7 types of meditations: which one is best for you? - The Comprehensive Minds

7 types of meditations: which one is best for you?

7 Types of Meditations: Which One is Best For You?

It is no doubt a cliché that meditation has dozens of benefits. Just go to Google or browse some books on the subject to understand how many and what positive effects meditation has on your mind.

What you may not know, however, is that there is not a single meditation practice: in this article, we are going to show you some of the most important meditation techniques and also illustrate their respective benefits.

So make yourself comfortable and read on: In the end, you will actually find out which meditation technique is best for you and, most importantly, which one can help you to grow professionally.

1. Buddhist meditation

Buddhist meditation or Zen meditation owes its name to the Japanese term "zazen", which means "sitting Zen" or "sitting meditation". It has its roots in the Chinese tradition of Zen Buddhism (Ch'an), which goes back to the Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century AD).

It became popular in the West thanks to Dogen Zenji (1200 - 1253), the founder of the Soto Zen movement in Japan.

It is practiced when you sit cross-legged on the floor with a mat or pillow. If you feel uncomfortable, you can use a chair.

Traditionally, the position of the lotus ("Padmasana") was to be taken with the legs intertwined so that the left foot rests on the right thigh and the right foot on the left thigh at the level of the pubic bone.

Keep your knees on the floor while your hands rest on their respective knees. The back is straight and the shoulders relaxed. Your eyes are closed or half-closed and your gaze are on the floor a few inches in front of you.

The mental aspect is usually practiced in two ways: by focusing completely on the breath going in and out of the nose, mentally counting from 10 to 1, and vice versa when inhaling. Or use the "Shikantaza" method to concentrate solely on what is going through your mind and around you.

Buddhist meditation is a sober and formal type of meditation that is easy to practice even in a group as there are many Zen communities.

This type of meditation places a lot of emphasis on maintaining the correct posture to help concentrate. It can help you stay calm and controlled in intense and difficult situations, and respect the rules and places of others when you practice in a group.

2. Vipassana meditation

"Vipassana" means "knowledge" or "clear seeing" and is used to indicate a Buddhist meditation practice that dates back to the 6th century BC. It is based on awareness and breath control.

There is some conflicting information about how to practice "Vipassana meditation". However, most teachers recommend starting with breath awareness and then moving on to the next levels of meditation.

The ultimate goal is to develop a clear vision of one's own physical sensations and mental phenomena through focused attention and to observe them from moment to moment.

The ideal position is to sit on a pillow with your legs crossed and your back straight. or you can use a chair or stool without a backrest.

The first aspect to focus on is concentration through sensing and controlling the breath, which is entering and exiting the stomach. Alternatively, you can focus on feeling the air flowing through your nostrils and lips.

The more you concentrate on the breath, the more other perceptions and sensations become visible: Breathing always remains "the primary object", everything else constitutes "the secondary object" or "the background noise". When a secondary object catches your attention and the primary object takes place, all you have to do is grapple with it for a second or two and label it with a "mental note."

For example, if you smell the scent of a rose while meditating, all you need to do is record it as a "smell" and then come back to focus on the primary object.

This practice, especially after you have managed to achieve "excessive concentration", can help you reduce your attachment to overly material and earthly thoughts and feelings, and can be used to avoid doubts, worries, and negatives thoughts of being attacked when you need to stay focused.

Compared to the previous one, the Vipassana meditation is less formal and does not involve any specific rites, so that it can be practiced freely by anyone.

3. Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness, a term that is the western translation of the Japanese term "Anapanasati" and means "awareness of breath", is an adaptation of traditional Buddhist Vipassana meditation practices that have been influenced by other practices such as Vietnamese Zen Buddhism. One of the main promoters of this technique was John Kabat-Zinn, who in 1979 developed a real program that was used in various clinics and hospitals.

This meditation technique is based on intentionally focusing on the present moment rather than paying attention to the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that arise.

