9 Most Common Types of Meditation
Meditation can be generally and simply understood as a practice of deliberate focus and present awareness. Various techniques can be used within meditation to bring you into intentional and present states of awareness. Meditation offers a wide variety of incredible benefits that are both energetic and physiological. It is a holistic practice which can truly allow you to experience a harmony of mind, body and spirit. There are different variations of meditation techniques which can be specifically chosen and curated according to your needs and wants. Different types of meditation are used intentionally to reap general and tailored benefits of this powerful practice. Whether you are experienced or new to meditation it is well worth your time to explore the many different variations of meditation, you may find that you deeply resonate with a specific type. As we are all so unique, your body and mind may benefit even more than you expect from different formats and learning styles. Different occasions or situations may call for specific types of meditation to be practiced. There are so many types of meditation techniques to choose from; in this article, we shall deeply explore 9 varieties.
Mindfulness meditation is focused on thoughts; slowing down or letting go of thought-forms which can have a calming effect on the mind and body, allowing the presence of spirit to be more fully experienced. A focus on deep breathing is usually used as the technique during mindfulness meditation; dedicating focus to the steady rhythm of breath allows for the mind to slow down and serves as an anchor point to bring your focus back when it begins to drift. This type of meditation can also include the practice of learning to simply watch your thoughts without reacting to them. Mindfulness meditation is a great tool for relieving stress and anxiety. This is a grounding and relaxing form of meditation.
Kundalini meditation or meditation focused on the chakra system has its origins in ancient Hindu scriptures. The human body is an energy system defined by 7 main energy centers known as the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra and crown chakra. This chakra energy system governs specific energetic and physical manifestations which can be in a state of balance or imbalance. Chakra meditation can be focused on a specific chakra which needs balancing or the entire system. This can be achieved through intentionally using techniques such as visualization, breathing, affirmations and mantras which correspond with each chakra. Kundalini meditation is a more advanced form of chakra meditation which completely aligns and re-energized the chakra system by harnessing and moving powerful energy from the root chakra up through all the chakras to connect to source energy through the crown chakra and above. Kundalini meditation usually includes intense specific breathwork techniques and visualizations.
This simple type of meditation usually prefers to not involve the need for any particular beliefs, philosophy or spirituality. It is about allowing the mind to naturally settle down and observe where thoughts originate from and transcend into a state of being that is calm and clear, pure silent awareness. Transcendental meditation is usually practiced under the guidance of a teacher but you can definitely learn the technique on your own. The technique used to achieve transcendence during this type of meditation is through natural breathing and a focus on a chosen mantra that is usually meaningless, (this is the difference between mantra meditation and transcendental meditation). The chosen sound /word that has no meaning is repeated during the meditation in order to still the thinking mind. Transcendental meditation is usually practiced for 10-20 minutes a day. The intention of transcendental meditation is essentially deep relaxation, it allows for a rebooting and resetting of the nervous system by giving it a break from trying to make sense of incessant thinking.
Mantra meditation is a type of meditation which includes the use of repetition of a particular sound. The sound can be in the form of a particular word or affirmation also known as a mantra. The repetition of the intentionally chosen mantra holds a specific frequency or vibration and when this is repeated during the receptive and relaxed state of meditation, the body, mind and spirit are tuned to this frequency. Commonly, various Sanskrit mantras are utilized during meditation; these mantras have specific meanings and have also accumulated energy over time through a widespread collective awareness of them. It is also a great option to find a mantra in your language or create an affirmation of your own that you can use as a mantra. The repetition of a chosen mantra during meditation can assist you to fine-tune your focus and tap into the energy you wish to embody.
Guided meditation is a great type of meditation for you if you are new to meditation. It is also a perfect way to introduce a new type or technique into your practice. Most of the types of meditation mentioned in this article can be experienced via a guided meditation whereby a guide speaks to you through instructions throughout the meditation. Guided meditation can also be regarded as a type of meditation, often involving using techniques such as descriptive visualization, repetition of mantras or affirmations, and sound healing frequencies.
This type of meditation is also known as maitrī (benevolent) or loving-kindness meditation. It is meditation with the specific intention of sending loving wishes out into the world. It can be likened to praying during meditation. It is based on the power of intentions and energy. During the aligned meditative state, the meditator can beam out loving energy to benefit all places and situations that need it. This can also be directed to a specific person, situation, or to self. The meditator can simply feel the loving emotions or repeat a prayer, mantra, or affirmation that resonates at the frequency of loving-kindness. Metta meditation is especially powerful when practiced in a group with the same intention and is a great form of energy work that assists with the healing of our planet and its people.
Vipassana is a mediation discipline that focuses on the connection between the body and mind. The word ‘vipassana’ can translate to mean’ insight’; it offers a deeper way of seeing and experiencing life. Vipassana meditation requires a silent outer environment and the silence of the meditator. It is based on the technique of focusing your attention on physical sensations and is aimed at deep self-exploration. Among other sensations, an example of a sensation that can be focused upon during vipassana meditation is a disciplined focus on the breath. The aim is to gain a deeper level of awareness, inner insight, and mindfulness. Vipassana meditation is often practiced at silent meditation retreats or for longer periods solely dedicated to this meditation
Sound Healing Meditation
Sound in the form of music expressed in various forms holds specific intentional frequencies that are an incredibly powerful way to get into the state of meditation. We tune to the sounds to receive various healing and energy alignment benefits. Sound can be utilized during your meditation as a dedicated point of focus or they can be played during meditation to help orchestrate a deeper experience. This technique can also be incorporated into your meditation through exploring your voice (mantra, humming, and singing), by playing an intentionally composed piece of meditation music or playing an instrument such as a Tibetan singing bowl or any other instruments that produce a harmonious frequency. Meditation music often includes specialized frequencies that resonate with particular energies and emotions. Since we are in a highly receptive state during meditation these musical frequencies can effortlessly tune the subconscious to a beneficial vibration.
We hope you fully enjoy exploring these powerful meditation techniques and find those that are of synchronistic benefits to your needs. You will only truly know how valuable and effective these are if you experience it for yourself. Open mindedly experiment with the different options and find what truly resonates with you at this time. It is best to commit to a practice of meditation as this is when you really can dive in deep and experiences the full benefit as you consistently and presently dedicate time to your practice.
__ Written by Music Of Wisdom team
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