “the pure manner”. One merely permits all ideas and sensations come up and fall by themselves, with out participating with or “following” any of them. If that is discovered to be too exhausting and “uninteresting”, the coed is instructed with different varieties of meditation, equivalent to visualization and Qigong
  • Visualization (Cunxiang) — an esoteric apply of visualizing completely different facets of the cosmos in relation to at least one’s personal physique and self.
  • Respiration meditation (Zhuanqi) — to give attention to the breath, or “unite thoughts and qi”. The instruction is “focus your very important breath till it’s supremely mushy”. Generally that is achieved by merely quietly observing the breath (much like Mindfulness Meditation in Buddhism); in different traditions it’s by following sure patterns of exhalation and inhalation, in order that one turns into immediately conscious of the “dynamisms of Heaven and Earth” by ascending and descending breath (a kind of Qigong, much like Pranayama in Yoga).
  • Internal Imaginative and prescient (Neiguan) — visualizing inside one’s physique and thoughts, together with the organs, “interior deities”, qi (very important power) actions, and thought processes. It’s a means of acquainting oneself with the knowledge of nature in your physique. There are specific directions for following this apply, and a great guide or a instructor is required.
  • Inside Alchemy (Neidana fancy and esoteric apply of self-transformation using visualization, respiration workouts, motion and focus. Some Qigong workouts are simplified types of inside alchemy practices.

Most of those meditations are achieved seated cross-legged on the ground, with backbone erect. The eyes are saved half-closed and glued on the purpose of the nostril.

Grasp Liu Sichuan emphasises that, though not straightforward, ideally one ought to apply by “becoming a member of the breath and the thoughts collectively”; for people who discover this too exhausting, he would suggest specializing in the decrease stomach (dantian).

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Individuals which are extra related with the physique and nature might prefer to attempt Taoist meditation, and luxuriate in studying a bit concerning the philosophy behind it. Or if you’re into martial arts or Tai Chi, this is perhaps of your curiosity. Nonetheless, Taoist facilities and academics should not as straightforward to seek out as Buddhist and Yoga ones, so it is perhaps a problem to observe by.

Qigong (Chi kung)

Origin & That means

Qigong (additionally spelled chi kung, or chi gung) is a Chinese language phrase meaning “life vitality cultivation”, and is a body-mind train for well being, meditation, and martial arts coaching. It usually includes gradual physique motion, interior focus, and controlled respiration. Historically it was practiced and taught in secrecy within the Chinese language Buddhist, Taoist and Confucianist traditions. Within the Twentieth century, Qigong motion has integrated and popularized Daoist meditation, and “primarily employs concentrative workouts but in addition favors the circulation of vitality in an inner-alchemical mode” (Kohn 2008a:120).

For a deep research on Qigong historical past, concept, and philosophy, I like to recommend The Root of Chinese Qigong.

Daoist practices may make use of Qigong, however since Qigong can also be utilized in different Chinese language philosophies, I made a decision to deal with it as a separate topic.

Easy methods to do it

There are millions of completely different Qigong workouts cataloged, involving over 80 several types of respiration. Some are particular to martial arts (to energise and strengthen the physique); others are for well being (to nourish physique features or treatment ailments); and others for meditation and religious cultivation. Qigong might be practiced in a static place (seated or standing), or by a dynamic set of actions – which is what you usually see in YouTube movies and on DVDs. The workouts which are achieved as a meditation, nevertheless, are usually achieved sitting down, and with out motion.

To know extra about Qigong and discover ways to do it, I’d suggest getting a guide or DVD set from Dr. Yang Jwing Ming, equivalent to this one. However right here goes an introductory overview of the apply of seated Qigong meditation:

  • Sit in a cushty place. Be certain your physique is balanced and centered.
  • Calm down your complete physique – muscle groups, nerves, and inside organs
  • Regulate your respiration, making it deep, lengthy, and mushy.
  • Calm your thoughts
  • Place all of your consideration within the “decrease dantien”, which is the middle of gravity of the physique, two inches under the navel. This can assist accumulate and root the qi (very important vitality). The place your thoughts and intention is, there shall be your qi. So, by specializing in the dantien, you might be gathering vitality on this pure reservoir.
  • Really feel the qi circulating freely by your physique.

