Type of Meditation! Meditative practices have existed for ages, but over the last couple of decades, the use of meditation has become more popular due to the rise in stress and anxiety of modern life. Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve health, and increase inner peace (Read more about benefits of meditating).
It should be simple, comfortable, and should have the results that will motivate you to do it regularly. There are several different types of meditating. It is important to find a type that meets your needs and complements your personality. A few popular types of meditation practices are briefly described below.
Mindfulness comes from the Buddhist tradition and its simple nature has made it one of the most popular meditation techniques. This technique is about keeping the mind fully focused in the present. Not the past or future, but just enjoying the present moment with full focus and attention, observing and accepting all thoughts and sensations that arise, without judgment. Moreover, this mindfulness technique is often extended to daily actions, such as eating, walking, driving, or housework.
Vipassana is a 2500-year-old Buddhist meditation practice, also known as Insight Meditation, which means “to see things as they really are”. To calm the mind, Vipassana stresses on the awareness of the breath, concentrating on the air passing in and out through the nose. Additionally, Vipassana also teaches you to identify thoughts and experiences as they arise, and bring your awareness back to your primary object, the breath.
Also known as Concentration Meditation, it involves focusing your attention on a single object throughout the session. The object can be something internal or external such as your breath, part of body, visualization, or staring at a candle flame. It trains the mind to concentrate and cut all distractions. Moreover, it allows your mind to be calm and awake.
Mantra Meditation comes from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. A mantra is a word, phrase, or sound such as OM that is repeated to clear the mind. Chanting of holy sounds has always been a pleasant way to focus the mind. It doesn’t matter if your mantra is spoken loudly or quietly, after repeating the mantra for some time, you will be more attentive. Moreover, this allows you to experience deeper levels of consciousness.
People enjoy mantra meditation as it is easier to focus on a word than on their breath. Chanting a mantra keeps the mind busy in a particular pattern.
Transcendental Meditation or TM is a specific form of mantra meditation founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in 1995 in India. Each person is given a personal mantra used for its vibrational qualities. This method involves chanting this personal mantra. Repetition of the mantra is meant to calm the mind and release stress.
Zazen means “seated meditation” in Japanese. It is a type of Zen Buddhist meditation where you focus your attention on your breath, and observe thoughts and experiences as they pass through the mind, letting them drift away. Breathing is an important part of Zazen, and the way to practice this method is by counting each breath. The emphasis of the breath is at the belly, instead of the nose (as in Vipassana).
Meditation is the Medication!