This article will introduce you to the 10 best types of meditation.
Meditation is a series of techniques aimed at promoting a higher level of awareness and concentration. It is another approach for altering one’s state of awareness that has provided a variety of psychological advantages.
It comes from the Latin word meditatum, which means “to ponder.” Although it’s impossible to say when individuals first started meditating, scholars agree that it happened thousands of years ago, far before modern civilization.
According to several archaeological findings, hunter-gatherers, like early shamans, have practiced meditation. Their teachings were passed down orally from generation to generation, laying the groundwork for modern meditation.
Introduction to the World of Meditation
Meditation is a practice that people of many faiths undertake. The Vedas include the oldest records of meditation (dhyana), an important part of Hinduism and Buddhism’s contemplative repertoires.
Asian meditative techniques have expanded to various countries since the 19th century, where they have been used in non-spiritual situations like commerce and health.
Meditation has been proven to lower stress, anxiety, sadness, and pain while improving serenity, perception, self-concept, and overall well-being.
Its benefits on mental, neurological, and cardiovascular health, among other things, are still being studied.
It is a broad phrase that encompasses a wide range of techniques. It is still uncertain how these practices should be categorized. Previous approaches struggled to represent the wide range of meditation techniques adequately.
Consider trying meditation if stress makes you uneasy, tense, or worried and affects your mental health. Even a few minutes of meditation can bring you back to a state of serenity and peace.
Meditation is something that anyone can learn. It’s easy to do and doesn’t cost a lot of money. It also doesn’t require any special equipment. Regular Meditation practice relieves stress and gives you direct positive energy.
You can meditate anywhere in your everyday life– while on a walk (Walking Meditation), on the bus, in line at the doctor’s office, or even in the middle of a tensed work meeting.
It is an ancient practice that is thought to have originated in India thousands of years ago. The practice was quickly adopted throughout history by neighboring countries and became a part of many religions worldwide.
Other meditation styles were developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India between 600 and 500 BCE, though historians are still debating the exact origins of these practices, notably Buddhist meditation.
It was a key component in the formula for moral salvation, contemplative concentration, knowledge, and emancipation.
Benefits of Meditation:
This ancient technique is now becoming increasingly renowned for its many benefits. Numerous clinical and research groups worldwide have explored the scientific effects of meditation over the last few decades.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown evidence of the physiological effects of meditation to varying degrees.
Meditation creates a stable link between our internal and exterior environments. It awakens the body and benefits both the conscious and subconscious mental layers. A handful of the many benefits of meditation are described below:
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
It provides us with the opportunity to determine which demands on our energy, attention, and emotions are legitimate and which are not. Consider how different our stress and anxiety experiences would be if we could discern between the two.
When we don’t have this mental and physical space, we feel pressed. When meditation provides us with the space and clarity to order our priorities, we feel relieved, and it gives us inner peace.
2. Helps to get focused
It is not only a great way to relieve stress and increase happiness, but it also enhances your concentration.
3. Increases immunity
As we all know, meditation reduces our psychological stress, but meditation also affects our physical health. The amount of CD-4 cells, immune system helper cells that deliver signals to other cells directing them to destroy infections, increases.
It reduces levels of inflammatory indicators, which are commonly linked to impaired immunological function and illness.
Increases telomerase activity; telomerase aids in chromosomal stability and prevents chromosome degradation (telomerase- deterioration leads to cancer and premature aging). It also helps to reduce blood pressure.
4. Helps in good sleep
Meditation teaches us to be present more at the moment and less focused on our thoughts. The mind’s penchant for being engrossed in thoughts is arguably strongest at sleep when we are forced to stop and remain still.
As your body and mind relax, it gets easier to divert the disturbing thoughts that keep your mind awake at night. In addition to that, meditation also increases natural melatonin levels, which aids in restful sleep.
5. Helps to stay healthy
We all know practicing meditation is in our ancient tradition, but some research finds that it is still a good way to stay healthy. In our daily life, just like martial arts, meditation also helps us stay fit and gives us positive emotions.
For healthy persons, meditation is generally regarded as safe. On the other hand, people with physical restrictions may not participate in certain contemplative activities that require movement.
