Types of Meditation

There are two Basic types of meditation:
 
Active Meditation
 
Active MeditationThis is the type of meditation which we do regularly when we walk, eat, and work. This day-to-day effect of meditation has huge contribution in regulating our regular activities more efficiently.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Passive Meditation
 
Passive MeditationFor this kind of meditation, we need proper place to sit and proper postures to practice. For this, we need to withdraw ourselves from the worldly connection and stay focused only on meditation.
 
  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Basic Elements of Meditation

We can divide meditation techniques depending upon the four basic elements needed for traditional meditation. Four elements are:

  • A quiet place to meditate: Place is very important. For meditation, you should have quiet place. It helps you in meditating in a better way. Find a place which has least disturbances.
  • A comfortable or poised posture: Then should have a comfortable posture. Generally, sitting postures are better than lying postures as lying meditation will take you to sleep. If you are not comfortable it is not possible to stay focused. Different postures are dependent on which technique of meditation you are going to follow.

There are different postures in which meditation is done and these postures have their own benefits, like:

  •                   A comfortable sitting position makes it easy to meditate
  •                   Lessens the stiffness and tensions in different joints
  •                   Relaxes the entire nervous system

 

  • An object for attention-awareness to dwell upon: There should be an object on which a person can put his concentration. In Hindu meditation, people take help of mantras. In Buddhism, concentration is done on self-breathing.
  • A passive attitude: Will power is really important. Your passive attitude will distract you from concentrating in an effective way. You should remember that meditation is done for relaxation.

 


Forms of Meditation

There are different forms of meditation based on different religion, such as

  • Bodhidharma
  • Hinduism
  • Bah faith
  • Christian Meditation
  • Buddhism
  • Islam Meditation
  • Judaism
  • Jainism
  • Taoism
  • Sikhism
As these meditation therapies are coming from different religions, their ways of meditation are not the same and there is no ranking of higher or lower in the types of meditation. Sometimes different body postures play very important role in meditation.  
 
 

Classification of meditation

All the techniques that are related to meditation can be divided into two basic approaches

Concentrative Meditation

Concentrative MeditationThis type of approach mainly concentrates on the breath, some kind of sound or mantra, or an image, so that the mind can become still and it will allow greater awareness and clarity to emerge. It is said that there is direct relation between one’s breathe and state of mind. If person is disturbed with any kind of emotional stress then his breathe will be uneven. But on the other side if the person is relaxed then his breathe will be calm and slow. As person focuses towards his or her breathe and mind gets fully involved in exhaling and inhaling, your breath will become deeper and slower. As a result, your mind will become more aware and tranquil.
 
 
 

Mindfulness Meditation
 
Mindfulness MeditationIn this type of meditation, the person sits calmly and witnesses himself to whatever is going through in his mind and he does not think about it. He does not get involved in sounds, images, or thoughts. This is helpful in gaining more clear, calm and non-reactive state of mind.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Different activities of Meditation

Activities that are involved during medication are:

  • Prayer
  • Sitting comfortably or lying back and listening to the music
  • Focusing attention towards something while sitting still.
  • Fireside contemplation.

 

 

Meditation Techniques

There are many types of meditation techniques. Some are so simple that you can learn very easily while other needs some more practice. For getting started, you can choose the easy way of meditation. But it should be started under qualified practitioner only. It is advised so because it can have psychological impact.

According to Christian religion, meditation means thinking deeply on some topic. This type of meditation is known as ‘contemplation’. And in eastern sense, it is just opposite of that. It means no thinking at all. The result comes out is making your mind and soul quiet that means relaxation only.

Different Meditation Techniques are:

Mantra Meditation
 
Mantra MeditationIn this kind of Meditation, people meditate with the help of certain mantras. Literal meaning of Mantra is ‘revealed sound’. Mantra is nothing but the combination of many vibrating sounds, which affect psychic and mental consciousness. Meaning of any Mantra does not give any result, but its resonating sound gives an effect. You should enjoy the rhythm and words of mantra while chanting it everyday. After chanting for few days you can easily remember it with its rhythm. Mantra chanting with the Japamala in hand can give good control over the mind. It helps to control mind from any kind of worldly deviation. This kind of meditation is often known as Japa Meditation
 
You should not confuse Mantra with Religion. Because Mantra is chanted in Hindus, it does not mean Mantra meditation can not be used in other religion. You should not translate the words of Mantra for the convenience of other religion. Mantra’s vibrating sound would get distorted if translated in other language. As this meditation technique creates vibration through the chanting of mantra, thus, it can also be called as Vibrational Meditation.
 
