A well-known technique, concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. This can include following the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong, or counting beads on a mala.
When your mind wanders (which it will), gently return your focus back to your point of concentration. Maintaining this focus is how you develop concentration.
Practicing this form of meditation is thought to help you see things more clearly and decrease stress and anxiety. It can help you understand yourself better and gain control over your emotions. It may even make it easier for you to make healthier choices and break bad habits.
In fact, research suggests that practicing mindfulness meditation helps people lose weight by changing the regions of the brain associated with self-control.
There are many types of mantras or phrases you can use for repetition in concentration meditation. Some examples include: “I feel at peace”; “I accept myself as I am”; “I am strong”; “My body is healthy”; or simply: “love” or “peace.”
Mindfulness meditation is about being aware of your surroundings, thoughts, feelings, and body. The idea here is that you’ll become more present and less caught up in worries about the past or future.
- Find a quiet place to sit or lay down where you won’t be disturbed.
- Close your eyes (or don’t if that helps you focus better) and begin focusing on your breathing by taking slow, deep breaths through your nose and out of your mouth. Focus on how it feels as the air moves through your nostrils as you breathe in and out of your mouth as you exhale.
- Try to clear all other thoughts from your mind so you can focus on the present moment only (thoughts will pop up). Simply acknowledge each thought without judgment—i.e., “There’s a thought about dinner.” Then return to focusing on breathing again until the next thought arises, then acknowledge it without judgment, and return to breathe focus again until another thought arises—and so on.
Also known as metta meditation, the Loving-Kindness meditation focuses on cultivating feelings of love and compassion. Usually, you’ll imagine sending loving thoughts to others.
For example, you might think about sending love and light to your best friend or to someone who has hurt you recently. You may also send love to all beings in general or even yourself. It’s a great practice for those who find it difficult to feel compassion for themselves or others.
In the classic version of this meditation, you will repeat a mantra that expresses your intention. A traditional example would be:
May I be happy__Be well__Do not fear__Stay with ease__Be at peace
In modern versions of this practice, however, there aren’t any rules about what mantra you use (if any) and when you say it (if ever). The idea is that if your heart feels full of love and compassion while you’re meditating, then whatever words you’re using are working—even if they’re not “traditional.”
Loving-Kindness can be done sitting or walking and alone or in groups. One type of Loving-Kindness meditation involves finding four different places where the ground slopes up (e.g., a hillside), downslope (e.g., a ravine), leftward (e.g., near the edge of a cliff), and rightward (again near the edge of a cliff).
In each direction, sit for 20 minutes repeating your mantra as above until it feels natural and easy to extend these wishes outward from yourself toward all sentient beings in this particular direction before moving on to the next location.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to get started.
- Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and breathe slowly and deeply.
- Focus on the word or sound you’ve chosen.
- Go with the flow of thoughts in your mind without getting trapped by them. When you run into a negative thought, let it pass through your mind like a cloud drifts across the sky. Don’t judge yourself or try to stop your thoughts – just be a witness to them.
- Continue meditating for up to 20 minutes each day until you feel more relaxed and at peace with yourself. Try not to be attached to any particular results since that might become stressful or even an obstacle in itself!
Walking meditation is similar to seated meditation, and you can transition easily between the two if you like. To start, follow these steps:
- While standing up straight with your eyes open, begin walking in a straight line. You can walk on a long piece of string or rope laid out on the ground if you prefer to have a visual guide.
- Breathe in and lift your left foot off the ground, feeling it coming up from the ground into your body. Step forward onto your left foot as you breathe out, feeling it come down on the ground beneath your weight. Try to feel as many details of this motion as possible.
- Breathe in as you lift your right foot off the ground and step forward onto it with each breath out. Continue this pattern for five minutes or so, noticing how it feels to move through space like this and bringing your attention back to each new step when it wanders away.
