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A Look at the Various Types of Meditation

Meditation has numerous benefits for one’s psychological balance, health, and overall wellness. Getting into mediation is a great starting point if you want a different routine from your usual workout in the day. We’ve listed several forms of mediation, their various goals and benefits, and how you can do them so that you can get started right away.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation involves having a virtual or face-to-face lesson with a teacher. This type of meditation is perfect for beginners looking to get into this type of exercise.

Raring to get into this form of meditation? Look for a teacher who’ll work well with you, or find guided meditations to help you reach your specific goals. Guided meditation for sleep, stress relief, or acceptance is worth considering as well.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the most common type of meditation and gets its roots from Buddhist teachings. It lets you focus on your thoughts and observe any patterns, making it a combination of concentration and awareness. If you want to be alone with your thoughts, this meditation technique is for you.

How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation

  1. Find a quiet place to meditate without getting disturbed.
  2. Focus on your breathing, body sensations, smells, and sounds around you.
  3. Pay attention to your thoughts and clear them out of your mind.

Spiritual Meditation

Spiritual meditation is common in Eastern religions and Christianity. Like prayer, this type of meditation involves contemplating and connecting with your god or the universe. Those who practice spiritual meditation use essential oils to guide or get them into the mood. These include:

  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Sage
  • Sandalwood

You can do this meditation technique at home or in a place of worship. Give spiritual meditation a try if you enjoy the silence and seek spiritual growth.

How to Practice Spiritual Meditation

  1. Go to a quiet place.
  2. Focus on your breathing.
  3. Repeat affirmations of surrender and trust.

Focused Meditation

Focused meditation is a perfect way to increase your concentration since it utilizes any of your five senses to focus. This form of meditation will let you focus on your breathing or other sensations and objects like mala beads or lit candles. Doing focused meditation can be challenging, especially for beginners. You can keep at it until you get the hang of the techniques in reaching full concentration.

Movement Meditation

This meditation technique lets you clear your mind as you move. This method can help you relax and divert your attention from the chaos of daily life. Forms of movement meditation include:

  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Gardening
  • Qigong

Mantra Meditation

Whenever you feel like you’re drowning in your thoughts and feelings, mantra meditation can help your mind release those thoughts. This type of meditation is prevalent in various teachings like Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

In mantra meditation, you focus and clear your mind with repetitive sounds, words, phrases, or chants. The repetition helps you become more aware of everything around you. Meditating in this way is perfect for people who prefer repetition and cannot focus in total silence since it lets them put all their attention on their mantra instead of their breathing.

How to Practice Mantra Meditation

  1. Pick your mantra. You can go with a self-affirmation or a simple chant (think the popular “Om”).
  2. Repeat your chosen mantra for several minutes. If your mind does wander, recite your mantra again until you’re focused on it instead of your breaths.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation involves specific mantras or words that you get from a practitioner. Practicing this meditation technique can help you reach a higher level of existence. This type of meditation is ideal for those who prefer structure and constant meditation practice.

How to Practice Transcendental Meditation

  1. Find a qualified teacher and get your mantra from them. As mentioned above, this mantra is different from every instructor.
  2. Sit and repeat your mantra for 20 minutes. Do this two times a day.

Vipassana or Insight Meditation

In Vipassana or insight meditation, you sit quietly, concentrate on your breathing, and observe physical and mental sensations. This lets you reflect on your existence and the true nature of your reality.

How to Practice Vipassana Meditation

  1. Sit in silence and pay attention to your breathing.
  2. Keep your focus away from any emotions, sensations, thoughts, and sounds.
  3. Take note of each distraction you encounter, then focus on your breathing again.

Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation

Loving-kindness or metta meditation can help you become kinder to yourself and others. It can inspire you to embrace things as they are. As you practice this form of meditation, you’re letting others love you and giving positive energy to those people. Metta meditation can help a lot if you’re feeling enraged or resentful.

How to Practice Metta Meditation

  1. Find a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and turn your attention to your chest.
  3. Breathe in. Picture yourself taking in warmth, compassion, and unconditional love while doing so.
  4. Breathe out, and as you do, think that you’re sending positive feelings to the people you love and hate.

Visualization Meditation

Visualization meditation encourages you to imagine a positive scene or image to feel momentary relaxation and inner peace. It can also help you feel better whenever you’re feeling down or having a slump.

When practicing this meditation technique, think of a picturesque, evocative scene and make it more detailed with your five senses. If you need more focus and motivation, imagine that you’re reaching your goals. Whichever approach you choose, let your imagination run wild.

Candle-Gazing Meditation

In candle gazing or trataka, you concentrate on a point or object with open eyes. You can use lit candles, crystals, or other objects to practice this form of meditation. By candle-gazing, you focus all your energy on achieving total concentration.

How to Practice Candle Gazing

  1. Sit and look at a candle, tree, crystal, or another object.
  2. Keep your eyes open and focused.
  3. You can close your eyes if they start to ache.
  4. Keep a mental image of the object you’re focusing on.
  5. Open your eyes and bring your concentration back to your point object.

Become the Observer Meditation

This meditation technique works like Vipassana meditation. It lets you meditate with an open mind and note your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You “become the observer” since you learn more about your desires and the changes you want to happen within yourself.

How to Practice Become the Observer Meditation

  1. Focus your awareness on the self.
  2. Look at your mind like an outside observer and recognize your thoughts and behaviors. 
  3. Keep an open mind as you reflect on yourself.

Focus on the Present with the Right Type of Meditation

If you’re after a sound and clear mind, meditation can help you reach that goal. It’s all about finding the right practice and sticking to it until you reap the benefits of meditation. You can start meditating with a teacher’s guidance or pick a technique to do by yourself.

Looking to stay healthy? Head to the LifeClinic blog today for more helpful tips.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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