9 different types of meditation

Published on Jan 21, 2023 05:42 PM IST

We know meditation is calming, it changes brain chemistry and fosters a sense of positivity, optimism and happiness. Tina Mukerji gives a brief about different types of meditation.

Tina Mukerji gives a brief about different types of meditation.(Pinterest/ HT File)
Tina Mukerji gives a brief about different types of meditation.(Pinterest/ HT File)

We know meditation is calming, it changes brain chemistry and fosters a sense of positivity, optimism and happiness. However, meditation helps us tap into boundless creativity. We have forgotten about these inherent creative talents within us as our minds and hearts are junked out by stress, anxiety and expectations. We are like a horse with blinkers, refusing to accept the spaciousness and the expanse of the mind-space as we trot through life enmeshed in drudgery and anguish. We forget how to tap into this creativity. We forget our dreams.

Meditation connects us to those dreams, so it must be established as a set practice if we’re to reawaken and rekindle our creativity and get those juices flowing. What then is the best way to meditate? Let us discuss below on ways that will work best with our personality.

There are so many ways to meditate, albeit the techniques tend to overlap. There is no one way to do this. You have to do your own research and then decide which format works best for you. Maybe even try out a few before you zero in on the final option.

1. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

This is possibly the most popular form which has been commercialized by big brand Gurus of meditation who charge tickets worth thousands of dollars to join their retreats. They teach us mindfulness which is the art of being present in the moment, in the now. The current moment is your only reality, the past and the future are like effervescent bubbles. If you reach out to touch them, pop, they burst! The present is what you can feel through your five senses and the art of mindfulness is paying heed to the experiences you feel. What do your eyes see? Does it evoke fear or attraction? What is it that you touch? Does it excite you or scare you? The smells around you, do they make you feel relaxed or stressed? Meditation in its brass tacks helps you touch base with all these emotions and then go beyond them. If you combine these awareness techniques with yoga, the benefits are doubled.

2. MANTRA MEDITATION OR SWITCHWORDS’ CHANTING

This is indeed a very effective type of concentration exercise that uses certain words or phrases as a way to prevent stray thoughts from polluting our mind. The mantra can be seed sounds or beejaksharas, like OM, KLEEM, HREEM, GAM or they can be whole sentences like OM NAMAHA SHIVAYA. You can just use DIVINE TOGETHER as a powerful incantation to steady the mind. Make sure to wear loose clothes and then keep your spine straight to begin chanting. The chants can be loudly enunciated, or spoken in a whisper or contemplated in silence. Once you lose yourself in chanting, you’ll see that the distracting thoughts that agitate your mind are gone.

3. TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION

This form of meditation was created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India and it has seen great success all over the world. It is basically a mantra meditation that is carried out in silence and it is said to help one reach higher states of consciousness, promote heart health and lessen blood pressure. The Beatles were followers of Transcendental Meditation and did much to endorse the practice and spread it across seven seas. The technique involves the use of a sound chanted silently in the mind and is practiced for 20 minutes a day. Proponents swear by its efficacy as a tool of self-development.

4. GUIDED MEDITATION

This meditation is a concentrative exercise in which you listen to the voice of the Therapist while they help you form mental pictures of scenarios that you find calming and peaceful. When you imagine yourself by a babbling brook, the sunrays streaming through a canopy of trees, the birds chirping, you’re immediately transported to this serene environment. This form uses imagination as a powerful tool to reach altered states of emotional fluidity.

5. KINDNESS AND COMPASSION MEDITATION

This is akin to prayers where we direct our positive intentions toward others. With focussed concentration, we send them healing and wish them happiness and peace. This helps us to lessen our own suffering, because when we send out good intentions, we’re raising our own vibrations.

6. ACTION MEDITATION

This form of meditation is best for those who cannot sit still. The traditional Chinese systems of Qigong and Tai Chi are taught as well as yoga and dance. Osho was an advocate for dance meditation and it is said he was inspired by the whirling Dervishes of Sufism. When you’re moving your body, to make movement or hold position, its best to do this in conjunction with meditative awareness. Those sensations that well up inside, can we identify them? Can we purge them?

7. VIPASSANA

This form of meditation originated from India and is gaining fast acceptance all over the world. Vipassana literally means to realize things as they are and is a practice that dates back 2500 years. Vipassana is what birthed mindfulness meditation in the West. It is an 11 days silent retreat where the practitioner aims for transformation through self-observation. When a part of the body is uncomfortable, and we bring focus to the physical sensations, we’re cementing a deeper relationship between the mind and the body. This connection grows into a feeling of inter-connectedness with all and promotes love and kindness.

8. CHAKRA MEDITATION

Chakras are vertices of energy located in our body and the word translates to a wheel. These centres of energy hold our life force and if they’re depleted, we’re unable to function with efficacy in the world. There are seven chakras, starting from the base of the spine and leading all the way to the crown of the head. Each chakra has a seed sound and colour and during chakra meditation, we visualize each chakra, utter its seed sound and meditate on its corresponding colour. We can use crystals and hold it to the chakra as we align our focus on each one.

9. CANDLE GAZING

This is an ancient technique known as Tratak and it originated from India. The practice is simple and extremely effective. Keep your eyes open and focus on the flame of a candle. Darken the room and wear loose clothes keeping your spine erect. Your eyes will begin to hurt as you start this practice, but keep consistency and you’ll see the unbelievable benefits. You can also use crystals to gaze at. Just don’t blink!

I hope you’ll find the perfect fit in any one or two of the meditation techniques discussed here, but no matter what style you choose, the key to success is consistency. You have to do this daily, no offs. If many of these techniques resonate with you, then try one particular technique, stick with it for 11 days and then try another. Once you’ve tried them all, you can then make a conscious decision. Happy meditating!

The article has been authored by Tina Mukerji, a soul guide working with Astrology, Tarot, Psychism, Yoga, Tantra, Breathwork and Mantras. She works to discover the inherent archetypes, by studying astrological charts.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    She is a soul guide working with Astrology, Tarot, Psychism, Yoga, Tantra, Breathwork and Mantras. She works to discover the inherent archetypes, by studying astrological charts.

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