Meditation is a form of awareness that consciously cultivates the mind. It is a practice to calm the mind by staying in the moment and being aware of your experience which in due course aims to nurture the mental stability. This experience can also be anchored – either by a sensation like sound (think binaural beats), walking or by an object like the breath.
Although, there are many forms of meditations, here I bring the well-known types of meditation that you can practice as you begin. Please note that not all type of meditation resonates with everybody. You can try out these and then practice the one style that you are comfortable with.
The most common type of meditation, Vipassana or mindfulness meditation is all about being present, allowing your mind and soul to ‘just be’ by being aware of the rhythm in and around you. This type of meditation is trained with awareness on the breath.
Regular practice enables to objectively observe one’s thoughts and therefore enhance one’s self understanding. You no longer judge your thoughts but simply remain aware and observe each thought as it arises. It also helps in treating some of the clinical disorders such as the chronic pain. Mindfulness meditation toughens our sense of wonder and positive reception, enabling us to carefully and accurately attend to the entirety of our experience unfolding moment to moment.
A type of mantra meditation, Transcendental meditation is a basic or beginner’s meditation that has its roots in Vedanta, the meditative tradition in Hinduism. In this type, you usually sit erect in Lotus or half lotus position and repeatedly chant sacred words or mantra. The main focus here is to rise above all the temporary things. A highly involved meditation, the higher levels of Transcendental meditation focuses on breathing and its movements.
Rooted in India, it is now one of the most widely performed meditation all across the globe benefitting, both mind and the body. TM not only helps in longevity, improves thinking about also reduces cardiovascular risk factors. As per the reports it has been noted that, Transcendental Meditation can reduce anxiety, chronic pain, cholesterol and high blood pressure.
It is yet another type of meditation that originates from Vedanta. The name derives from the upward stream of energy that subsists in human beings. The goal of Kundalini meditation is to sense and become conscious of this rising stream while riding the stream to infinity.
Here, the practitioner concentrates mainly on their breath gracefully flowing through each of the energy hubs of the body, and moving towards the energy center just above the top of the head. This meditation utilizes the active breath to move the energy towards up and triggers the nervous system with vital energy forces. Kundalini meditation not only helps in awakening the mind but also bestows enlightenment and bliss.
Zazen is a broad term for sitting meditation in the Buddhist tradition. It is usually done for a long period of time by sitting erect. The person performing zazen would sit with folded hands and legs along with an erect but settled spine. Hands are together folded over the belly into a simple mudra. The practitioner while practicing breathes from the hara or the center of gravity in the belly while keeping the eyelids half-lowered.
The eyes are neither kept fully open nor shut so that the practitioner is neither diverted nor turned from the external stimuli. It is one of the most excellent meditation techniques to enhance focus and improve concentration. Also, a lot of meditative discipline practitioners perform Zazen to calm the mind and the body to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and in that way attains enlightenment.
Heart Rhythm Meditation
This type of meditation concentrates both on the breath and the heartbeat, ultimately making the breath rich, deep, rhythmic and balanced. Here, the attention is mainly on the heart as it is the focus point of the energetic system. This meditation involves numerous diverse rhythmic patterns including equaling up the length of the inhalation with the length of the exhalation. For instance, 10 beats within, 10 beat out; this is termed as “The Swinging Breath”.
Another model entails an extended hold of the breath, so that the holding phase is as same as the breathing phase. For instance, 10 beats in, 20 beats hold, 10 beats out; this is termed as “The Square Breath”. This square breath is very useful to combat anxiety or feelings of panic. The techniques of Heart Rhythm Meditation are very useful for treating all the cardiovascular diseases and in maintaining a healthy heart.
There are many types of meditation. However, the above five are the most prominent types and can be easily practiced by any person who wants to get into the space of meditation and then connect with their inner mind peacefully.
Now, calm down your mind, slow down your breath, and awaken your chakras, because it’s the time to meditate!