Types Of Meditation

Meditation has age-old history and was prevailing across all civilizations of the world, of course in different forms. The meditation is believed to be originated in India around thousands of years BC and spread to other neighboring parts of the world, probably through the silk route.  People follow different types of meditation. There are numerous variants of meditation practices. Some of the important types of meditation include the following.

Focused Attention meditation

This is the most basic type of meditation and usually prescribed for the beginners. This way of meditation trains the mind to concentrate its attention on a single object. It may be thought, sound or visualization. This enables one’s mind to get rid of attention and distraction. In training sessions, this mediation is practiced generally with focusing on breathing, chanting a mantra or listening to a calming sound. This enables the practitioner to identify one’s own inner conscious and put the mind under control.

Mindfulness Meditation

This is a mental training process where the performer is trained to focus on one’s own experiences at the present moment, such as thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. This meditation often involves breathing exercises, mental imagery, muscle and body relaxation, and creating awareness of the body and the mind. This type of meditation is one of the popular tools among stress relieving techniques used in modern yoga sessions. This can be treated as a level higher to focused-attention meditation. The performer basically controls the thoughts, emotions or the activities of the body through this meditation.

Heart Rhythm Meditation

This is an inward meditation where the performer focuses one’s consciousness on heart and breathing. This involves rhythmic breathing with longer inhalation and exhalations interrupted with a reasonably long breath-holding period with a straight upright posture. The mind is focused on the breathing and the heart completely. The cycle of long breath is repeated several times like 12 cycles, 48 cycles or 108 cycles. This type of meditation is known to reward physical, emotional and spiritual benefits to the performer.

Kundalini Meditation

This is a type of meditation with its strong roots in Hinduism and also followed in Buddhism. The Kundalini meditation believes in the principle of arousing the inner dormant energy of the human body and mind.  According to the Hindu spirituality, Kundalini is the energy of life or “Chethana”, which is believed to be resting at the base of the spine. When the energy is freed from its dormant state it flows upward in the body along the seven chakras or energy centers of the human body. The flow of the Kundalini energy leads to the awakening of the soul or Aathma, enabling the performer to interact with the divine power or the Paramathma. Kundalini meditation is more spiritually oriented than focused-attention, mindfulness and heart rhythm meditations. Kundalini meditation enables one to attain creativity, inspired and balanced state of mind and emotional and spiritual well-being. This meditation technique has its origin in India with more than 1000 years of history.

Transcendental Meditation

This is another type of meditation strongly inclined towards spirituality and has its roots in the Hindu philosophy. This meditation is based on the principle of attaining inner calmness or the sustainable peace of mind and soul, the fundamental goal of Hindu spirituality. Traditionally the performer sits in Lotus posture, internally chanting a selected mantra and focuses the mind on overcoming all negative feelings. Generally, guidance from an expert or a Guru is required to practice this meditation. The objective of this meditation is the achievement of enlightenment.

Open Monitoring Meditation

This is a higher level of meditation, where the performer follows practices to create a broadened awareness of all aspects of one’s environment, including internal and external components and training the mind to be aware of all thoughts, feelings or impulses, and at the same time maintaining the inner calmness and mental peace. This type of meditation demands a high level of maturity and spirituality to get started and achieve the final goal. Unlike the other types of meditation, open-monitoring meditation is a continuous practice rather than performed regularly in dedicated sessions of meditation.

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