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7 types of meditation: What type is best for you?

Breath awareness meditation

It encourages mindful breathing.

Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting or focusing on their breaths and ignoring all the other thoughts.

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7 types of meditation: What type is best for you?

7 types of meditation: What type is best for you?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320392.php

medicalnewstoday.com

7

Key Ideas

Loving-kindness meditation

Also known as Metta meditation; the goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything.
During meditation, practitioners send and repeat messages of loving-kindness, until they feel an attitude of loving kindness. 

Body scan or progressive relaxation

The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to be released.
Practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole. They might tense and then relax muscles or they might visualize a wave moving over their body to release tension.

Mindfulness meditation

It encourages practitioners to notice their surroundings without judgement, instead of dwelling on the past or future.

Mindfulness can be done almost anywhere, even in a grocery store, for example.

Breath awareness meditation

It encourages mindful breathing.

Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting or focusing on their breaths and ignoring all the other thoughts.

Kundalini yoga

Practitioners usually learn from a teacher or do a class. 

Kundalini yoga blends movements with deep breathing and mantras.

Zen meditation

Sometimes called Zazen, it involves specific steps and postures and is studied with a teacher. 

The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing and mindfully observing one's thoughts without judgement.

Transcendental Meditation

The goal of this spiritual form of meditation transcends above the person's current state of being.

Practitioners focus on a mantra that a teacher determines based on a set of factors, sometimes including the year the practitioner was born and the year the teacher was trained.

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Mindfulness Meditation

It is the process of being fully present with your thoughts, being aware of your surroundings and not reactive to what is going on around you.

Although some prefer to sit in a quiet place...

Transcendental Meditation

The goal of this technique is to achieve inner peace without concentration or effort. 

A person is assigned a mantra to repeat in a specific way. It is practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with eyes closed.

Guided Meditation

It is also called visualization or guided imagery, where you form mental pictures or situations that you find relaxing.

It is commonly led by a guide, and practitioners are encouraged to use as many senses as possible to evoke calmness.

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Mindfulness Meditation

Practitioners of mindful meditation focus their attention on only one thought. The goal is to be firmly affixed to the present moment. This typically means concentrating on the breath - observ...

Changes to the Brain

Buddhists have meditated for literally thousands of years. Buddhists are trying to hack their own minds, to harness them.

Only in recent times have neuroscientists discovered that meditation changes the brain physically.

Health Benefits
  • Meditation improves attention. Studies show that 20 minutes a day are sufficient to get beneficial results.
  • Meditation reduces stress after eight weeks of training.
  • Meditation has also been shown to increase levels of empathy.
Guided vs. unguided meditation
  • In guided meditation, a teacher guides you through the basic steps of the practice. This is useful for beginners to get the most out of the experience.
  • In unguided meditation, you ...
Calming vs. insight meditation

The intention of calming meditation is to cultivate a quieter, more peaceful state of mind and improved concentration.

Insight meditation often sets an intention to transform the mind by developing qualities such as wisdom and compassion. 

Many meditation techniques combine elements of both.

Focused attention

It uses the object of your breath to focus attention and maintain awareness. If your mind starts to wander, return your attention to your breath.

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Meditation
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body.
Concentration meditation

Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. 

In this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. 

Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns.

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Reducing Stress

Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress.

  • In an eight-week study, a meditation style called "mindfulness meditation" reduced the inflammation response caused by stres...
Controlling Anxiety

Less stress leads to less anxiety.

Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Promoting Emotional Health

Some types of meditation can improve depression and help you maintain these benefits.

  • Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
  • One study found that participants experienced a long-term decrease in depression.

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Your approach to meditation

There is not a right or wrong way when seeking a meditation style. Do remember that influences have an impact on you that will affect your approach to meditation.

Types of meditation

There are many different meditation styles to suit your personal approach to meditation. Beginners usually choose to start with guided meditation and then experiment with other different approaches.

Length of meditation time

The length of meditation will impact on how successful it will be.

  • One study reported 5 hours' worth of meditation over a two-week period was enough for smokers to reduce their intake.
  • Another study noted that regular 30 minutes meditation sessions can increase the density of brain matter in areas associated with memory, stress and empathy.

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What mindfulness is
What mindfulness is

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

What meditation is

Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.

Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

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Relaxation as an alternative

There are plenty of ways to achieve relaxation without sitting cross-legged on the floor. They’re all rooted in a technique called “the distraction method.”

The method consists of d...

Activities to calm your brain
  1. Arts and crafts, including but not limited to coloring, pottery and knitting.
  2. All varieties of yoga.
  3. Go for a walk. Notice how your breath feels. Notice your feet walking.
  4. Singing, humming and whistling.
  5. Free-writing before bed.
  6. Cooking is filled with basic tasks that let you focus on all sorts of sights, smells, tastes and textures.
Mindfulness

... is a collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.

Meditation sharpens your attention

Meditation helps to counter our tendency to stop paying attention to new information in our environment. Other studies have found that mindfulness meditation can reduce mind-wandering and improve attention.

Larger randomized controlled trials are still needed to understand how meditation might work with other treatments to help people manage attention-deficit disorders.

Consistent meditation

Long-term, consistent meditation mindfulness changes our ability to handle stress in a better, more sustainable way.

  • Practicing meditation reduces the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors.
  • Mindfulness practices help us to be less reactive to stressors and to recover better from stress when we experience it. 

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Buddhism and its advantages

More and more people are turning today to Buddhism, in order to find back the quietness that everyday life makes them lose. 

Moreover, individuals claim that Buddhism enables them...

The miracle of the Buddhist practices

Whether it is about the 'secular' or the 'buffet' Buddhism, individuals admit embracing these practices as they prove more efficient both from an emotional and a financial point of view.se

The concept of impermanence

One of Buddhism's most popular teaching is the so-called 'impermanence. The term refers to the idea that everything has an end, no matter how difficult might seem to deal with at a certain point in time.