Types of Meditation
There are so many kinds of meditation, how does one find what suits him/her best? In this article, I will cover the basics of 8 types of meditation.
Mindfulness is a normal skill possessed by humans to be focused in the current moment, to know where we are and what we are doing, and not be too sensitive or affected by the events around us. We all easily have the skill of mindfulness; it is just that it is more easily accessible to us when we do it on a regular time.
Mindfulness meditation is an activity of the mind that encourages a person to release negative thoughts, slow down fast thoughts and achieve inner mental and physical peace. In this kind of meditation, the person brings his/her attention to the current moment so that he/she can recognise and be at peace with your mind, feelings and touch without judgement. While there are many methods of doing mindfulness meditation, it usually starts with deep breathing exercises and focusing on your thoughts and your physical self. To get started with mindfulness meditation, most people will sit at a relaxed place and have a discernment-free mind to focus on for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Loving-kindness meditation is a process of freeing your thoughts to receive love from your peers and then giving a series of well wishes to others. It is practised to promote accepting, kind and compassionate responses to the person and others. This type of meditation is perfect for people struggling with resentment or anger. It is also done without any binding or expectations. It is an activity to experience and enjoy; the person involved does not do it for reaching a goal or proving a point.
Visualization Meditation is a method aimed to promote the state of being relaxed, at peace with oneself and being calm by imagining positive scenarios or pictures. For this kind of meditation, it is crucial to visualize the place graphically and utilize all your senses to fill up as much details as possible. It is often used by people to relax from stress, enhance inner tranquillity and boost their mood.
Transcendental Meditation is the method of meditation developed by Indian spiritual figure Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The process requires the use of a personal chanting and is done for 20 minutes twice per day while being sit relaxed with one’s eyes closed. For this type of meditation, it encourages people not to be easily affected by random thoughts which may come, but to easily return to the chanting when one becomes aware of this. It is also a popular kind of meditation which is suitable for people who are committed to a structured meditation practice.
Movement Meditation is a process whereby the person performs gentle ways of motion, such as qigong and walking through the woods. In this kind of meditation, the movement guides the person to greater awareness and peace within oneself. It is ideal for people who feel relaxed in action and like to let their thoughts wander.
Mantra Meditation is a type of meditation in which a person utters a sound over and over again to calm his/her thoughts. This sound may be a phrase, word or sound like “Om”. It is of no consequence if your mantra is being said softly or loudly. The person will be more aware of his/her surroundings after uttering the mantra for a prolonged period of time. This is suitable for people who dislike silence and love structured repetition – probably because it is easier for them to concentrate on a word than a breath.
Focused Meditation is a process which a person trains to focus using any of the five senses. The person can concentrate on an internal thing like one’s breath or something external like a candle flame or mala beads. As with other kinds of meditation, it is crucial to refocus if your thoughts start to stray. This is suitable for people who needs more concentration in their life.
Spiritual Meditation is often practised in Christianity and in Eastern religions, like Daoism. It is very alike to prayer in that the person contemplates the silence around him/her and intentionally connects with the Universe or your God. In this type of meditation, essential oils are often used to accentuate one’s spiritual experience. It can be practised at the comfort of your own home or in a place of religious worship. People who seek spiritual growth or prefer a silent practice will be attracted to this type of meditation.
What Type of Meditation do You Recommend?
Personally, I find that I like to use visualization meditation .On days that don’t go too well or when I am down, I use my imagination to be happier and release stress from my mind. I like to imagine happy scenes that probably won’t happen in reality. You can say that daydreaming makes me happy!
That being said, it is Okay if you prefer a different type of meditation. Everybody is unique and different, so is their needs. There is no need to rush. Take your time to find what suits you. After all, the process is more important than the end result for meditation.
Once you are settled, you can check out the “Top 9 Meditation Tips” to kick start your meditative practice!