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What is meditation? It is defined as a practice where an individual uses a form of technique by focusing their mind on a particular object to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Since ancient times, meditation has been practiced in cultures all over the world. There are different types of meditation which we are going to write about today in this article.
In this stressful world, people are seeking out for meditation because they think that it will offer them relaxation and heightened awareness in this stressful world.
Spiritual leaders have developed several forms of meditation. There isn't a right or wrong way to meditate. The one thing that matters is which type of meditation will work for you.
Why Is Meditating Good For You?
Research suggests that meditation is more than just a temporary stress relief. It improves physical well-being as well as emotional health.
Meditation may help manage symptoms of conditions and diseases like high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep problems, tension headaches, heart disease, depression, chronic pain, asthma, anxiety and cancer.
How Many Times A Day Should You Meditate?
Once or twice a day is good to have a regular daily practice of meditation.
Types Of Meditation And Which One Is Good For You?
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that allows you to remain aware and present in the moment rather than thinking of the past or about the future. It lets you pay attention to your thoughts in your mind and you don't become involved with them. It is basically a combination of concentration and awareness.
This meditation originated from Buddhist teachings and research has found that mindfulness meditation improves relationship satisfaction, lessens impulsive reactions, improves focus and memory and reduces negative emotions.
Is It For You?
This type of meditation is the most advisable way to get started with meditation. If your focus is on deeper transformation and spiritual development, this meditation may be right for you.
How to do: Sit straight on a cushion or on a chair with an unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath, i.e, breathing in and breathing out.
2. Loving-kindness Meditation
This meditation is also known as the metta meditation which means kindness, benevolence and goodwill. Loving-kindness meditation is carried out by breathing deeply and opening your minds to receiving loving kindness.
The main aim of the meditation is to show love and kindness towards everything, both for others and oneself.
Is It For You?
If you are a person who is always angry, frustrated, or has an interpersonal conflict, this meditation technique will benefit you. It's beneficial both for selfless and self-centred people as it will help increase their happiness.
How to do: Sit down in a meditation posture and close your eyes. Start by imagining that you are showing love and compassion towards yourself and then slowly progress towards others.
3. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is also known as 'Om meditation' which is a Hindu meditation technique. 'Om' is a sacred repetitive sound to clear the mind which is used in this type of meditation. Chanting this mantra lets you focus on your mind making you more alert and in tune with your environment.
Is It For You?
Most people find this mantra meditation easier because it lets you focus on the mantra rather than the breathing. If your mind is racing with many thoughts, this meditation is perfect for you.
How to do: Sit down with your spine erect and eyes closed. Then repeat the mantra in your mind or loudly.
4. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation is a specific form of mantra meditation and it's the most popular and widely practiced form of meditation. Scientific papers have demonstrated the benefits of this meditation which includes lowering of blood pressure, stress and anxiety, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke and improving sleep, brain function and memory, among others.
Is It For You?
This meditation is suited for those people who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.
How to do: Meditation practitioners focus on a mantra or a repetitive word. A teacher determines the mantra based on the year the practitioner was born and the year the teacher was trained. The teacher then allows people to choose their mantra which is chanted and is practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day while sitting with eyes closed.
5. Focused Attention Meditation
This meditation involves concentrating on any of the five senses such as the sensation of breathing or even a sound of walking.
Is It For You?
This type of meditation can be difficult for beginners. But this meditation practice is ideal for anyone who wants additional focus in their life.
How to do: Take a deep breath, expand your belly, keep your shoulders relaxed and hold it in for the count of six. Exhale and repeat twice. Then breathe normally and focus on your breathing.
6. Kundalini Yoga
It is an active form of meditation that is practiced by supporting the mind and guiding the body through the use of breath, mantra, mudra and focus. Kundalini yoga improves physical strength, reduces pain and improves mental health by lowering depression and anxiety.
Is It For you?
If you want to increase the energy levels, reduce pain and improve your overall mental health, then this meditation is for you.
How to do: Sit with your spine erect, your legs crossed, eyes closed and press your hands together in a prayer pose and chant a mantra of your choice.
7. Zen Meditation
It is also sometimes referred to as Zazen, a form of meditation which involves specific steps and postures. Zen meditation is usually practiced in two ways by focusing on your breath or by just sitting.
The main goal is to mindfully observe one's thoughts without judgement and the benefits are immense like increased attention span, self-confidence, better management of fear and anger and a greater ability to feel genuine joy, compassion and gratitude.
Is It For you?
If you prefer to seek both relaxation and a new spiritual path, then this meditation is for you.
How to do: It is usually practiced seated on the floor over a mat with crossed legs in a full lotus position or the half-lotus position. This type of meditation focuses on seated meditation.
Facts On Types Of Meditation:
- Each type of meditation has several subtypes.
- Blending different types of meditation can also be done.
- Meditation can be done in any position; the main aim is to feel comfortable and relaxed.
- Meditation teachers have different ideas about how often a person should meditate.
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