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"The simple act of noticing things," - Ellen Langer
A practice for millennia, mediation can be found across spiritual disciplines and religion. Its central principle is to encourage peace of mind and connectedness between your own body and breath to the outside world.
While the number varies depending on the cultural source, from five to over 20 versions. Most agree on the following 9 as leading versions of meditation. Once you discover whatever version best suits your needs – a Zen proverb suggests practicing meditation for 20 minutes each day for 100 days.
Before practicing, ensure a comfortable seat in a chair or yoga mat so you can stay focused and blissed out.
Nine Types of Meditiaton
Derived from Buddhist teachings, mindfulness meditation is the most popular in the West. With the eyes closed or open, spend no less than 5 minutes observing your thoughts. This is best accomplished without judgment. The intention behind mindfulness is to observe themes and patterns in your thoughts as well as with your feelings and potential bodily sensations. It may help to focus your gaze on an object.
This is the version most folks are familiar with. Spiritual contemplation can be found in prayer within Judeo-Christian religions. This is beneficial when seeking a deeper connection to a higher power.
Focused meditation is done via activation of the five senses; Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch. Recommended activities include counting prayer beads, focusing a soft gaze on a lit candle, and moon gazing.
This encourages the deepest connection between the body and the present moment. Yoga is an example of this type of movement, as well as simpler activities like walking or gardening.
Those familiar with mediation have come across Mantra practice. The most common of which is “om.” The sound, om, travels through each section of the mouth as it’s pronounced. In actuality, om is the product of three syllables - “awe,” “oo” and “mmm.” This can be done in conjunction with a gong or singing bowl.
One of the most popular meditation techniques, it’s unlike the others because it's recommended to learn Transcendental meditation through an accredited teacher. The goal of this ancient vedic practice is to try to attain a state of pure consciousness or oneness with the universe.
Also called, Body Scan Meditation, Progressive meditation is done to reduce tension throughout the body by methodically reducing muscle groups from the toes up. This is best done before bed for ultimate relaxation.
Best described as opening yourself up to “positive vibes,” Loving-Kindness can be practiced outside of meditation as well. It’s done to open yourself up to giving and receiving love while strengthening compaction, kindness and acceptance towards others. Mantras used during this session parallel sentiments like; May I be happy, may I be safe, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.
In your mind’s eye, conjure up a happy place. Using the five senses to add as much detail as you can muster. Stay in this space for the duration of your practice. The more real the space, the easier it will be to return to.