Types of Meditation

Meditation is hard work, and it’s no surprise why many people give up after attempting it a few times.

You have probably asked (or wondered) what type of meditation is the best, or what type of meditation is the most effective.  It simply comes down to the meditation you feel you can connect with, and will encourage you to continue with your practice.

For starters, try my 60-Second Meditation, that I mention in How to Meditate.

Here I will touch on the most popular types of meditation, so let’s get started…

Active Meditation

Pretty self explanatory – it’s a type of meditation that requires physical action.
Not to be confused with Osho’s Dynamic Meditation, where the technique is split into stages.

Probably the most easiest type of meditation, compared to focusing your mind, which requires a lot of practice.
Active Meditation involves daily activities such as walking, working, cleaning, eating, etc… easy right?!
Theaim is to achieve a meditative state through everyday life, by performing the activity more efficiently, by simply focusing on what you are doing in your present moment and not thinking about anything else.

For example, washing the dishes.
You would focus on the feeling of water, the smell of soap, the feeling of dishes and cutlery, how you move your hands to wash.
Being in your absolute present moment.

Focused Meditation

Great for those starting out, as you practice to stay in the present moment, turning off the mental chatter, and focusing your attention on your breath, an object or sound – what is also referred to as “drishti”.

Focused meditation is simple to practice, as all you need is a quiet place and something to focus on – you  don’t even need an instructor or teacher!

Focused meditation includes all sensories: sound, vision, touch, taste, smell, and even breathing.

The idea is to keep your mind completely focused on your point of focus.

For complete starters, learning to focus on your breathing is a great way to start, and also helps relax the mind.

If you are interested in vision, try starring at a door knob, as an example that I reference in How to Meditate, which helps keep your focus on something that can be found in your home.

You can also listen to the sound of ocean waves, or nature sounds; burn some incense or a candle; take a warm bath, get a foot massage or watch a candle flame. Stay in your absolute present moment of what you are doing.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation may require some practice for those starting out, as there are no tools to help, like in Focused Meditation. Mindfulness Meditation helps you become aware of your very own thoughts, feelings and experiences, by being present and observing your thoughts, with no judgement or attachment.

This type of meditation is great for those who get angry, or worry often.

It allows you to “think before you speak” so to speak.
Whenever I find myself with a thought, that causes disturbing feelings (like I’m about to blow up or freak out), I think before react; I take that moment to think about why I am feeling that way, and if it’s worth the energy.

You could participate in a class, but I think it’s best at home, as you want to be somewhere quiet, without any distractions, and free from interruptions.

Your mind will naturally wander, and when it does, bring it back to your present moment of meditation.

Focusing your attention on your breath may help bring your mind back from thoughts popping up and distracting you, and don’t worry about flowing your breath a certain way, just breathe naturally.

If a thought comes to mind, observe it, accept it and move on.  Don’t start brain-storming, or get off track with thinking who, what, where, when, why; Mindfulness Meditation is to help you focus on your thoughts as an observer and that’s it.

Guided Meditation

Another great type of meditation for those starting out is guided meditations.

You can participate in a class, with an Instructor/Teacher, or listen to an audio at home, on the bus, at a park…

Guided meditation varies between a few minutes to lasting several hours; either way, the purpose is to achieve mental, emotional and physical healing and stress relief.

Guided meditations walk you through step-by-step, to stimulate your senses, such as sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.  You begin by relaxing your body and mind to reach a deep meditative state, and are guided through mental imagery which reprograms your mind by directly accessing your subconscious.

Many studies have shown that guided meditation can bring about change in the body, using your mind by activating muscles, changing your biological state, and changing the way the cells in your body work.
– this is why I say “change your mind, change your life” – our body/mind connection is literally a natural healer!

Some who suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or social anxiety, may experience negative imagery, but the practice will help focus your awareness and insight to your physical and mental condition.

What Type(s) of Meditation Do You Do?  Let me know in the comments below.

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