Meditation Techniques 

The position is also sitting on the floor or in a chair with the back straight and not supported. First, you need to focus on your breath and then focus your attention on what is happening in the space outside of you and in your mind.

The effort is not to get distracted by what is happening inside and outside of you and staying aware of what is happening.

This technique is also very useful in your profession to prevent your mind from being distracted by external and/or internal factors: in fact, there is a huge difference between being in your thoughts or emotions, or simply being aware of them.

Mindfulness is certainly one of the most popular forms of mediation because of its many physical and mental benefits.

4. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental or TM meditation is a special form of mantra meditation that was introduced to India and the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955. Unlike other meditation techniques, TM cannot be learned independently but must be taught by a licensed instructor.

It is based on the repetition of a certain sound (mantra) for a few minutes, twice a day, which enables the mind to reach a state of "consciousness without an object" called "transcendence".

It is good to know that the mantra is not unique but is given according to the practitioner's gender and age.

In general, transcendental meditation is useful for relieving stressful situations and promoting the general well-being of body and mind.

5. Yoga meditations

It is not possible to speak of yoga meditation in the singular as there is not a single type of meditation that can be traced back to the tradition of yoga, a term which in itself simply means "union". Generally speaking, this discipline is divided into rules of conduct (Yama and NIYAMA), postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), and true contemplative meditation practices.

The most common of these is "third eye meditation", but there are others that focus on one of the 7 chakras, repeat a mantra, and focus on the point of the body where the energy center is.

To better understand the modalities, try searching for the term “youtube meditation” on google and watch some videos on yoga practices, which can also be very different from each other. For example, Nada Yoga involves the use of sound and music for meditation.

Other contemplation techniques such as Tantra or Kundalini, the aim of which is to awaken "the Kundalini energy" slumbering at the base of the spine, are so complex that they can only be practiced under the guidance of a qualified yogi.

In general, any of these techniques can lead you to achieve greater levels of wellbeing and inner stability. In particular, those that aim to unlock the chakras are useful when it comes to increasing your potential in the work and professional field as well.

 6. Christian meditation

In Eastern traditions, meditation is usually practiced with the aim of transcending the mind and attaining enlightenment.

In the Christian tradition, however, the goal of contemplative practices is to achieve moral purification and a deeper understanding of the Bible. In a mystical way, the person seeks a closer relationship with God.

Examples of Christian meditation are contemplative prayer, which involves the silent repetition of sacred words or phrases with focus and devotion, and contemplative reading, which consists of not thinking deeply about the teachings of the Bible.

However, there is also a silent meditation, usually preceded by prayer or reading, in which believers focus on the presence of God with all their minds, hearts, and souls.

7. Guided meditation

A final type of meditation is guided meditation, after all a modern phenomenon. In the past, people were more inclined to meditate, both because of a deeper motivation and the fact that their lives were simpler and without distractions.

However, today our lives are full, distractions are everywhere, and meditation is often required to develop better health, improve performance, and/or improve yourself. For these reasons, guided meditation can be a great way to learn the practice that you can repeat for yourself later.

Guided meditation is ultimately like cooking from a recipe book: it's the best way to cook a dish that you don't know, but once you understand the principles and flavors, you need to close the book and do it yourself. The dish may have a different taste, but it will be bespoke for you!

This exercise usually takes place with background audio or video, with a guiding voice showing you the way to the meditative state. The aim is to develop and deepen the practice itself with all the resulting advantages.

In some cases, audio and video are also based on the visualization of images that contain objects, entities, and landscapes, the purpose of which is to relax and/or calm down. Some yoga techniques involve adding music to meditation, usually instrumental only or composed of natural sounds. In this case, the goal is relaxation and rest.

Finally, some audio for meditation also involves the use of affirmations, usually associated with visualizing images, the purpose of which is to impress a message in your head.

If you are a beginner with meditation or looking for a specific goal,  For example, to improve self-esteem or just let go of a little tension, you can safely resort to a guided meditation.

photos credit: Google Images & Unsplash

1 comment:

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