Meditation and Relaxation

 

Understanding Different Types of Meditation

There are various different types of meditation techniques. To find the one for you I have listed six types of meditations you can try.

 

There are so many different types of meditation. So to get you started, I have listed six types of meditations you can try.

 

1. Breath watching

Can meditating be as simple as paying attention to your breath for a few minutes? Yes it can. In fact this can be one of the easiest forms of meditating. Relax in whatever position works best for you, close your eyes and start to pay attention to your breathing. Breathing through your nose gets your diaphragm working and generates oxygen all the way to the bottom of your lungs. As your mind wanders, just re-focus your attention on the air going in and out of your nose. Just do this for several minutes, or longer as you get used to it.

 

2. Empty mind

Meditating can create a kind of "awareness without object," an emptying of all thoughts from your mind. The technique for this type of meditation involves sitting still, often in a "full lotus" or cross-legged position, and letting the mind go silent on its own. It can be difficult, particularly since any effort seems to make your mind become busier.

 

3. Walking

This can be practiced outside or simply a back and forth process of pacing a room. Pay attention to the movement of your legs and breathing as you walk, and to the feeling of your feet contacting the ground. When your mind wanders, just keep bringing it back to the process of walking and breathing. Meditating outside in this way can be difficult because of the distractions. If you do it outside, find a quiet place with level ground.

 

4. Mindfulness

Practice Buddhists call this vipassana or insight meditation, mindfulness is the art of becoming deeply aware of what is here right now. Your focus is on what's happening in and around you at this very moment, and to become aware of all the thoughts and feelings that are taking your energy from moment to moment.

You can start by watching your breath, and then move your attention to the thoughts going through your mind, the feelings in your body, and even the sounds and sights around you. The key is to watch without judging or analyzing.

 

5. Simple mantra

Many people find it easier to keep their mind from wandering if they concentrate on something specific. A mantra can help. This is a word or phrase you repeat as you sit and meditate, and is chosen for you by an experienced master in some traditions. If you are working on this alone, you can use any word or phrase that works for you, and can choose to either repeat it aloud or in your head as you meditate.

 

6. Meditating on a concept

Some meditative practices involve contemplation of an idea or scenario. An example is the "meditation on impermanence," in which you focus on the impermanent nature of all things, starting with your thoughts and feelings as they come and go. In the Buddhist "meditation on the corpse," you think about a body in the ground, as it slowly rots away and is fed on by worms. The technique is used to guide you to an understanding that your rationalizing mind might not bring you to.

There are many other meditations you can try, such as the "meditation on loving-kindness" or "object" meditation, and even meditating using brain wave entrainment products. Each type has its own compensation and effects. For this reason, you may find that at different times and for different purposes you want to use several different types of meditations.