Welcome to our Meditation Techniques – The Ultimate Guide
If you’re reading this then it’s fair to assume you’re wondering where do you begin and how do you decide which meditation technique will fit well with you and your life style.
You may be concerned about the extra time learning your new technique may take especially with all the demands of daily living.
So it will be heart warming to know that many basic techniques are often unknowingly experienced every day without you even being aware.
For example: daydreaming or finding your mind fixed on a thought.
Many people are fascinated and feel soothed or refreshed when simply looking out to sea or find themselves fixated on watching a roaring fire.
At that moment, everything else appears very distant if not gone.
This is actually a state of meditation and most of us would agree its a wonderful experience when it happens.
The real key to whichever practice suits you is to become proficient at being aware of the world around you or to put it simply, to enjoy the power of NOW!
If you’re a beginner or even an advanced meditator who would like to enhance their current practice then below are just some of the most popular meditation techniques we’ve found for you…
Vipassana meditation is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques, rediscovered and taught by Buddha some 2500 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 in order to benefit fully from the utmost level of purification and rumination, it is strongly suggested that professional assistance is required.
Mantra meditation is a very easy meditation technique involving the conscious repetition of particular sounds appealing to the mind in order to achieve a state of rumination.
Mantra literally means ‘revealed sound’ or an amalgamation of sounds developing spontaneously. It is imperative not to mistake a mantra with a religious chant. A mantra may be given by a guru or may be a personally selected word or sound, the most important thing however is that it must be pleasing to the mind.
Tai Chi uses ancient practices that focus on the physical and spiritual aspects of life. Among them are two methods, Neigong and Qi Gong, which concentrate on “life energy.” Both of which emphasize the importance of body posture, breathing and meditation to restore energy, also known as “chi.”
The practice of mindfulness is becoming more and more of a popular choice and has been trending for quite some time. The beauty of this type of meditation technique is that it doesn’t require any extra time in your day. It’s fans range from celebrities to athletes and stock brokers to parents at home raising our next generations.
In essence, mindfulness meditation is simply being in the moment. It’s about focusing on the internal and external experiences that occur from moment to moment in any given day to gain an appreciation and calmness for life as it unfolds.
If you are constantly bombarded by worrisome thoughts of the past or future, practicing living more mindfully is going to blow your mind!
Not every form of meditation is done while sitting or standing in silence. Walking meditation allows you to get up and move around. While walking is not the only form of moving meditation, it is one of the most popular.
It uses aspects of the concentration meditation technique, and proponents say it is easier for people to focus on sensations while they walk.
The distance and destination are arbitrary, the focus on steps and breathing is what’s important. You can do this while walking anywhere but it may be most beneficial at your favorite park or beach.
The Trataka meditation technique is one that has been followed by many religious systems, including Sufism and Christianity. In this, a steady gaze is performed on any one particular object, often used is the flame of a candle or lamp.
Trataka is an established yoga cleansing technique and another very easy meditation technique to practice, nonetheless it is still a very powerful method of reaching the highest level of meditation.
This is an extremely easy meditation technique and works well for those who find it difficult to focus on a mantra or other focus point.
There are a few ways this technique can be practiced, such as in a group with one person describing a scene to imagine, followed by another person elaborating on the image and so forth. It may also be practiced individually, imagining your own scene and building on it.
Following this practice, as with all mediation techniques, spend some time of reflection on the experience. What you discovered and any questions that might have arisen.
Often, many people who practice this enjoyable and easy meditation technique find it very useful and rewarding to keep a journal of the experiences encountered to gain greater insight into themselves as well as the image created.
Although yoga and meditation are two separate practices, they support each other perfectly. Many yoga teachers even set aside time at the beginning or end of each yoga class to practice a meditation technique.
The posture and deep concentration required during yoga helps to encourage and strengthen focus and balance. The physical aspect of yoga and its emphasis on Ujjayi breathing to help set aside distracting thoughts, concerns and worries, is by itself, deeply meditative.
Once you’ve decided which of the many meditation techniques you’re going to try, getting started is easy.
There’s absolutely no need to go out buying fancy clothing, candles and incense sticks. All you need for maximum results is a willingness to learn and a good dose of commitment.
A very important thing to keep in mind when starting out with any new meditation technique is to keep it simple. Many new meditators struggle with the simple fact of not knowing how to breathe properly when relaxing or indeed in our everyday hectic lives.
Here’s a short video by Dr Andrew Weil M.D. that explains a simple breathing practice that anyone can master:
Mastering the art of deep relaxation through correct breathing and focus really is all that is required to reach a meditative state.
Practicing these breathing exercises regularly throughout the day (if only for 2-3 minutes each time) will speed up the ability to reach deeper relaxation.
The benefits of meditation will come naturally if consistently practiced for a few moments each day.
So do remember when you start out meditating, the results are going to be without a doubt cumulative. Each meditation session will build upon the previous one.
A top tip for helping you stay motivated (especially those days when you don’t set time aside) is to often remind yourself of the well researched benefits of any type of meditation, some of which are:
- Reduces anxiety attacks as it lowers the levels of blood lactate
- Builds self confidence
- Helps with psychological disorders such as PTSD and Bipolar
- Increases serotonin which influences positive moods and behavior. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, headaches and insomnia
- Enhances energy, strength and vigor
- Helps keep blood pressure normal
- Reduces stress and tension
- Creates a state of deep relaxation and a general feeling of well-being
- Helps with P.M.T.
- Increases concentration and strengthens the mind
- Helps reduce heart disease
- Helps with weight loss