Ways to Meditate
Every morning and evening, meditate for 15-30 minutes. It’s critical to meditate before eating. If you have the opportunity, meditate in a quiet place; however, if you don’t, that’s great as well. Noise does not affect meditation.
While meditating, it’s natural to have thoughts. Sit quietly for a minute or so, close your eyes, and do nothing. Thoughts will arise, which is just normal. Start saying your mantra softly inside your head after a minute or so, in the same natural way that thoughts come to you, without moving your tongue or lips.
Slowly repeat your mantra until you’ve completed your meditation. When your mind wanders, slowly return to your mantra. After you’ve finished meditating, lie down and relax for a while.
While meditation isn’t a panacea, it can provide you with some much-needed breathing room. Sometimes, a simple reminder is to make better decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities.
A little patience, kindness for yourself, and comfortable sitting space are the most crucial tools you can bring to your meditation practice.
When we meditate, we are infusing our lives with far-reaching and long-term benefits.
Ancient techniques to Meditate
1. Zen Meditation
Zen meditation is a Buddhist practice that dates back to the Tang Dynasty in China in the seventh century. It moved from China to Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries, where it thrives today.
Zen is derived from the Chinese word Ch’an, which translates the Indian phrase dhyana, which means concentration.
Zen meditation is a Buddhist tradition that both beginner and experienced meditators can practice. It provides insight into how the mind operates, which is one of its numerous advantages.
Like other forms of Buddhist meditation, Zen practice can benefit people in various ways, including providing skills to help others.
2. Mantra Meditation
Mantras are syllables, words, or phrases that are repeated during meditation. Mantras can be spoken loudly, chanted, mumbled, or repeated mentally. Most mantra meditation approaches include mindfulness meditation and mantra recitation or chanting as two key components.
While “holy word” recitation is thought to have Buddhist and Hindu roots, it can also be found in Judeo-Christian meditation and Shamanic spiritual traditions. As part of secular mindfulness practice, mantra meditation is growing in popularity. You can also say this is a spiritual kind.
Mantra meditation is a type that is used for different purposes. It serves as a mental barrier for some people against unwelcome interruptions or distractions.
3. Chakra Meditation
The name chakra refers to seven locations inside the energy system and means “wheel” in Sanskrit.
Each energy point spins and vibrates as if it were a wheel. Your chakras will be more in harmony if the frequency of vibration is higher.
Each of the seven chakras corresponds to a location on the spine. These are the names of the chakra Meditation:
- Chakra No. 1 (Muladhara)
- The sacral chakra; the chakra located in the lower abdomen (svadhisthana)
- The chakra of the solar plexus (Manipura)
- The chakra of the heart, located in the middle (Anahata)
- Chakra of the mouth (vishuddha)
- Chakra #3 (third eye) (Ajna)
- The chakra at the top of the head (Sahasrara)
4. Yoga Meditation
Yoga Meditation, which is essentially breath practice combined with physical postures (asanas), has been extensively researched for its mind-body effects.
Yoga may be beneficial in:
- increasing adaptability
- increasing your equilibrium
- boosting energy, enhancing sleep, and lowering blood pressure by increasing strength, decreasing body fat, reducing stress, and easing chronic pain.
5. Insight Meditation/ Vipassana Meditation
Vipassana, also known as insight meditation, is the practice of paying constant attention to one’s senses to see the true nature of reality.
Although the particular form of the practice may vary, it is thought to be the kind given by the Buddha himself, and it is the foundation of all Buddhist meditation schools.
In Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, Vipassana is the most popular Buddhist meditation method. The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma pioneered a major revival of this ancient insight meditation practice in the twentieth century.
Sayadaw U Pandita was designated as Mahasi Sayadaw’s principal preceptor after his death in 1982.
Types of Meditation and Meditation techniques
1. Types of Meditation: Mindful Meditation
You can meditate on your own whenever and wherever you like. However, listening to basic guided meditations, especially when first starting out, can be beneficial.
Instructions from a knowledgeable teacher can help us remember to stay in the present, let go of distracting thoughts, and be gentle with ourselves. Mindful breathing is one of the best breathing exercises.
