Monday 25 September 2017

6 Types of Meditation.

meditation by ocean
Want to become enlightened? Find which style is best for you.
Meditation may be an ancient tradition, but it’s still practiced in cultures all over the world to create a sense of calm and inner harmony. Although the practice has ties to many different religious teachings, meditation is less about faith and more about altering consciousness, finding awareness, and achieving peace.
Although there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs and complements your personality. Not all meditation styles are right for everyone. These practices require different skills and mindsets, including mindfulness to sensory awareness. You may be asking yourself, how do you know which practice is right for you?
“It’s what feels comfortable and what you feel encouraged to practice,” says Mira Dessy, a meditation author and holistic nutritionist.
Remember—there is no best form of meditation—the best style is the one you will actually practice with consistency. So try a few out and see what feels best for you.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, is an eight-week program that integrates mindfulness meditation and yoga with Western medicine and science. Developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, he integrated his years as a student of Buddhism and yoga with his background in science to develop a program that helps people manage their stress, anxiety, and chronic pain. He made the program extremely accessible and attractive to all types of people, and helped the general public understand that you don’t need to be a Buddhist to practice meditation. In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.

Primordial Sound Meditation
Primordial Sound meditation, or PSM, is a mantra-based meditation technique which came out of India. In PSM, each individual is given a mantra based on the vibration the universe was creating at the time and location of their birth. The mantra is used as a tool to take your mind to a quieter place. During meditation, you silently repeat the mantra, which creates a vibration that helps you slip into a place below the noisy chatter of the mind, and into stillness and pure awareness. Spiritually minded individuals and people looking for structure in their meditation practice would benefit from PSM.

Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation, or TM, is another mantra-based meditation. In this Hindu tradition you sit in Lotus, internally chant a mantra, and focus on rising above the negativity. While focusing on your mantra you actively change the breath in order to alter your state of mind. The mantra is used for its vibrational qualities to help settle the mind. Although the purpose of the meditation and the technique itself is similar to PSM, there are quite a few differences, including the mantras themselves and how they are selected, the instruction of meditation, and the recommended length of time to meditate. To effectively learn how to practice this form of meditation, expert guidance is recommended.

Zazen Meditation
Zazen meditation, also known as Zen, translates literally into “seated meditation.” Zen comes from Buddhism, which can be much more of a philosophy as opposed to a religion. You acquire insight through observing the breath and the mind, and through interaction with the teacher. Zen emphasizes gaining enlightenment through Sutras (Buddhist scriptures and teachings). The practice will give you specific and strict guidelines on how to maintain the eyes, hands, and posture. This method is initially the easiest to engage in because it relies on self-guidance. The mental benefits of Zazen practice are vast because you are aiming to forget all judgmental thoughts, ideas and images.

Kundalini Meditation
In Kundalini meditation, the idea is that through meditation you can awaken your untapped Kundalini energy that is located at the base of your spine. This energy rises through the chakras, from the base of your spine to the crown of your head and onward. Kundalini meditations can include breathing techniques, mantras, mudras (hand placements), and chants to tap into the power of the unconscious mind. During the meditation you are using your breath to move energy upward in an effort to change your state of mind, while also waiting for that moment when energy is reduced to a simple, pure form, similar to when you sleep or die.

Vipassana Meditation
Vipassana is known as insight meditation and translated it means “to see things as they really are.” Vipassana meditation can seem very similar to Zazen meditation, because they are both based on finding insight and are from the Buddhism religion. In the Vipassana type of meditation, you first focus on breath awareness through the nose unlike Zazen, which focuses on breathing through the belly. Vipassana also teaches you to label thoughts and experiences as they arise, taking mental notes as you identify objects that grab your attention. It is excellent for beginners and those interested in learning more about Buddhism. There are also loser rules to posture and where your eyes gaze in Vipassana meditation.

Whether you’re looking to reduce stress or find spiritual enlightenment, find stillness or flow through movement, there’s a meditation practice for you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try different types. It often takes a little trial and error until you find the one that fits.

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