When it comes to meditation, how do you know which type will work the best for you? Even Western doctors these days are recommending meditation to their patients, as it will help to increase general health: nutrition for the soul, as it were. Six different types of meditation will be outlined in this article with suggestions on how to employ these practices in your daily life.
Mindfulness Meditation, or Vipassana, has roots in Buddhist traditions. This may be the most popular and well-known form of meditation in the western world, and it is based on a detachment from thoughts and an awareness of breath. You should not try to limit your thoughts (rather simply practice detaching from each one as they arise) nor control your breath (instead just notice your breathing pattern).
Zazen (or perhaps better known simply as Zen) meditation is another form of traditional Buddhist meditation, and is commonly known as “just sitting.” Minimal in form, Zen meditation is practiced for long periods of time while seated with correct posture and otherwise contains little guidance. Developed for a monastic setting, the lengthy involvement of Zen meditation can seem difficult to study.
Similar to Zen meditation there is Transcendental Meditation, however this is rooted in the Hindu tradition. Also practiced by sitting in either the Lotus or half-Lotus posture, a specifically chosen mantra or sacred word is mentally repeated over and over again. The particular focus is to rise above all that is impermanent in hopes of eventually achieving an out-of-body experience. Focus on breath is also important.
Kundalini is another form of Hindu meditation, and the purpose of this type of meditation is to become aware of the rising stream of energy that exists in the human being, typically through the energy centers (or chakras) in the body. Awareness of breath is also a focus here, as each breath is used to move the energy upward in the body towards the crown chakra at the top of the head.
Heart-rhythm meditation focuses on the heartbeat and the breath, and the objective is to achieve a deep, rich, balanced and full rhythm of both. You will try to identify yourself with your heart and achieve making that the center of your energetic system. This will also help to increase your compassion, sensitivity, and power.
One other type of meditation that is popular in the Western world is guided visualization. During this, which is often accompanied by guided meditation recordings, concentrations and focus are placed upon specific imagery or an imagined peaceful environments. This type of meditation has no roots in established spiritual traditions.
Over time, you will eventually discover which of these types of meditation works the best for you, and just remember that consistent practice is the only way to achieve true results.