You have seen that there are many types of meditation. Some of which you might be involved with already but never knew it was a form of meditation.
For starters, it is advisable to start with the simple ones and move up the ladder. Now we are going to look into more details, the basic types of meditation.
Breath Control Meditation
Like the name implies, it is a form of meditation where you focus and concentrate on each breath going in and coming out of your body. Gradually, you can start slowing down your breaths and taking deeper breaths.
The Hindu concept of Pranayama says that by controlling your breath, you control the life’s force of Prana. This helps improve physical, mental and spiritual health benefits of the individual practicing.
As most people won’t just pocket every spiritual concept that comes their way, lets back it up with science.
Scientific studies show that by breathing deeply and rhythmically, it can have an immediate effect on body functions and the brain too. This also gets the heart to pump at a normal rate.
In this state, stress is relieved and the body releases essential chemicals that are necessary in healing and recovery process.
Science says that a lot of our body ailments can be healed only by breathing deeply throughout the day.
As easy as it sounds, this meditation type can be tricky as we end up loosing awareness and taking short shallow breaths.
Breath control meditation uses this fact to relieve stress and improves ones mental abilities. It also heals the body of physical ailments.
Anyway you look at it, breath control has a lot of benefits and its easy for a beginner to start with.
The next time you are nervous, try long deep breaths in a rhythmic fashion. It will help relieve anxiety and nervousness. Situations where this might come into play could be just before an important meeting or interview.
Thought Control Meditation
As you have already smartly figured, that though control was a type of meditation. You should know how this control is handled. It is actually a higher level of meditation where you start by slowing down your thoughts, to completely eliminating all thoughts.
This is what actually comes to the mind of most people when they hear the word meditation.
A lot of newbies in mediation have tried this type of meditation and failed miserably on it. When people try over and over and don’t achieve success in it, they give and say meditation is not for them.
When you’re starting out, don’t start with this type. As you climb the meditation ladder, you will get there. And if you can achieve relative control over your thoughts, you are going to reap tremendous benefits from it.
Scientists says that the brain way achieved during the cause of this meditation is different and they are still studying it.
According to some religious groups that practice this form of meditation a lot, eg. Buddhism, they say you can achieve the state of enlightenment by doing this form of meditation.
It has also been discovered that it helps you ease stress while improving your brains function capability. It can heal your body.
Thought control meditation gives you all the benefits you get from breath control meditation, but on steroids. It’s like the square of the previous form of meditation. With eventual tendencies of achieving enlightenment.
Enlightenment is quite a hard things to achieve. So many seek it and never get there during their life time.
I will advise you stay away from this form of meditation when starting, as it is quite difficult and can make you loose focus. Start with breath control and slowly move up the ladder.
Religious people pray. If that sounds like you, you probably have been meditation. Praying is another form of meditation.
The saying goes that there is a lot of power in prayer. When prayer is done correctly, you can achieve results from this form of meditation. Just taking out some time and being grateful for everything, can actually heal your heart if the gratitude is genuine.
The trick here is to feel the prayer from within, its more than just reciting the words.
Now, some people might ague if using beads and reciting a mantra would still be a form of meditation. Considering that you’re reciting the same thing.
The trick here too is that, it keep you mind focused on one thing, which would be God. You won’t have any other thoughts coming in and distracting you.
Reading sacred scriptures with full concentration could also be a form of meditation.
Like other forms of meditation, the benefits are alike. A major contributing factor to the success you achieve would have to do with how sincerely you pray.
This is a good way to initiate yourself into meditation if you are a religious person.
Since God is involved, I think it will make it easier considering everyone can make out some time for God.
On the other hand, if you are an atheist, this form of meditation won’t work for you. But, you’ve got nothing to worry about, as there is something for everyone when it comes to meditation.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that deals with just bringing your attention to the present moment. Instead of thinking about the past or the future, it just brings your mind to the present moment.
You don’t let any other though come into your mind but the task at hand. And by doing so, you control random thoughts from rushing through your head and posing as distractions. Unlike Though Control Meditation, you’ll still have thoughts but they will all be related only to the present moment.
In this form of meditation, you are allowed to think and feel what is happening at the moment and not in the past. You can feel what your sense organs observe. You can think about sights you see, smells you perceive and sounds you hear.
You can think about what ever it is that you are doing at that moment, but you ain’t allowed to think about the past or the future.
This method of meditating is incredibly powerful. It is actually harder to do that it sounds. The good thing about it is that you can practice it while doing anything you got to do. Gradually, you will learn to stay mindful all though the day, no matter what you’re doing.
When you love what you do, you won’t get tired of doing it. You’ll immerse yourself in it and get lost in it. Some people call it being in the zone. Creative people get to this point a whole lot during the course of their work. They forget every other thing and focus on the moment,
This does not just make them better at their work, but it also helps give them internal peace that is not readily available in our regular day to day.
It would be nice to know that you can practice Mindfulness even while you’re doing boring tasks. You just have to pay close attention to the present moment and not focus on any other thing.
This kind of meditation helps you relieve stress and stay happy. It will also help your productivity and the ability to focus and concentrate.
To get better at this, you just need to remind yourself all through the day that you need to pay attention to the present moment and not something that has happened in the past or about to happen.
Some other forms of meditation you could try are:
This form of meditation is based around a concept of Kundalini. It is a spiritual energy that is found at the base of the spine. This form of meditation focuses on awakening this energy which is said to heal the body, mind and soul and helps a great deal to you realizing your potential as a spiritual being.
In this form or meditation, you try to use the help of audio to focus your attention. This audio can be a mantra, a song or just a peaceful instrumental.
You can also practice assisted meditation where a master talks to you on the audio, taking you step by step through the meditation. This works a great deal in stress release and relaxation.
This is one of the most famous type of meditation in the world today. It was started in the 60’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This involves meditation with the eyes closed and concentrating with the aid of a mantra sound.
If practiced for 15 to 20 minutes, twice daily, it helps a great deal in reducing stress and encouraging relaxation.
The compassionate meditation is also known as the Heart Chakra Meditation. It is considered as a related form of the Kundalini meditation.
On this form of meditation, you focus on the feelings of compassion and gratitude. These emotions can be targeted towards anything of your choice. It could be God, an individual, yourself, the universe etc.
You imagine your heart filled with this compassionate energy, and you release it to the world. This type of meditation is good for people going through a period of emotional challenges.
The Best Meditation For Beginners
As you must have already noticed, there are many forms of meditation. As a beginner, it is advisable to begin with the Breath Control Meditation. You practice it daily and try to get good at it.
While you are doing this, you could try being mindful during the course of the day. Don’t forget that the meditation type we want to get a full hold of at this point would be the Breath Control Meditation. Mindfulness comes later. But a tiny practice now only helps in the long run.
When you start practicing breath control, you will notice that it is easy to do. When you start focusing your attention of your breaths, your thoughts will slow down automatically.
It is a good way to build concentration while gradually moving over to the Thought Control Meditation.
In the beginning, the importance should be on you showing up daily and building a habit and not how well you can meditate or how difficult the meditation type you choose to try is.
When you build a strong habit and go deeper into meditation, you can then explore the other types of meditation depending on what appeals to you most.
Considering you have started seeing the benefits of meditation, you will have enough drive to continue. To show up everyday until you master the more difficult forms of meditation.