There are so many types of meditation. How will you ever choose which one is right for you? Well I’ve got the solution. I have created a list of the basic meditation that people practice with a short description. Choose a meditation that resonates with you. Eventually, I will either interview people who practice the type of meditation or give you a sample through a description or guided meditation. There are many other types of meditation and if I have missed any, please contact me with the details.
Binaural beats uses sound to change your brain waves and put you in a meditative state. One set of sounds are fed into one ear and a different set of sounds are fed into your other ear, so you need to wear headphones for it to be effective. Another name for Binaural Beats is brain entrainment as the sounds influence brain waves.
Find out more about Binaural Beats.
Breathing Meditation is a focused meditation technique where you follow your breath to calm your mind and focus your thoughts. Put your attention on your natural breath and see if you can follow it from inhale through to exhale without controlling it.
In yoga there are breath meditations where you do try to control your breathing. This is called Pranayama.
Here is a YouTube video with a guided meditation to help you try breath meditation.
Chakra or Kundalini meditation is when you focus on different areas of your body that correspond to chakra centers which are specific points of your body. You start at the lower chakras, and move upwards until all of them are opened.
Chinese meditation is used in both Qi Gong and Tai Chi. It is breathing to allow your chi to strengthen. It is related to Zen meditation and uses various breath meditations as well. Find out more about Chinese Meditation.
Deep meditation has various meanings. Some believe that it is not guided but worked on, others use things like Holosync to meditate “like a zen monk”. Deep meditation in my opinion, is any meditation that moves you from a beta brain wave state to an alpha or theta.
Holosync is a type of Binaural Meditation and needs to be listened to with headphones. It was founded by Bill Harris and claims to allow you to effortlessly go into deep states of meditation, balance your brain, lower your stress levels and increase your mental and emotional health. You can visit the Holosync website or listen to a free version here.
Mantra or Jaap
Mantra or Japa meditation is when you say a word, phrase or sound while you are meditating. Usually the sound flows naturally with your breath, so the mantras are quite short. You can practice using the “AUM”, “So-hum” or “Love” as your mantras. Find out more about Japa Meditation.
Mindful meditation is a moving meditation. This can be done in your car, whilst cooking, as you wake even as you climb up stairs. You must become aware of all the sensations, feelings, colours and soundsthat surround you in your present moment. Find out more about Mindful Meditation and Jon Kaban-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Osho meditation involves various types of meditation. What makes it unique is that Osho uses movement to help you fall into a more meditative state. It is called Active Meditation. Find out more about Osho meditation.
Progressive relaxation is when you focus on various parts of thebody and deliberately tense and relax them. You usually start with your toes and work your way up to your head. It is usually used as part of relaxation before sleep and to help with mild insomnia.
This meditation is related to Chakra meditation except that you are focused on your third eye or space between your eyebrows which is related to your pineal gland. The third eye represents enlightenmentand knowledge. Learn how to do Third Eye Meditation.
Transcendental Meditation (TM)
Transcendental Meditation is a movement that became popular in the 1960s. It is a popular form of mantra meditation and involves sitting comfortably for 15 – 20 minutes and chanting with your eyes closed. It is widely researched but with varying results.
Find out more about Transcendental Meditation.
Vipassana is a buddhist meditation which attributes its technique to Gautam Buddha himself. It involves experiential awareness as well as contemplating upon the various tenants of Buddhism. It is non-denominational and the technique is taught on a voluntary basis throughout the world. To find out more about it visit dhamma.org.
Zen Meditation is from another school of Buddhism, its name implies asitting practice. Sitting is one of the core aspects of this meditation and is called zazen. You sit in lotus posture if you can or half lotus and either use breath meditation or in the case of Soto nothing at all. Some zen meditation involves keeping your eyes half-closed.
Zen can be practised with intensity in large groups such as monks in monasteries. Who often meditate for hours on end.
The third aspect of zen meditation is Koans. Which is a narrative or idea. Koans often appear to be paradoxical, but the idea is to allow the student to let go of logical thought. Learn more about Zen Meditation and Zen Sayings.