There are various types of meditation techniques that fall under two broad categories: concentrative meditation and non-concentrative meditation. Let’s take a further look into the world of meditation.

Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance one’s physical, emotional and mental well being. There are many different types of meditation techniques that one can try out.

Nowadays, more doctors are recommending meditation as a way to relieve insomnia and anxiety, lower blood pressure, help asthmatic patients breathe easier and generally relax the body.

Although there are many types of meditation that are derived from Hinduism, Buddhism or even Taoism and other origins, they all focus on quieting the mind. Its intention is not to remove stimulation but to direct one’s concentration to a healing element. When the mind is filled with the feelings of peacefulness, it cannot take off on its own and start to worry, feel stressed or depressed.

There are three underlying principles of meditation:
1.     In order for us to concentrate, we need to focus on one object at a time.
2.     As soon as our thoughts start to wander, we must slowly bring them back to our focus object.
3.      During meditation, we must try to ignore all sorts of distractions, irrelevant thoughts and sensations that our bodies feel.

There are hundreds of meditation techniques available, many of which have evolved into newer ones over the years. For starters, here are some types of meditation methods that you can try out:

1. Mindfulness meditation

types of meditationThis is a practice, which the Buddhists call vipassanna or insight meditation. Mindfulness meditation is about focusing on what is happening around you and being aware of your thoughts and feelings during the process of meditating. Your mind should be open to your true feelings – there should be no judging of your thoughts. This is a common practice that Buddhist monks use as a way of self-awakening. One can start by watching your breath, then move your attention to the thoughts in your mind and even the sounds and sights surrounding you. The key thing is not to analyse or judge anything.

2. Breath watching

As the name suggests, this type of meditation method is about watching and being aware of your breath during meditating. Start by staying in a comfortable position and close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Breathing slowly through your nose will work your diaphragm and allows oxygen to the bottom of your lungs. As your mind wanders, re-focus on the air going in and out of your nose and throughout your body. Find out more about breathing meditation, an interesting and popular type of meditation among many.

3. Walking meditation

This technique involves your body. You can meditate while walking down the street, pacing around the house or even during a run. As your mind starts to wander, concentrate on the movement of body parts and your breathing. Pay attention to the feeling of your feet as it touches the ground.

4. Empty mind meditation

This type of meditation requires you to “empty” all your thoughts from your mind and allow it to rest, and allow a sense of peacefulness to take over. You will need to sit in a cross-legged position in a quiet room so that there are no distractions. Ensure that you are sitting with your spine erect.

5. Transcendental meditation

Meditatation transcendental involves the continuous chanting of a mantra, until a dream-like state of mind is attained. This is useful for those who are easily distracted as chanting a mantra will prevent your mind from wandering. If you are meditating alone, you may use any word or phrase that works for you. You can either repeat it aloud or in your head. In some traditions, an experienced master will choose a phrase or word for you, such as “shanti”, which means peace.

Now that you have understood the basics of several types of meditation methods, you may start practicing the one, which you feel most comfortable with.