Types of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Meditation can also be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention.  Although tied to many different religious teachings, it is more about altering consciousness, finding awareness, and achieving a sense of calm and inner peace.

These days, in quest to reduce stress and to find sanity in the midst of our busy schedules and demanding lives, it has becoming vital to meditate.

 

Why meditation is beneficial? 

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve sleep
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Psychological well-being

Types of meditation practice:

  Meditation Style How does it work? Ideal for
1 Mindfulness

Originates from Buddhist teachings and most popular technique in the West.

  • Pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind.
  • Don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them.  Simply observe and take note of any patterns.
  • Combines concentration with awareness.
  • Focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.
Those who don’t have a teacher to guide them, as it can be easily practiced alone
2 Spiritual

Used in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Daoism, and in Christian faith.

 

  • Similar to prayer as you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe. (can be practised at home/place of worship)
  • Essential oils are commonly used to heighten the experience such as:
    • Frankincense
    • Myrrh
    • Sage
    • Cedar
    • Sandalwood
    • Palo Santo
Those who thrive in silence and seek spiritual growth.
3 Focused
  • Concentration using any of the five senses.
  • For example, focus on something internal, like your breath, or bring in external influences to help focus your attention.
  • Try counting mala beads, listening to a gong, or staring at a candle flame.
  • Simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first.
  • If your mind does wander, it’s important to come back to the practice and refocus.
Anyone who requires additional focus in their life.
4 Movement
  • It can be Yoga, walking through the woods, qigong, and other gentle forms of motion where the movement guides you.
Those who find peace in action & prefer to let their minds wander.

 

5 Mantra

Prominent in many teachings, including Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

  • Uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, such as the popular “Om.” It doesn’t matter if your mantra is spoken loudly or quietly.
  • After chanting the mantra for some time, you’ll be more alert and in tune with your environment to experience deeper levels of awareness.
  • Easier to focus on a word than on their breath.
Those who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.
6 Transcendental

 

  • More customizable than mantra meditation
  • Using a mantra or series of words that are specific to each practitioner.
Those who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.
7 Progressive relaxation
  • Also known as body scan meditation,
  • Aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation.
  • Involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body.
  • In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension.
Anyone who wants to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime.
8 Loving-kindness
  • Used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others.
  • Involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings.
Those who withheld feelings of anger or resentment.
9 Visualization
  • Focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes or images.
  • Important to imagine the scene vividly and use all five senses to add as much detail as possible such as imagining yourself succeeding at specific goals, which is intended to increase focus and motivation.
Anyone who wants to boost their mood, reduce stress levels, and promote inner peace.

 

How do I know which meditation is the right one for me?

  • Choose the one you feel most comfortable with & encouraged to practice to meet your needs
  • The one that complements your style & personality

 

How to get started?

  • First, sit quietly and focus on your breath.
  • Start in small moments of time, even 5 or 10 minutes, and progressively to an hour.
  • Sit consistently for at least 20 minutes every day and do it for 100 days straight if possible.
  • Combine that with an additional 2 to 5 minutes of meditation throughout the day

Meditation is something that cannot be forced as it comes with regular practice where eventually it became sustaining, nurturing and relaxing.  If the style chosen does not fit, just try another!   Regardless what you are looking for, be it spiritual enlightenment or a moment of peace, you will get there. 😀

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