Select the appropriate length for you: One minute is a fantastic place to start if you don’t have much time.
Try the 10 to15 minute mindfulness classes if you’re more experienced or ready for a longer meditation.
2. Types of Meditation: Qigong Meditation
Qigong is a technique of synchronizing bodily posture and movement.
Traditionally seen by the Chinese and throughout Asia as a technique to nurture and balance qi (pronounced roughly as “chi” or “chee”), translated as “life energy,” qigong has roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts.
3. Types of Meditation: Guided Meditation
The only difference between guided meditation and regular meditation is that it is led by someone else. Beginners who have trouble meditating will benefit from this type.
A guide supports an individual or group in achieving a higher state of consciousness and reaping the benefits of meditation through this technique.
Going to a yoga center or another comparable facility that offers guided meditation classes or sessions is one of the most prevalent ways to practice guided meditation.
The session begins with the narrator instructing the practitioner to select a comfortable posture, such as sitting or lying down, and then vocally guiding.
4. Types of Meditation: Silent Meditation
One of the oldest types of meditation is silent meditation, commonly known as Vipassana.
This meditation focused on breathing, thoughts, feelings, and actions was originally taught by the Buddhas.
Going on 7-10 day retreats is the most efficient approach to practice silent meditation. Weekend or even daily retreats, on the other hand, can be quite beneficial.
You will need to practice silent meditation for longer than 30 minutes at a time, as you would with regular meditation, because all types of meditation do not require speech.
5. Types of Meditation: Visualization Meditation
“Visualization meditation is the practice of visualizing positive images, concepts, symbols, or using affirmations and mantras to assist calm the mind while the body is relaxed,” says Ariel Van Alstyne, a reiki practitioner and meditation coach for the online health and wellness platform Vivaya.
The only limitation is what you can conjure up in your imagination when practicing this type of meditation. “A visualization meditation can help you relieve pain, send love to individuals near and far, or actualize your goals,” explains Serena Poon, reiki master, chef, and nutritionist.
Athletes also use visualization meditation to improve their performance. This is something that a lot of energy healers do.
6. Types of Meditation: Loving-Kindness Meditation
Loving-kindness meditation, sympathetic joy and serenity are difficult meditation practices that create one-pointed focused attention and develop goodwill.
This technique helps strengthen your feelings of compassion and kindness. It is a popular form of Buddhist meditation. It primarily involves opening one’s mind and heart to give and receive love.
7. Types of Meditation: Transcendental Meditation
The Transcendental Meditation technique (abbreviated as TM) was established by the Indian spiritual icon Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The technique entails using a personal mantra and sitting comfortably with one’s eyes closed for 20 minutes twice a day. Unlike some other forms, TM training teaches pupils not to be startled by random ideas but to quickly return to the mantra when they become aware of them.
TM proponents argue that the practice encourages a relaxed state of awareness, stress alleviation, creativity, and efficiency, as well as physiologic changes.
8. Types of Meditation: Chakra Meditation
This technique is to keep the chakra (centers of energy) of one’s body aligned and open. When the chakras are blocked or imbalanced due to any reason, a person can feel both physically and mentally uncomfortable.
But with this technique, everything can be brought back in balance and control.
9. Types of Meditation: Walking Meditation
Where did your mind go wandering the last time you went for a solo walk, whether in the city, your neighborhood, the countryside, or on a remote hiking trail?
It’s practically in our nature to be doing something else and to be thinking something completely different. And this mostly happens when we are walking.
So, while we’re out and about, walking meditation is designed to bring our body and mind into harmony. If you don’t want to sit and close your eyes to meditate, this is a terrific alternative that will still train your mind in mindfulness.
10. Tyes of Meditation: Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation is an excellent approach to relieve tension that you may not even be aware of. Body scanning entails paying attention to different body sections and bodily feelings from the feet to the head.
You bring awareness to every region of your body by mentally scanning yourself, noting any aches, pains, tension, or overall discomfort. The idea is to come to know the pain and learn about it to manage it better.
So, these are 10 types of meditation, but there are a lot of meditation styles you can do on your own. If not, then you can go for some meditation teachers.