Types of Meditation: An Introduction
There are many types of meditation instruction, and with our access to information in our modern world, it’s easy to find out about them so that you can choose the one or ones that feel right for you. Depending on what you want to focus on, you might choose a different type of meditation instruction. Below is just a short list to get you started thinking about what types are available and which ones might be right for you.
Guided meditations are great for every practitioner, especially beginners who might be finding it challenging to calm their minds. Many beginners start with these and then find they can branch out to other forms. You can find many different guided meditations online, in the form of MP3 audio downloads, podcasts and even videos.
They are exactly what the name states—a person guides the meditator through a meditation, often through the use of visualizing or using affirmations. Some focus on whole body relaxations, such as body scans. They come in many different lengths, which is nice. You might choose some shorter ones to use when you don’t have much time and then longer ones when you do.
This type of mediation is making a comeback after its popularity in the 60’s and early 70’s. It was very popular with celebrities of the time, including The Beatles, John Denver and The Beach Boys. Transcendental Meditation is a mantra-based meditation in which a word or phrase is repeated over and over during meditation.
Mantras are used in many traditions to help focus the mind. Practitioners meditate for 15-20 minutes twice a day while reciting their mantra. Mantras are giving to individuals by their Transcendental Meditation teacher. This type of mediation requires you to find a license instructor, and there is a fee involved.
Rather than sit with eyes closed, moving meditations focus on the sensations felt in the body while in movement. Many people who like the idea of meditation but not the sitting gravitate to this form of instruction. Some types of moving meditations include Yoga and Qigong. To try these, you can find free and low-cost sources online or take a class in your area.
Mindfulness meditation has its roots in Vipassana meditation, one form of Buddhist meditation. One of its leaders, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, is well-known in the West. Mindfulness meditation is known in the West mostly due to Jon Kabat-Zinn, a doctor who created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This form included sitting and focusing on the present moment and on the breath, attempting not to change anything.
Binaural Beats Meditation
Brainwave synchronization has been used for centuries, but the modern world is just beginning to realize the positive benefits. Studies now report that the use of binaural beats can hasten the process of meditation and let you reach meditative stages that you’ve never before been able to achieve.
Binaural beats for meditation selects certain brainwaves to stimulate the brain and cause deeply relaxed meditation or mental alertness, depending on the mental state you desire. All different types of binaural beats meditations can be found online. You can even try some of them out for free to see if they are a good fit for you!