Different well-known Qigong workouts are:

  • Small Circulation (additionally known as “microcosmic circulation”)
  • Embryonic Respiration
  • Eight Items of Brocade (see this book excerpt  & Wikipedia article)
  • Muscle Tendon Altering (or “Yi Jin Jing”, taught by Bodhidharma)

The primary two are seated meditation, whereas the latter two are dynamic Qigong, integrating physique stretches.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

Qigong meditation could also be extra enticing to those who prefer to combine a extra energetic physique and vitality work into the apply. If seated meditation is insufferable for you, and you like one thing a bit extra energetic, attempt a few of the extra dynamic types of Qigong. Once more, there are a number of types of Qigong on the market, and you could must attempt with completely different academics or DVDs to seek out the one which fits you.
Some individuals have a style of dynamic Qigong by the apply of Tai Chi.

4) CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

In Jap traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism) meditation is often practiced with the aim of transcending the thoughts and attaining enlightenment. However, within the Christian custom the aim of contemplative practices is, one might say, ethical purification and deeper understanding of the Bible; or a better intimacy with God/Christ, for the extra mystic stream of the custom.

Listed below are some types of Christian contemplative apply:

  • contemplative prayer — which often includes the silent repetition of sacred phrases or sentences, with focus and devotion
  • contemplative studying — or just “contemplation”, which includes pondering deeply concerning the teachings and occasions within the Bible.
  • “sitting with God” — a silent meditation, often preceded by contemplation or studying, through which we focus all our thoughts, coronary heart and soul on the presence of God

To learn extra about this, take a look at our publish on Contemplative Prayer and Christian Meditation.

5) SUFI MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

Sufism is the esoteric path inside Islam, the place the aim is to purify oneself and obtain mystical union with the Supreme (named Allah on this custom). The practitioners of Sufism are known as Sufis, they usually observe quite a lot of religious practices, a lot of which have been influenced by the custom of Yoga in India.

Their fundamental strategies embrace:

  • Contemplation of God (muraqabah)
  • Sufi Mantra meditation (zikr, jikr or dhikr)
  • Heartbeat meditation
  • Sufi respiration meditation (together with 5 Components Respiration)
  • Bond of Love meditation
  • Gazing meditation
  • Sufi strolling meditation
  • Sufi whirling

Take a look at this text for a full exploration of Sufi Meditation.

6) GUIDED MEDITATIONS

Origin & That means

Guided Meditation is, in nice half, a contemporary phenomenon. It’s a neater method to begin, and you’ll find guided meditations primarily based on a number of of the above traditions.

The apply of meditation requires some dose of dedication and will-power. Prior to now, those who have been into meditation have been extra dedicated to it, and likewise had robust beliefs fuelling their motivation. Their life was extra easy, with much less distractions.

We reside in very completely different occasions now. Our life is busier. Distractions are in every single place, and meditation is usually sought as a way to develop higher well being, improve efficiency, or enhance oneself.

For these causes, guided meditations are very helpful. They’re each a fantastic assist in introducing you to the apply, show you how to experiment completely different strategies, or maintain your consideration extra current within the meditation.

[Image from BinauralBeatsMeditation.com]

Easy methods to do it

Guided meditation often comes within the type of audio (file, podcast, CD), and generally audio and video. You will see that that any guided meditation will fall in one in all under classes (with some overlap, clearly).

  • Conventional Meditations — With some of these audios, the voice of the instructor is solely there to “illustrate” or “information” the best way to your consideration, with the intention to be in a meditative state; there may be extra silence than voice in it, and infrequently no music. Examples are those supplied by Thich Nhat Hanh and Tara Brach, that are rooted in genuine Buddhist practices. The aim is to develop and deepen the apply itself, with all the advantages that include it.
  • Guided Imagery — Makes use of the creativeness and visualization powers of the mind, guiding you to think about an object, entity, surroundings or journey. The aim is often therapeutic or rest.
  • Rest & Physique Scans — Helps you obtain a deep rest in your complete physique. It’s often accompanied by soothing instrumental music or nature sounds. In Yoga these are known as yoga nidra. The aim is rest and quietness.
  • Affirmations — Normally coupled with rest and guided imagery, the aim of those meditations is to imprint a message in your thoughts.
  • Binaural Beats — Binaural beats have been initially found in 1839 by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. He found when alerts of two completely different frequencies are offered individually, one to every ear, your mind detects the section variation between the frequencies and tries to reconcile that distinction. That is used to generate alpha waves (10 Hz), which is the mind wave related to preliminary ranges of meditation. There may be scientific analysis into why and how binaural beats work.

Whereas all of them have their deserves, it’s the first sort that the majority naturally evolves into particular person unguided apply.

