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Different Types of Meditation

There are many different types of meditation techniques that are practised by people from all walks of life, while holding to the fundamental principles of reflection and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination. The different types of meditation that are acknowledged worldwide include transcendental meditation, prayer, Zen meditation, Taoist meditation, mindfulness meditation, and Buddhist meditation. Several of these different types might call for the body remaining completely still or to be stimulated with controlled deliberation, whereas other types will allow free movement of the body. Although we are aware of these different types of meditation the end objective is of course to teach our busy minds to quieten, freeing our minds of stress drawing on quiet contemplation and reflection.

If you are not familiar with meditation, you may well still be wondering, “What is meditation?” In our hectic lives and increasingly fast pace of life to put very simply an approach that everybody and anybody can use to help them cope with health problems, stress, trauma and anxiety by way of thought, contemplation, and reflection.

Transcendental meditation was introduced to the western world by a guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1958. It is extremely simple to learn and practise, yet it will bring immense practical benefit to all areas of life. Of all the different types of meditation, this particular technique gives a unique quality of rest to the mind and body, releasing stress and tiredness in a very natural way. Transcendental Meditation is a very practical and simple form of reaching a state of rumination and suitable to all people, especially those who find it difficult to set aside time, as some techniques may require an hour plus to practice. 15-20 minutes twice daily sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. This may even be done on the bus, train, lunch hour, essentially anywhere that is safe for you to sit with eyes closed for those 15-20 minutes.

Vipassana meditation was discovered and taught by Buddha thousands of years ago. The word vipassana meaning ‘to see things clearly’ was taught to people as a way of healing the body and mind, by means of cleansing both of impurities and toxins. These days however, this type of meditation is not solely practiced by individuals with a Buddhist background, it is used by people of various culture and background. To practice this technique however in order to benefit fully from the utmost level of purification and rumination, it is strongly suggested that professional assistance is required.

Another type of meditation practised worldwide is Zen meditation, this is the practice of sitting in preparation of relaxing the body and mind as well as opening oneself up to discovering insight into the nature of your being. In effect this means that as you sit in the various positions prescribed, closing your mind to thought and images; you will notice after a period of time, your heart rate will begin to slow down. Breathing will become shallow, and you will pass into a meditative state. Thought will become isolated and deliberate concentration on the present moment is all you will be aware of. Any thoughts of the past and the future will be kept at bay thus focusing and reacting to what is happening in the now. There will be no rumination on the things you should have done or the things that still need to be done. This will result in a wonderful escape from the constant chatter of the subconscious mind.

Taoist meditation is a type of meditation which has several points in common with Hindu and Buddhist systems. Though the taoist method is considerably less abstract furthermore far more practical than the contemplative traditions that originated in India. The chief characteristic of this type of meditation is the generation, transformation, and circulation of inner energy. Once this stream of energy is achieved known as “deh-chee”, this can then be useful in promoting better health and longevity or whatever the meditator chooses. The Taoist type of meditation uses Breath and Navel meditation to teach beginners. This is the oldest method on record in China and India and works directly with the natural flow of breath in the nostrils and the expansion and contraction of the abdomen. This type of meditation is a fine way to improve focused attention and one-pointed awareness.

Mindfulness meditation is a simple type of meditation teaching us to be mindful and alert of everything we do in our lives giving deliberate thought and concentration to everything we do. This will motivate a better awareness of the diverse situations and surroundings we find ourselves in resulting in a much more relaxed body and nervous system. This type of meditation trains your mind and body to meditate on the things in life that you cannot change, with a great deal of contemplation and rumination on the whole idea. It can be applied to every aspect of life, from eating to exercising, to just breathing and living. Here is an example of practicing mindfulness meditation for instance with a person who has digestive problems. Whilst eating, give deliberation to everything about your meal, why you need it, and what it can do for you. Mindfulness meditation is about being mindful, or aware, of the things in your life that you have control over.

Imagine having complete control over your mind instead of the other way around. Buddhist meditation can give you that, if you undertake the proper discipline to do so. This type of meditation is said to bring your mind, body and soul to a natural balance. Buddha practiced the state of mindlessness through deliberation and rumination throughout his life. The idea was to diminish the mind’s need for selfishness and the craving for material matter to become a happier person. During meditation, you are in complete awareness of your physical body and every movement it makes. You are what's more very aware of your state of mind and how it can change so rapidly in time – a minute, a day. Buddhist meditation is an extremely disciplined practice and should be done on a regular basis to benefit the mind, body and soul. If practised correctly and consistently you will soon begin to notice very obvious changes, such as the mind slowly becoming free from fear. Your focus and concentration throughout the day, everyday will become far more superior than previously. There will be no concerns or worry in your mind, no link to this physical world, no cares.

Amid all the different types of meditation, there will always be confusion as with anything as to questions such as; ‘Is it safe?’, ‘How to decide which technique to practice’, ‘How much does it cost?’ Nevertheless once a decision is reached and you begin to practice the desired type of meditation suitable for you, it will become an essential part of your new daily life.  You may possibly wonder how you previously survived without it!

By Kiks

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