Over the past several thousand years the numerous benefits of meditation are well documented and include benefits that physical, spiritual and emotional in nature. They refer it as deep reflection, contemplation, prayer or simply relaxing from the activity and drifting to the space between our thoughts.
Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply and a focusing of the mind for varying periods of time to better relax and gain a stronger connection with yourself. Meditation can take on different forms. Even though we often thinking of sitting in silence when we conjure up images of meditation, the act of meditating can also be performed with ritualistic chants. Scientific evidence has emerged showing meditation can be a helpful tool in fighting chronic illness, including heart disease, chronic pain and even for depression.
There are many forms of meditation. If you’re interested in trying it, here’s a list of the different types of meditation practice that will surprise you:
Mindfulness meditation is a process of being present with your thoughts. More specifically this means to both be aware and have control of your thoughts and avoid letting your mind wander.
Mindful meditation can be done anywhere at any point of the day. But there are people prefer to sit in a quiet place, closes their eyes and focus on their breathing. When you first start this type of meditation it will seem extremely difficult to keep your mind from wandering. Our society is very hyperactive and building up the patience and control after years of instant gratification is a huge hurdle that often turns people away from the practice.
This type of meditation is sometimes called a guided imagery or visualization. It is a meditative practice in which you form mental situations that you find it relaxing.
This process is led by a guide or a teacher; hence it is “guided”. During the process, the teacher often suggests to use as many senses as possible to evoke calmness in your relaxing space. Guided meditation is very good for beginners as the teacher can help walk them through the process and give tips or cues to stay focused on the task at hand.
Transcendental meditation is a technique in which your assigned mantra, like a word, sound or phrase is repeated in a specific way. It is done 20 minutes each day while sitting with the eyes closed.
The idea of this technique will allow you to settle inward to a profound state of relaxation and rest. This is to achieve inner peace without concentration or effort. This is very similar to the mindful meditation practice where you focus on your breathing or counting. The difference here being that the active action of chanting can help focus on that and keep you from being distracted.
Vipassana Meditation (Sayagyi U Ba Khin Tradition)
The Vipasanna meditation is for self-transformation through self-observation. It is accomplished through a disciplined attention to physical sensations of the body to establish a deep connection with your mind and body.
Vipassana meditation is taught during a 10-day course and students are expected to follow sets of rules throughout the course. These rules include abstaining from all intoxications, stealing, sexual activity, telling lies and killing any species.
Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)
This type of meditation is also called a loving kindness meditation. It is a practice of directing well wishes toward others. It is typically done by sitting in a comfortable and relaxed position.
By taking a deep breath, you’re going to repeat a specific statement deliberately over and over. An example that other people use is the following, “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.” You may also picture every person who has helped you, visualized people who you have difficulty and repeat the mantra.
Chakra, an ancient Sankrit word from India, means “wheel”. It is a reference to the center of energy and spiritual power of the body. It is said that every human being has seven chakras which are located in different parts of the body with different corresponding colors.
Chakra meditation is a combination of relaxation techniques that focus on bringing balance and well-being to the chakras of every individual. Some of its techniques include visualizing picture of each chakra in the body.
The practice of yoga is popular nowadays but it originates from India. There are variety of classes and styles of yoga, but these all involves performing a series of postures and a controlled breathing exercise to promote flexibility and calmness.
Its posture requires balance and concentration. The practitioners are encouraged to focus on meditation, less distraction and stay calm in a moment.