Different Types Of Meditation
The practice of meditation has existed in various forms for centuries and interest has increased significantly over the past two decades due to interest in Eastern culture teachings and the rise of stress and anxiety in modern day life.
When we meditate, we focus our attention inwards. This inward focus could be on the simple process of breathing, a mantra, visualising an object, an emotion, or an area of the body.
As meditation has many benefits, people use it for different purposes. Some people use it for relaxation and for helping with anxiety, whilst others use it to build focus and concentration. All of the different types of meditation we will discuss in this article help to promote a healthy mind and body.
We can classify the different types of meditation under five categories. These meditation techniques have evolved from Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism and are as follows:
1. Focused Attention (Concentration)
2. Mindfulness (Open Monitoring)
3. Reflective Meditation
4. Heart- Centred meditation
5. Creative Meditation (Visualization)
Focused Attention (Concentration) Meditation
Any type of meditation that focuses on the enhancing of concentration can be classified under the concentration meditation technique. The idea behind this type of meditation practice is to develop laser-like focus on one specific thing during your session. In order to achieve this involves a persistent mental effort to cut out all distractions.
Some practices may involve the sole focus on an external object such as a plant pot, whilst others may require an internal focus on the process of breathing. In each case, the aim is to retain 100% focus on that one thing throughout the entire session. If you find your thoughts begin to wander during your concentration meditation session, focus is calmly brought back to the object. You will find with practice and over time that your ability to focus will improve greatly.
Mindfulness meditation is known to help those suffering with anxiety and depression and can provide pain relief. Rather than focusing on one specific object, you let your attention flow freely without attachment or judgement. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of observing any thoughts, memories and perceptions that you may experience during your meditation sessions without judging them. Through this practice, you allow yourself to experience your thoughts from a third person perspective.
Reflective meditation requires disciplined thinking and is an analytical form of meditation. First choose an interesting question, or topic and begin to reflect and analyse it. If you find that your mind begins to wander simply bring your mind back to focus on your one question or topic. If you struggle with retaining your focus try concentration meditation first, to strengthen your skills.
Reflective meditation is thought to be a very powerful form of meditation as it can give you the inner strength and conviction to make positive changes to your life.
Here are some questions to consider for your reflective meditation sessions:
1. Who am I?
2. Does my life have purpose?
3. How can I help others who are suffering?
If you are experiencing feelings of fear and sadness, heart-centred meditation can help you to overcome this. This form of meditation is good for healing both your heart and that of others. You will overcome any negative energy that resides within you as you open your heart chakra.
To perform this meditation technique, look for a quiet area, sit tall and focus on your heart area, whilst breathing slowly and smoothly. Now use your mind and heart to create feelings of unconditional kindness and positivity towards yourself. Once you have mastered this technique, choose a good friend to direct these feelings towards. The ultimate aim of this process is to wish genuine feelings of happiness and peace towards all beings.
Creative Meditation (Visualization)
Creative meditation is the focus on an image, whereby you picture a setting, another person or a sequence of events – something outside yourself. As you visualize yourself in a specific setting, experience the impact of that setting on your mind and body. Visualization meditation can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as relaxation, healing and even religious purposes.
So there we have the 5 different types of meditation, which one will you choose? Please share these meditation techniques on Facebook and Twitter with your friends!