Walk slowly, keeping an awareness of what’s going on all around you — in addition to noting how much effort is needed in order to move your body through space with each step that you take
Chakra meditation is a spiritual practice that connects your body with the world around you. You can use this meditation to help balance and heal the energy centers in your body.
During chakra meditation, you focus on each of the seven chakras one by one. The chakras are located along your spine, starting at the top of your head and moving down to the tailbone.
Beginning at the crown chakra, you imagine breathing in light—focusing on allowing more light into each chakra as you move down through them until finally reaching the root chakra. As you do so, you visualize what color corresponds with each one. This can help cleanse and balance them.
Zen meditation is a method of mindfulness that originated in China, and it’s all about being focused and aware of what you’re doing right now. It’s achieved through sitting meditation mixed with physical exercise. The goal of Zen meditation is to learn to be in the present moment, which can help you relieve stress and anxiety.
Some Zen techniques are not meant to be practiced every day—in fact, some require that you only practice them when they best suit your needs. For instance, shinrin-yoku—or forest bathing—involves taking a walk in nature as a form of relaxation.
Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural technique that allows your mind and body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle.
Hundreds of scientific studies conducted at over 200 independent universities and research institutions in 33 countries have found benefits of TM include reduced stress, increased happiness, and better health.
The Transcendental Meditation program has been practiced by millions around the world for over 50 years. The technique is taught through a seven-step course which includes four consecutive days of personal instruction. You can find local certified teachers on the official TM website.
Vipassana meditation is the oldest surviving form of Buddhist meditation, which dates back over 2,500 years to the Indian subcontinent. This meditation technique was rediscovered by Buddha and reformed based on his personal experiences. Vipassana (or insight) refers to a way of observing yourself and your thoughts without any judgment or opinions. It is considered one of the most powerful forms of meditation because it allows you to see your true self, including what you’re feeling at that moment. With mindfulness and practice, you will learn how to break free from mental impurities such as anger, jealousy, and greed by learning how to control your mind and emotions.
The Benefits of Vipassana Meditation
The benefits of practicing vipassana can be felt in all aspects of our lives: physical health, mental health, relationships with others, career success, etc. By learning how to master your minds you will improve all areas where you want to succeed!
Here are some other ways people experience positive changes after doing this type of meditation for only 10 days:
– Improved concentration;
– Increased awareness;
– Better sleep quality;
– More energy throughout their day (even after just waking up);
– Fewer stress levels when dealing with stressful situations like work deadlines or traffic jams;
Another wonderful way to meditate is through yoga. Yoga meditation is a type of meditation that includes the practice of asanas (yoga poses), or postures, but with a deeper emphasis on stillness and breathing. Asanas are practiced in a slower way than usual, holding each pose for an extended period of time. A typical class might include only four or five poses, held for five minutes each, followed by a final resting pose (Savasana) where you lie still and relax completely for about 10 minutes in the end.
Yoga can be extremely helpful in reducing stress, controlling anxiety, improving your health and wellbeing, and it can also help you feel more present and connected to your body. It’s also easily adaptable for people of all ages and abilities—young children can benefit from gentle yoga exercises too!
Movement meditation is a wonderful technique to accomplish when you are feeling restless or unable to sit still, as it will not only allow you to actively calm your mind but also keep your body in shape! Movement meditation can be practiced through yoga and Pilates, tai-chi, jogging, swimming, or even walking. The point of this type of meditation is that you focus on the movement of your body and use that as the object of your meditation (as opposed to your breath or a mantra).
If you are new to moving meditations, try starting with something simple such as tai-chi for 10 minutes each day. This short amount of time will allow you to get used to focusing on one thing for an extended period and over time you can build up from there. As always, don’t be too alarmed if during this practice your mind wanders – just gently bring it back and remember that these practices take time and patience!
Meditation can help you feel better and more grounded.
Meditation is a great way to feel more relaxed and focused. At the same time, it can also keep you feeling more grounded and present in your own mind. These are just a few of the many benefits that meditation can provide.