Even for a seasoned meditator, there can be so many different options that making a decision can be complicated. Here we run down some of the more common types of meditations that you might come across while trying to narrow down your preferred meditation style. Meditation shouldn’t be complicated and it should be easy to find what works best for you.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Focusing in on the present moment is the biggest part of mindfulness meditation. When we take time to become aware of all that is happening around us, whether in a meditation practice or not, we begin to view our world differently. Mindfulness teaches us to live more fully in the present moment. When we are not worrying about the past or the future we are able to embrace the things directly around us.
The key component to mindfulness meditation is to exist in a space where the only thing to focus on is your breath. By relaxing into a practice where outside influences are let go of, we can begin to structure time outside of practice where the present moment is welcomed with non-judgment.
2. Visualization Meditation
As humans, we have the ability to set and make goals. Our minds are the most powerful catalysts for change. When we take time to set and make plans, it's truly amazing how we can then make it happen. Visualization meditation is all about our imagination and where it can take us.
By setting out time in our day to visualize our plans and goals we increase the chance of making it happen. When meditating with the goal of creating change, we focus on an area of our lives that we want to inspire change in. Pick an objective and visualize how you will get there and how your life will change in the process. Visualization meditation is all about using our mind to make the changes necessary to achieve our aspirations.
3. Movement Meditation
Movement meditation is very similar to mindfulness meditation in that its biggest component is to become aware of the present moment. This type of meditation can be practiced with many different kinds of movement, from walking, to yoga, to Tai Chi. By connecting with the body and mind we can create a sense of calmness.
In any type of moving meditation, a focus is put on the connection of the mind with the body. When taking a walk, for example, an emphasis is put on the ground under your feet, any smells there might be, and most importantly the present moment.
4. Loving Kindness Meditation
The act of showing compassion for oneself and others is the biggest part of practicing loving-kindness meditation. This kind if meditation could be considered the closest to that of religious prayer. By repeating a series of mantras we can send well wishes to the people around us.
Sometimes showing compassion for others can be hard, this form of meditation helps us to practice showing love and care. Now it may seem like loving-kindness meditation is only for showing love to others but it can be extremely helpful in bringing care for ourselves as well. We can use this meditation practice to send love to anyone who we believe may need it, this sometimes being ourselves. Practicing love and kindness can make us more caring being for all those around us.
5. Transcendental Meditation
The everyday world can be full of anxiety and inconveniences; transcendental meditation is designed to lift you away from these. Transcendental meditation is about reaching a state of deep relaxation, typically deeper than deep sleep.
In transcendental meditation, a short mantra(typically just a vibrational sound that has no specific meaning) is repeated over and over for an allotted amount of time. A sense of calm is created when the mind and body begin to relax. Worries and thoughts are released and forgotten about. Transcendental meditation is useful in that we are lifted away from our anxieties.
6. Mantra Meditation
By repeating a mantra or a series of phrases we can work to calm the mind and elicit positive responses. We can sit in silence and say to ourselves sentences like, “I am happy” or “I am loved” to create a response. Our brains can hear our mantra and create that outcome. When we say that we are happy our brain makes it come true.
A mantra can be created for almost anything we wish to feel. This mantra can be repeated not only during meditation but also outside of it. By making it a habit for our brains to hear our mantra and believe it we can “trick” ourselves into feeling any certain way.
7. Guided Meditation
A guided meditation could be any of the previous meditation methods just with a track or someone giving you instructions throughout your practice. Having a guide while meditating can be very helpful for not only beginners as it helps to keep your focus and attention. Guided meditations can be found on apps like Calm or can be found by a simple search on Youtube. There are guides for all different types of meditations.
Regardless of the type of meditation you choose to practice, there are some very beneficial things you can gain from each one. Meditation has been shown to improve focus, reduce stress, and increase happiness, along with many more benefits. Grab your cushion, your mind, and some time and start meditating today!
Which type of meditation do you want to try? Have you already tried any on this list? Tell us below!