There are many types of meditation that are available for someone who is looking to start a daily meditation practice. Have you decided to join us for our 90 days of daily meditation? If you are having trouble finding your way to that peaceful meditative state, it may not be that you are not cut out for meditation, but rather that you have not found the type of meditation that works best for you. If you read my Adventure Sister Emy’s blog, she found that she had to change the way she meditated so that it work for her and her current lifestyle. Check out her blog.
Hong Sau – When I first was learning to meditate, I was having trouble understanding the practice and feeling like I was doing it correctly. Lucky, I have a network of wise friends and I reached out to my friend Patrick, who taught me the Hong Sau meditation method. Here you focus in on the mantra. It helps relieve the worry that you are “doing it right.” You focus on the words or sounds so your mind is not busy assessing your practice. It was a great way to get started. When you do this type of meditation, you say the words silently in your head. “Hong” on the inhale and “Sau” on the exhale.
Mindfulness or Zen – These techniques are similar. Although a devoted student of either of these types of Meditation could quickly explain the differences. They both come from Buddhist traditions. This is the type of meditation that is done in silence, focusing on something like your breath. When the mind wanders, it is gently brought back to the breath or area of focus. These are the types of meditation where you see someone sitting on the floor with their hands in their lap and their eyes closed. It can also be done in a chair, if sitting on the floor is not accessible or comfortable for you. There are many Buddhist centers that will welcome you to join their meditation sessions.
Kundalini yoga meditation – As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, this type of meditation is near and dear to my heart. There are many different Kundalini Yoga meditations. Some with silent mantras and others with mantras chanted out loud. Some take place in stillness and others have movement associated with them. If you would like to experience this type of meditation, videos can be found on You Tube or you can attend a Kundalini Yoga Class in your area. Meditation is typically a part of the classes. I have had amazing experiences in Kundalini Yoga classes during the meditation portion. There is something about the group energy that cannot be duplicated in solitary practice. If you are interested in learning more about Kundalini Yoga, stay tuned for a future blog, I intend to write one explaining Kundalini Yoga more.
Tai Chi or Qigong – This is a practice of meditation in motion. Think of the images of people making the slow uniformed movements together. I have only had the opportunity to experience Tai Chi once, It was at morning prayer at a retreat center I went to, but it was an incredible experience. It is something I intend to experience more of in the future.
Transcendental – This is the only type of meditation listed here that I have not experienced before. This type of meditation became popular in the 60s. For this type of meditation a Guru of the school of TM (Transcendental Meditation) gives you a mantra. This is a personal mantra and is kept in confidence between you and the Guru. If this is a type of meditation that is interesting to you, reach out to a TM Center to find a Guru to work with.
Mantra – We have talked about a couple types of mantra meditations already but it doesn’t have to be limited to Hong Sau or Kundalini Mantra Meditations. There are the seed mantras, which are powerful sounds that resinate with the universe, like OM. Additionally, anything can become a mantra. The name of your favorite Saint, an intention you are working on (i.e. Peace, Joy, Love, weight loss), or even just a word like “breath.” I was raised Catholic and I very much see praying the Rosary as a form of mantra meditation.
Loving Kindness – Loving Kindness is another type of meditation that has become popular with all the stress in the world today. This can be done with visualization or mantra. The focus is, you guessed it: loving kindness for yourself, others, and the greater world or universe.
Walking – In walking meditation, mantra may or may not be used. Breath work is often a part of it. Your focus is internal, despite the fact that you are moving. Breathwalk: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind and Spirit is a book full of walking meditations. I had the opportunity to experience a walking meditation led by one of the authors of this book. I fell in love with walking meditations. This is a particularly nice type of meditation for people who have a hard time sitting still.
Focused – This was one of the first ever meditation practices I learned. The woman who taught me about it explained that it is a practice of sitting with your eyes open and gaze soft. You focus your vision on something in your space. A candle flame is a nice option for your gaze. Other options, for focus, could be the pattern in a fabric or the veins in a leaf. Either of which could be traced with your sight. The purpose of this is to keep your mind in the present.
Guided – These are a great thing for beginners. There are lots of them on YouTube and available in Apps for your phone. See my previous blog Theres An App for That: A Review Of Meditation Apps. The nice thing about a guided meditation is that a facilitator helps you stay present. There are guided meditations for almost anything you could possible want. They can help you have very powerful experiences. Plus better learn how to meditate and what you should expect as you progress in your meditation skills.
Healing Gong – These are events that are offered by yoga studios sometimes. The gong is the sound of creation. Lying on a mat, completely relaxed, while the sound of the gong vibrates over you can be a transformative experience. These are typically a special occasional event rather than a type of meditation practiced regularly. If you get a chance to experience this I would recommend it.
Learning to meditate can be a practice of trialing different types of meditation in order to find what’s a good fit for you. Even if you are an experienced meditator, you may find that what worked for you at one time, is no longer a good fit. You may need to try a new type of meditation that gets you to a deeper or more fulfilling experience.
Please share in the comments if you have any experiences you would like the rest of the group to know about. If you have more or different information you would like to share, please do so in the comments. This is how we can help and learn from each other. We are a community.
Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish for you a meditation practice that is fulfilling and that you find the type of meditation that is just right for you in this moment and every moment. I love you.
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