Caution
Over chanting of Mantra is strictly prohibited for people suffering from any mental disorder and sensitive state of mind.
 
Benefits
  • Vibrating sound of Mantra chanting promotes our body cell growth.
  • It also affects our intellect and mental ability.
 

Yogic Gaze (Tatraka)
 
Meaning of Trataka is continuous gazing.

Method
 
Yogic Gaze It is done keeping one candle or any other object at an arm’s distance. Meditating person has to gaze at the wick tip of the flame of the candle at first with the open eyes. After sometime, one has to close his/her eyes while he/she can gaze the same flame at his/her third eye position with closed eyes.
 
Caution
It should not be practiced more than two months at a stretch as it can damage our retina

Benefits

  • It develops concentration. It develops focus on any particular thing and helps to avoid any kind of deviation.
  • It improves visualization abilities and poor eyesight. It means that it improves both inner and outer eye sight.
  • It improves our intuition power and helps to understand our inner-self.
 
 

Vipassana Meditation
 
Vipassana MeditationMeaning of Vipassana is insight. Here in this technique, people see the exact inner cause of his/her suffering.
 
Method
This technique takes 10 days dedication. During this period, practitioner stays away from reading, writing and talking. Only talking is allowed when to discuss problems during meditation. Practitioner should take out 15 minutes for sitting quietly. Practitioner can sit on chair or on the floor with his/her back straight. He/she has to jot down mentally about every moment of experience of the meditation. Then slowly after 15 minutes, practitioner has to open eyes and has to stand very slowly. Practitioner should not bother if insight is experienced in his/her first session.

Benefits

  • It is helpful to develop wisdom in a person.
  • Moreover, it deals with the health issues like cold, pain and itching.
 

Zazen Meditation
 
This technique was done by Budhha.

Method
 
Zazen MeditationYou need to sit in lotus position with your back straight. You need to allow the movement of the diaphragm freely. Your chin should be tucked in. You should spread your body weight equally on your two legs.
 
 
Benefit
It makes people disciplined in life and makes them realized about the value of time.

 
 
 
 
 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)
 
This is one of the easiest ways to meditate. TM is one of the most popular forms of meditation.

Method
Transcendental Meditation In this technique, you need to sit quietly and chant a Mantra given by your Guru or teacher with full concentration. You are not allowed to share this Mantra with anyone without the permission of your teacher. You can do this meditation for 20 minutes.
  
Benefit
As the aim of this meditation is to inculcate the belief of ‘oneness’ to the mind of the practitioner. Thus, this technique is helpful for concentration. It also removes health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease. It helps to develop intelligence, creativity and sharp focus in a human being. TM also helps to increase self-actualization, remove anxiety and problems related to drug abuse.
 
 
 
 

Chakra Meditation
 
This technique is nothing but the awakening of different chakras of our body.

Method
 
Chakra MeditationYou can do it sitting or lying. You need to close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. After relaxing for some time, you need to do Ujjayini Pranayam. Then you need to start sensing the Chakras through the spinal passage. You need to sense the chakra awakening from bottom to top. You need to sense chakra in ascending order with inhalation and in descending order with exhalation. You need to locate the position of chakra mentally and sense from Mooldhara to Ajna or in reverse order for some time. After practicing it for few minutes, you need to chant ‘Om’ for three times and then you need to wind up your meditation process.
 
Caution
You should practice Chakra Awakening under proper guidance. As without the proper supervision, it may lead to personality problem. Also you need to have enough physical activity to balance excessive mental energy developed from Chakra Meditation.
 
 
 
 

Walking Meditation
 
Walking MeditationThis is nothing but the meditation technique when we walk normally. For this kind of meditation technique, we totally need to concentrate on our feet. While walking, our each foot touches the ground. Thus, we need to stay focused on our each step and whenever our mind wanders away, we need to refocus immediately. It is done because whenever we walk our mind wanders away with other thought. By focusing on the walking, we can get the benefit of walking properly.
 
