The classical meditation, when you sit down and try to focus on your breathing doesn't work for everybody. There are many other ways of meditating that I want to talk about today. I hope that this will help you find something perfect for you, so you can reach within or connect with the Universe itself.
First meditation style we will break down is mindfulness meditation: In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. It’s good to just define the word mindfulness- it is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. When we are mindful of our actions, we pay more attention to what we are doing. It’s the opposite of going through the motions—instead, you are tuned into your senses, noticing your thoughts and emotions. It means: you can be mindful doing each and every little thing in your life. Brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating. Paying attention to these little things can help you see the more important, bigger things: like yours and other people’s emotions and reactions. When you’re starting your practice go easy on yourself. Five to ten minutes is a perfect start. Build it up until you can stay in this state for 45 minutes to an hour. Choose a place with little distractions and sit down comfortably. Straighten up your back but try not to be too stiff and just relax, feel your breath. Don’t get upset when your mind starts to wander. It’s normal- instead of wrestling with your thoughts sit down and observe them. When you feel that your session is done, slowly lift or open your eyes and that’s it. Sounds easy, but it’s not.
Spiritual meditation: It’s similar to prayer in that you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe. It’s paradoxical because the main idea behind this form of meditation is to connect with the Divine through self- reflection. With spiritual meditation, acknowledging and accepting who you are is the first step to truly making friends with yourself. As meditation master Pema Chödrön said: “It is unconditional compassion for ourselves that leads naturally to unconditional compassion for others. If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them.” Sit down comfortably, relax, focus on your breathing. Try to Release any grudges you’ve been holding. The sooner you forgive, the quicker you can release this pain and move on. Focus your spiritual aspirations on others. True spirituality focuses on benefiting others, but to do this we have to start with ourselves first. Open your mind to new possibilities and be authentic. You can speak it as you would to your deity, or the Universe. You can actually recite a prayer. Do what feels right.
Focused meditation: Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses. This one truly works wonders for stress relief. This meditation style allows you to focus your attention on an object, sound, or sensation rather than trying to achieve a clear mind without a specific focal point. There are five points to start focused meditation: first you Choose a target for your focus: your breathing is a great start. Getting into a comfortable position is the second task, sitting upright is just fine. Third task is to turn your attention to your chosen target. Zero in on the sensations including the sound, smell, sight, and details of your focal point. The idea isn't to think about it but simply to experience it, being fully present in the moment. If you are focusing on your breath, for example, pay attention to the sensations you experience as you inhale and exhale each breath. Calm your inner voice, the inner monologue becomes too loud? Gently turn your attention back to your chosen target and the sensation it provides. And lastly: Don't worry about failure. If you find your mind engaging you and realize that you’re not being fully present with the sensations of your chosen target, don’t let your inner perfectionist beat you up for doing it "wrong."
Movement meditation: Most people think of yoga when they hear movement meditation, this practice may include walking through the woods, gardening, qigong, and other gentle forms of motion. Movement meditation focuses on the movements of the body rather than the goal of the movement. For instance, picking up a book is not normally registered by your mind, but being mindful of the process makes the movement much different. For instance, you feel the bend of the legs and the arm as you reach down for the book. You notice the movement as the head as it looks towards the book. You feel the book against your hand as you begin to pick it up. You notice the extra weight in your hand as you lift the book towards you. All of these things are in your awareness during movement meditation. Many people utilize walking meditation where they walk slowly in a predefined space repeatedly while noticing the wind against their skin and their feet against the ground. No matter what type of movement meditation you do, all forms involve slow movement and mindfulness. I like to dance, and slowly acknowledge how to music makes me feel inside. How my body moves with the sound. How my skin feels under my fingertips. Or when I'm gardening, how I feel the breeze on my skin, the soil under my fingertips. The smells surrounding me. Just try to find joy in these little things.
Mantra meditation: This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. A mantra is a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation. Mantras can be spoken, chanted, whispered, or repeated in the mind. Most mantra meditation techniques have two essential components: mindfulness meditation and mantra recitation or chanting. You can easily find mantras, picking a perfect intention for yourself on YouTube or Spotify. People do mantra meditation for different reasons. For some, it serves as a kind of mental protection against unwelcome distractions or emotions, as when battling sleeplessness or coping with fears associated with travel. For others, mantra meditation serves a deeper spiritual purpose. Pick what fits you best and enjoy!
Transcendental meditation: This practice is more customizable than mantra meditation, using a mantra or series of words that are specific to each practitioner. By using this mantra, the practitioner experiences the thought of that sound and starts minimizing that thought to experience the finer states of that thought – until the source of thought is fathomed and the conscious mind reaches the transcendental area of being. Unlike some forms of meditation, TM technique requires a seven-step course of instruction from a certified teacher. I recommend a further research if it sounds like something you are interested in!