For some people, the word “meditation” conjures up an image of someone who’s seated on the floor, legs crossed, with a look of contentment across their face. They are fully present and distraction-free. But this type of meditation is easier said than done. If you tried meditating this way, you might know that too well.
While sitting in stillness is a form of meditation that’s been used for centuries, it is not the only way to practice meditation. There are many ways to involve yourself in practice. Just about anyone can find one (or more) types of meditation techniques that resonate.
This article discusses at least 10 different ways to meditate, including some of the more common and beginner-friendly methods, the benefits, and meditation tools that can elevate the experience. Let’s explore the possibilities!
Reasons Why Should You Meditate
Meditation involves a safe and holistic way to help improve your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Those who incorporate meditation into their daily routine experience higher levels of inner peace, calm, and balance.
Scientific studies and research continue to add to the body of evidence supporting meditation’s mental health and physical and spiritual benefits.
✶ Physical Benefits
Meditation helps us enter a calmer state and can even take us from the “fight-or-flight” state caused by excessive stress, worry, or fear.
Physically, various types of meditation can help:
✶ Mental Benefits
The calm, focused state achieved during meditation can help slow the constant stream of thoughts passing through the mind. As a result, we become in tune with the present moment, aware of how our thoughts and emotions affect us.
Mentally, various types of meditation can help:
✶ Spiritual Benefits
The inner peace and wisdom gained from meditation can help develop and grow your spiritual practice. It can even lead to a spiritual awakening.
Spiritually, meditation techniques can help with the following:
10 Types Of Meditation
Some of the different types of meditation techniques mentioned below are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes combining them can lead to more powerful meditation experiences. So let’s discuss 10 types of meditation techniques and see which one will most likely resonate with you more than the other.
Finding a meditation style that feels right for you is important when starting a practice. You can explore other types as you develop your technique and meditate better. This makes meditation more enjoyable and intuitive and seems less like a chore.
Mindfulness meditation may be what many of us picture when we think of meditation. This style of meditation involves focusing on the present moment and letting the other thoughts and distractions fade away.
Mindfulness requires mental training. When one begins mindfulness types of meditation, they are often met with the constant distracting chatter of thoughts where the mind wanders-sometimes called the “monkey mind.” At first, it may seem impossible to quiet the monkey mind. With this practice, patience, repetition, and a non-judgmental approach can help you work through the initial difficulties.
Many ask, is breathwork a form of meditation, and can breathwork replace meditation?
While breathwork can be a form of meditation, it is not the same as traditional types of meditation.
Breathwork is a technique that helps you intentionally focus on your breath. Altering the breath has many advantages; one is the mind-body system and lowering blood pressure.
While doing breathwork, you usually find it easier to change your mood and thoughts so you feel calmer. The mind usually starts to see things from a different perspective-a more calm and centered approach to life.
Although meditation is often associated with focusing on a particular mantra or object, you’ll notice awareness of who you are from an outside perspective. The session isn’t about intentionally focusing on your breath, as breath will naturally slow down during the process.
Breathwork is an umbrella term for any breathing exercises or techniques that require you to change your breathing pattern, clearing any negative energy from your body. These types of meditation also include pranayama, qigong, and yoga.
In addition, breathwork can be done with the eyes open, while many types of meditation are usually done with the eyes closed.
Breathwork allows you to be more in tune with this moment in time.
Both breathwork and meditation can induce a state of calmness, which is beneficial for stress relief. Breathwork can also be used to improve respiratory function and increase energy levels.
As a result, it is an effective tool for both physical health and mental well-being. Whether breathwork is new to you or you have been practicing for years, there are many advantages to this powerful practice.
While many find meditation calming, some find it difficult to tame their thoughts, so breathwork may be an easier option for finding peace and calmness in everyday life.
Loving Kindness Meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation. The object is to focus on positive emotions like kindness, compassion, and love.
The goal is to eventually extend these feelings to all beings, even those who are difficult to love. The practice has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
This can help to increase feelings of social connectedness and conscious awareness of well-being.
If you’re interested in trying Loving Kindness Meditation, here’s some things you can do to get started.
First, find yourself a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Then, begin by focusing on your breath.
Once you’ve settled into a rhythm, start to silently repeat phrases like
As you repeat these phrases, picture the people or animals to who they apply. It can be a great way to help you feel good about yourself. It also helps to clear negative energy that might be held in your body through any connections you’ve had with people or experiences you don’t feel good from.
Guided meditation is a technique where you listen to and follow specific instructions during the session. The instructions serve as guideposts for an individual’s meditation experience. An instructor recites the steps to help you remain focused during guided meditation.
A guided session can be in person, through video recordings, audio downloads, and software apps. Those of any experience level can participate in guided sessions. Still, they are most helpful for beginners or, generally, if you find the mind keeps distracting you from the session.
Your imagination is powerful. A visualization meditation encourages you to concentrate on a mental image or scene to help center your mind and body. Also, these types of meditation often have a goal or can also be for reducing anxiety, feeling calmer, or developing compassion. Combining creativity with these meditation forms can help you focus and gain insights.