 

 

 
 
 

Movement Meditation
 
Movement MeditationIn this form of Meditation, practitioner combines breathing technique with the body movement.
 
 
Method
Relax your mind with the deep breathing. Keep your body in squatting position. You need to bend your knees and keep your hips and pelvis loose. Concentrate on your feet as they are touching the soil. Then visualize the core of the earth and honor it. Try to pull energy from it. Then start moving your body like a snake. Follow the rhythm of your beautifully undulated body and feel the charm of it. To focus your attention, use soothing sound or music. Sense the tight parts of your body and loosen them up.
 
 
 

Journey Meditation
 
Journey MeditationThis meditation technique combines your imagery and visualization skill to reach meditative state.
 
Method
Sit straight on a floor or on a comfortable chair. Take deep breathe slowly for five counts inhale and five counts exhale. Then start imagining and visualizing place which you feel is tranquil and serene for you. You can imagine calm sea beaches or aloof hilly area. Feel yourself safe but in peace here and stay meditated for 5 to 15 minutes. You can practice it in the morning. But if you want little relaxation from stressful work then it can work as wonder for afternoon slump.

 
 
 

Body Scan Meditation

Body Scan MeditationThis meditation is meant for them who want to pursue formal form of meditation without going for meditation session or Tai Chi class.
 
 
Method
Relax your body after lying straight on an even surface. Keep your legs straight and uncrossed, arms open on your both side and palms up, eyes open or closed. In this way, start deep breathing for few minutes. When you feel relaxed; start focusing on your foot. Gradually, try to imagine your sole of the foot, ankle, legs, knees and thighs. This way, keep on feeling all your body parts slowly and gradually. At the end, feel your hair and head, which are our top most portion of the body. While doing this, pay special attention to that body part where you have any problem.
 
 
 
 

The Instant Calming Sequence
 
The Instant Calming SequenceMeditation is highly effective method to calm you down instantly. Other than meditation for a particular period of a day, you can practice meditation while stress strikes.
 
Method
In this method, start concentrating on your deep breathing while you feel stressed out. Try to keep your face positive and you can give a grin smile. Try to feel the sense of relaxation all over your body. Try to understand and evaluate the cause of stress after acknowledging it. Don‘t avoid or overlook the situation. Take appropriate action against the stressor. Take it in a positive way and deal it in a relaxed mode.

 
 
 
 

Taoist Meditation
 
Taoist MeditationThis meditation technique is found to be less abstract. It has positive effect on our physical and mental health. It is meant for achieving internal energy circulation. It has guideline of jing (quietness or calmness) and jang (focus or concentration).
 
 
Method
First, you need to focus on your inflow and outflow of the breathing through your nostrils. And you can say, you are concentrating on energy inflow or outflow at the vital point, i.e. your third eye or conjunction of two eye brows. You should also concentrate on the movement of your naval and abdomen while practicing deep breathing. Your eyes can be half closed as you need to focus on the centre of the flame of any candle or on mandala (a geometric picture on meditation). You need to chant Mantra, ‘Om’ (for stabilizing the body), ‘Ah’ (for harmonizing the energy) and ‘Um’ (for concentrating the spirit). Vibration of ‘Om’ takes place in our third eye, ‘Ah’ vibrates in the throat, and ‘Hum’ in the heart. Their associated colors are white, red, and blue respectively. These vibrations are helpful to remove any kind of distractive thought and keep your mind focused. Then with the chanting Mantra, start visualizing any deity or religious symbol of your belief shining on the crown of your head. Once your mind is stable, start practicing meditation technique from the beginning.

This is one of the commonest techniques of Taoist Meditation. Many other forms are present in this technique.

 


Nada Yoga Meditation
 
Nada Yoga MeditationYou need to plug your ears with two thumbs as in Yoni Mudra. You need to stay focused on the internal body sound. Initially, sound will be fainter and then it will become louder. You will concentrate completely on your inner sound with this meditation.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Raj Yoga Meditation
 
Raj Yoga MeditationIt is the form of Meditation, where it is found that the practitioner makes connection with the God. Thus, practitioner withdraws himself from all the worldly pleasure and stay secluded from the personal comforts. He only meditates and devotes his entire life in spiritual awakening of the fellow being.