Types of Meditation
There are different types of meditation help keep your body and mind healthy. Meditative practices have existed for centuries and since the last couple of decades, the use of meditation has increased due to the rise of interest about the teaching of the eastern cultures and the stress and anxiety of modern life.
Beside a practice for spiritual growth or a way to enlightenment, people also use meditation with specific purposes such as:
- meditation for anxiety
- meditation for pain relief
The different types of meditation techniques that have evolved from Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism can be classified under five categories:
- Reflective Meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Heart-Centered Meditation
- Creative Meditation
Concentration is at the heart of all the types of meditation, but in some techniques, focus is predominantly on building concentration. Why is concentration so important?
This is because in order to gain the fruits of meditation, you need to train the mind to concentrate and focus on an object or nothingness, that is to cut all distractions. This allows your mind to be calm and awaken beyond thought elaboration and even beyond your sense of self. Once you hold this view of awareness, you can use it for your wellness and for the greater good. It is more correct to say that it affects positively all the beings, yourself included.
There are several types of meditation techniques in concentration meditation category that can help you overcome distractions within and outside your mind and sustain mental focus. The different types of techniques that will help you gain concentration include:
- Zen meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
- Om meditation
- Shine Meditation or Samadhi
- Chakra Meditation
Reflective meditation is also known as analytical meditation and refers to disciplined thinking. In order to successfully practice reflective meditation, you will need to choose a question, theme, or topic and focus your analysis or reflection upon it. Initially, your thoughts may wander to other topics but then you need to train your mind to come back to the topic in question. In order to do this, you need to learn concentration meditation first.
As you practice this every day, your mind will be more in control and not wander off. It is one of the most important types of meditation and is considered to have a calming effect on the mind. It stimulates transformative power and provides you with great conviction and strength to change the course of your life.
There are different types of questions or reflective ideas that you can focus on, such as:
- Who am I?
- What is the true purpose of my life?
- What is my role in this universe?
- How can I help remove the sufferings of others?
Mindfulness meditation is one the most powerful and alternative meditation techniques, which lays emphasis on cultivating a highly receptive mindful attention toward any action or objects within your sphere of influence.
Mindfulness meditation is one of the important meditation types that helps you learn a simple thing: to pay attention or be “mindful”. This type of meditation is known to provide pain relief and help for those suffering from anxiety and depression. There are different types of techniques in this category that you can practice, like:
- Vipassana meditation
- Deep breathing meditation
- Body scan meditation
- Visualization meditation
- Mindful breathing
- Mindful eating
- Sitting Meditation
- Walking Meditation
Heart-centered meditation will help you release all your fears and sadness and bathe in the radiance of loving kindness and compassion. It is also known as the heart chakra meditation. Practicing this meditation over a period of time will help you to heal your heart and that of others.
This meditation technique helps in opening the heart chakra and removes any negative energy that exists. In order to practice this meditation technique, choose a quiet place, set the right posture and focus on the heart area while inhaling and exhaling slowly but smoothly. You can also connect your heart to the heart of a teacher or a person you feel that is compassionate. This is considered as one of the important types of meditation techniques.
Creative Meditation or Visualization
A different type of meditation technique, this form of meditation will enable you to consciously cultivate as well as strengthen different qualities of your mind. It focuses on strengthening qualities, such as appreciation, joy, compassion, patience, empathy, love, gratitude, compassion, humility, fearlessness, and tenderness, among others.