For example, you could picture yourself sitting on the beach.
As the waves wash up on your feet, imagine them taking negative thoughts or emotions back into the sea with them. Keep doing the visualization until you feel clear of negative feelings.
For the beginner, visualization techniques are usually combined with guided audio to help stay focused during the session.
Some people find it challenging to sit still while practicing meditation. Instead of fighting it, mindful walking or moving can also provide a rewarding, relaxing alternative to sitting.
You pay close attention to deliberate actions with increased mindfulness and focus during movement meditation techniques. For example, while doing this style of active meditation, you may count your footsteps and pay attention to the physical sensations of your feet touching the ground.
Movement mediation can be as involved as yoga or as simple as paying more attention to the physical sensations as you wash dishes.
During this type of meditation, you pay attention to each part of your body for a short time. Sometimes you may breathe relaxation or release tension in the areas. Other times, you can mindfully give each area attention and non-judgmentally notice how it feels.
For the beginner, finding a guided version can be the most effective way to try this meditation technique.
What is the difference between mantra and transcendental meditation?
The mantra is like a vehicle that helps us calm the mind and go beyond the limitations of our thinking minds and into a state of pure consciousness.
Both mantra meditation and TM (transcendental meditation) involve using a sound or word to relax the mind into a peaceful bliss, going beyond pure consciousness. Still, there are some key differences between the two practices.
In TM, the mantras are usually not words but sound without meaning, helping the individual’s mind not to analyze the word, but transcend thought to reach a higher state of consciousness.
Mantra type of meditation normally involves the repetition of a sacred word or phrase to help focus the mind on achieving a state of relaxation.
One major difference is that practitioners of TM give a specific mantra to be used during meditation. In contrast, those who practice mantra meditation can choose their mantra or word to repeat.
A manta session involves repeating a word or phrase while being still. It helps redirect your thoughts to the here and now and keeps you focused. These meditation techniques can also help shift your mood and mindset.
Mantras can be simple words like
They may also be affirmations like
Other mantras have been used throughout the centuries by religions and cultures to cultivate the connection with the Divine or strengthen the “mind-heart connection.”
Crystal meditation can be a helpful tool for personal growth and metaphysical healing. You may feel more grounded and connected to mother Earth, and the natural world around you.
One way is by sitting comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. As you breathe in and out, imagine the crystal drawing any negative energy from your body and mind and releasing it back into the Universe as it dissipates.
✶ How to meditate with crystals?
Here are a few ways to use your spiritual stones for crystal meditation
This way, you can choose a crystal corresponding to a particular chakra for energy healing and balancing.
For example, you can choose pink rose quartz to focus on your heart area. The key here would be to focus on the crystal and feel its energetic vibration around your heart center intuitively.
With rose quartz, you are intuitively inviting the loving vibrations of this crystal to surround your heart chakra, bringing light and love into your life and channeling blessings of love to surround the people that are dear to you.
What tools are used for meditation? While there are many different meditation techniques, some tools help elevate the experience itself.
One way to create a serene atmosphere is by playing meditation music in the background.
This type of music usually incorporates soft melodies with natural sounds, such as rain or ocean waves. Using solfeggio frequencies that correspond to each energy center for chakra meditations can help elevate the spiritual experience.
Other meditation tools include candles, incense, and crystals.
Candles can provide light and energy for people who like candle gazing during meditations or create that ambient setting. There are even special meditation candles with various scents and colors that are said to promote different effects. For example, lavender is often used for relaxation, while white candles can be used for purification.
Incense can help to create a sacred space in a well ventilated environment. You can also use air diffusers with fragrant essential oils. This all helps with setting the right mood for your meditation session.
Spiritual stones such as crystals can help you focus on bringing in positive energy and manifesting, helping with the healing process and creating a sense of grounding.
Not only do crystals from mother earth promote a beautiful feng shui experience, but they also create an overall nurturing environment filled with lots of color and light.
Comfort can be the key when practicing meditation, which is why many people use furniture like padding, mats, and chairs with back support.
Furniture can help you maintain the correct posture for the breathwork, part of meditation, and protect you from discomfort caused by hard floor surfaces or sitting in the same position for more extended time frames.
You can add some meditation furniture depending on your budget, style, and comfort levels.
For example, some options can be things like
Create a unique space conducive to relaxation, healing, and manifesting, using some or all of these tools above for your meditation session.
Practice, practice, practice!
Now out of these 10 different types of meditation techniques, you’ll surely find one that resonates with you. When you do, then work it into your daily routine.
But remember, you don’t need to stick with a single meditation technique. Feel free to explore other techniques as your meditation practice grows.
You may find that one meditation works very well for a while, and then you may have to try something else. Or maybe a technique you didn’t like initially becomes your favorite meditation practice.
Keep an open mind and heart. Use your inner guidance to find new methods to explore.
Here is the link if you’d like read more about the different types of meditation techniques.
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