Type of Meditation
Meditation is regarded as a simple process but there are so many type of meditation that trying to find out what type of meditation suits you can lead to a lot of confusion. As a meditation teacher I am often asked what is the best type of meditation and which one would be the easiest one to practise. Before I say more I would like to make it clear that meditation does not have to be involved with a religious or spiritual practise. Meditation is a discipline and like any training you will gain more by doing it often.
Best Meditation Practise
As with any new activity it is best to keep the practise simple and when starting meditation that is good advise. Do whatever works for you and keep doing it. When the times comes to move onto a different type of exercise you will know when you are ready. Indeed you may find you like to vary on a daily basis how you meditate. The main point is to spend a short time, or however long you want, doing some sort of daily meditation practise. Just taking a short time out will help you learn to meditate but it will also improve your health as you start to relax and destress.
- Find a place where you will not be disturbed for at least a few minutes.
- Make yourself comfortable – sitting or lying down.
You have probably been doing this type of meditation without even realising that is what you have been doing.
- Choose some soothing music and preferably with headphones relax as you listen to the music
- Keep you mind focused on the music
- Do not let random external thoughts disturb you as you listen to the music.
Do this for as long as you can stay focused on the music
This is a meditation that was extremely popular in the 1960’s but there are still many people who practise it. Founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation became very popular when the Beatles made a visit the the Maharishi’s Ashram and learnt to meditate. The discipline involves the use of a mantra, a word in Sanskrit that the meditator repeats during a 20-minute meditation session. The Preparation is the same as the above. The mantra that suits you is given during a 2-day course, which are not cheap. Your mantra is not exclusive and is based on the teacher who trains you and your date of birth.
This is a meditation that focuses on your breathing and can be done anywhere but to start it is good to adopt the preparation above. It consists of being aware of the breath and silently counting the breath in and silently counting the breath out. The total focus is the breath and the idea is to keep your mind focused on the breath. As the breath never leaves you – this is a meditation that can be done absolutely anywhere – for as long or as short as you like.
This is probably the most popular form of meditation in this present day. It was founded by Jon Kabat-Zin in 1979 and is now practised throughout the world in hospitals, and Mindfulness Meditation Schools. It involves breath awareness but also body awareness. As you focus on the in-breath and out-breath you also focus your attention on your physical body from the toes upwards. It is a meditation that can be done anywhere.
Of course there are many other forms of meditation but any of the above will give you a good start. Learning to meditate in a group is also very helpful and it is worth searching out a local meditation group. Having to go to a class every week is another way to help you maintain your discipline.