Be taught extra:

Is it for me?

In the event you really feel conventional meditation is a bit too exhausting, or you might be uncertain the place to start out, then guided meditations might be the best way so that you can start. Or if you’re in search of some very particular expertise or profit – like bettering shallowness, working by a trauma, or simply letting go of some pressure in your physique – you may discover some guided meditation that fits you.

NEXT STEPS

There you go. With all these types accessible, and a few many nuances in every of them, you might be positive to discover a apply you want. You may attempt a few of these practices by your self. However attempt additionally to discover a instructor with whom you’ll be able to join with, as this could make an enormous distinction in your journey. Meet completely different meditation academics and teams and see what their apply has achieved for them. Discovering the appropriate apply for you is crucial.

Upon getting chosen your apply, and constructed the behavior, the following step is to raised perceive the method of meditation. Additionally, think about implementing these 7 ideas for deep meditation.

In the event you need assistance deciding which fashion is finest for you, or methods to get began with a stable meditation apply, take a look at my Newbie’s Meditation Course.

Lastly, for those who would like to be skilled on methods to educate these (and different) types of meditation, take a look at our meditation certification course.

Or, if you’re focused on educating others methods to meditate in line with these completely different types, then take a look at my meditation instructor coaching.

Lastly, take a look at my article on meditation for youths and youngsters, if you’re seeking to introduce your youngsters to the apply.

My intention, like with all posts, is to work in direction of the mission of this website: “To take 1,000,000 individuals to calm, centered and targeted”.

If this seems like one thing your folks additionally need, please share this text with them.

[Post originally published on January 28th, 2015. Republished on July 13th 2019.]

FAQs

What are some good meditation strategies for newbies?

Mindfulness, Mantra Meditation and Yoga Nidra are maybe the simplest meditation for newbies.


What’s one of the best ways to meditate?

There isn’t a “finest manner” to meditate—similar to there isn’t a “finest sport” or “finest weight-reduction plan”. Completely different strategies swimsuit completely different individuals, and it’s endorsed to attempt just a few earlier than you resolve which one is finest for you.


What are the preferred meditation strategies?

Mindfulness, Mantra meditation, Trataka, TM, Vipassana, Loving-Kindness, Chakra meditation, Zazen, Kundalini meditation, Self-enquiry, Taoist meditation and Yoga Nidra are a few of the hottest varieties of meditation.


What are the completely different mindfulness meditation strategies?

The 2 fundamental varieties are:
(1) Mindfulness as a type of focus consideration meditation: you apply gently specializing in the breath.
(2) Mindfulness as a type of open-monitoring meditation: you develop a non-judgmental consciousness of no matter arises within the current second expertise (ideas, sensations, emotions).


What are the several types of Buddhist meditation?

Vipassana, Samatha, Loving-Kindness Meditation (metta), Zazen, Koan, Strolling meditation, and the numerous varieties of Tibetan Buddhist meditations. 


What are the several types of Japanese meditation?

Probably the most well-known sort of Japanese meditation is Zazen. Nonetheless, each Zazen and different types of Japanese meditation have been truly developed in China or India, and easy modified in Japan.


What’s the finest guide on meditation?

That’s extremely subjective. It will depend on the extent of the meditator, cultural background, targets with the apply, and character. Nonetheless, if you’re a newbie meditator from a Western cultural background, and desire a very pragmatic textbook for meditation, then attempt Practical Meditation.


What are some techniques for advanced meditation?

Meditation techniques such as Dzogchen, Zuowang, Kundalini and Self-Enquiry are generally considered more advanced meditation practices. However, any form of meditation can be basic or advanced—it depends on the practitioner.


What is the point of meditation?

Meditation is different things for different people. Originally, the purpose of meditation was to liberate the mind from suffering, experience altered states of consciousness, or connect to the Sacred in a given form. Nowadays, however, meditation is often practiced with the goals of physical health, mental performance, wellbeing and personal growth.


What are the most ancient meditations?

Although there is no scholarly agreement on this, some speculate that Mantra Meditation and Gazing are the most ancient meditation techniques.


What is the easiest way to meditate?

The two easiest ways to meditate are to either count your breaths (from 10 to 1) or to repeat a mantra.


Is Yoga a form of meditation?

It depends on what is meant by “Yoga”. If you mean Yoga in the common Western sense of the word (physical exercise of stretching), then it is not meditation, but like many other activities, it can be done meditatively. If Yoga is understood in it’s original context, then we can actually say that meditation is a form of Yoga.



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