Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years to help people become more aware of the present moment. It can include exercises that help you focus and pay attention, connect with your body and breath, accept challenging emotions, and even change your consciousness.
It’s been demonstrated to provide a variety of medical and psychological advantages, including stress reduction and enhanced immunity rested Source. While meditation is an element of many spiritual traditions’ teachings and practices, the method itself is not affiliated with any religion or faith. Despite its ancient origins, it is still used in civilizations all over the world to promote inner peace, calm, and harmony.
Meditation may be a viable option for reducing stress in the face of hectic schedules and demanding lives. Although there is no right or wrong way to meditate, it is critical to discover a method that is appropriate for you.
There are nine popular types of meditation practice. Different skills and mindsets are required for each of these disciplines. What criteria do you use to determine which practice is best for you?
Mindfulness meditation, which is based on Buddhist teachings, is the most popular and investigated type of meditation in the West. In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t criticise or obsess over your thoughts.
You simply seek for patterns and write them down. This technique combines attention and awareness. You might find it helpful to focus on an item or your breath while noticing any physiological sensations, thoughts, or feelings. Because it can be done without an instructor, this type of meditation is perfect for people who don’t have access to one.
Nearly all religions and spiritual traditions practice spiritual meditation. Spiritual meditation comes in a wide variety of forms, just like the world’s spiritual traditions. Many of the meditation techniques discussed in this article are spiritual in nature.
Spiritual meditation focuses on acquiring a better knowledge of spiritual/religious meaning and connection with a higher power, according to a 2017 study trusted Source. Here are several examples:
Christian contemplative prayer
Sufi dhikr (remembrance of God)
Jewish kabbalistic practices
Spiritual meditation can be done in a religious setting or at home. Those seeking spiritual growth and a stronger connection to a higher power or spiritual force would benefit from this exercise.
Focused meditation requires concentration on any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, such as your breathing, or you can bring in external factors to help you focus.
Following are a few examples: Counting mala beads Counting breaths while listening to a gong, gazing at a candle flame, gazing at the moon Although this approach appears simple in theory, it may be difficult for beginners to maintain their focus for more than a few minutes at first.
When your mind wanders, simply return to practise and attention. As the name says, this approach is ideal for anyone who wants to increase their focus and attention.
Mantra meditation is emphasised in many religions, including Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to calm the mind. It might be a single word, a phrase, or a sound, with “om” being the most common. You have the option of saying your mantra aloud or silently.
After saying the mantra for a bit, you’ll be more conscious and in tune with your environment. You will be able to achieve greater states of consciousness as a result of this. Mantra meditation is preferred by some people because it is easier to focus on a single word rather than their breath.
Others enjoy feeling the vibrations of sound in their bodies. This is also a good strategy for people who enjoy repetition but dislike silence.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a type of meditation that has been studied extensively by scientists. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi established TM, which refers to a specific practice for quieting the mind and inducing a state of calm and harmony.
It is best taught by a licensed TM practitioner and involves the use of a mantra. This practice is for individuals who desire a simple way to get a taste of the depth that meditation has to offer.
Progressive relaxation, often known as body scan meditation, is a technique for lowering physical tension and promoting relaxation. This type of meditation frequently involves gradually tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body. In rare circumstances, it may also be helpful to imagine a calm wave moving through your body to help you relax. This type of meditation is frequently used to relieve tension and relax before going to bed.
Loving-kindness meditation strengthens compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. Allowing one’s thoughts to be open to receiving love from others and then extending good wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living things are examples. This type of meditation may be good for persons who are angry or resentful since it focuses on compassion and love.
Visualization meditation is a technique for increasing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by envisioning pleasant scenes, images, or figures. This method is imagining a scene in depth and using all five senses to fill in as much information as possible.
It could also mean imagining and attempting to reflect the attributes of a beloved or admired character. Another sort of vision meditation is imagining yourself accomplishing certain goals to boost attention and motivation. Many people use visualisation meditation to lift their spirits, relieve stress, and discover inner peace.
What should you do first?
The simplest approach to get started is to sit quietly and concentrate on your breathing. “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day – unless you’re too busy. After that, sit for an hour.” All jokes aside, its better, to begin with, small increments of time, such as 5 or 10 minutes, then work your way up.
Pedram Shojai, the author of “The Urban Monk” and creator of Well.org, advises “sitting consistently for 20 minutes a day for 100 days straight.” “Add in another 2 to 5 minutes of meditation throughout the day to break up the chaos, and you’ll soon notice the difference.”
What are the advantages of meditation?
There’s a lot of evidence to back up meditation’s multiple advantages. Meditation can provide a variety of physical, mental, and emotional advantages, including:
• Blood pressure should be reduced
• Better sleep, less stress, and enhanced emotional regulation
• Increased concentration improved mood and less hostility
• Improved adaptability
• A healthier ageing process
• A stronger sense of empathy and social connection with others