Different Meditation Techniques

  As I do Meditation Practice, I’m frequently asked which type of meditation techniques is the best or the most effective. People also want to know if meditation is possible without a religious connection or belief in God. Then there are questions as to whether busy type A personalities can slow down enough to meditate.




In order to be successful, meditation techniques needs to be simple, comfortable, and have results that make you want to keep showing up every day. As far as the details go, whatever works for you is the right approach, and you have plenty of varieties to choose from. The key is making time every day to sit, breathe, and connect with the self.


1. HINDU MEDITATION (Vedic & Yogic)





2. BUDDHIST MEDITATION 

  • Zen Meditation

  • Vipassana Meditation

  • Mindfulness Meditation

  • Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)

3. CHINESE MEDITATION 

  • Taoist Meditations

  • Qigong (Chi kung)



4. CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

   In Eastern traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism) meditation is usually practiced with the purpose of transcending the mind and attaining enlightenment. On the other hand, in the Christian tradition the goal of contemplative practices is, one may say, moral purification and deeper understanding of the Bible; or a closer intimacy with God/Christ, for the more mystic stream of the tradition.

Here are some forms of Christian contemplative practice:

  • contemplative prayer — which usually involves the silent repetition of sacred words or sentences, with focus and devotion

  • contemplative reading — or simply “contemplation”, which involves thinking deeply about the teachings and events in the Bible.

  • “sitting with God” — a silent meditation, usually preceded by contemplation or reading, in which we focus all our mind, heart and soul on the presence of God

5. GUIDED MEDITATIONS

Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

As the brain does not distinguish between an imagined event and a real one, the experience you have with a guided meditation is just like having a real experience. This has an amazing effect on your life due to the way the brain works.


There are different type of Guided Meditation

  • Traditional Meditations

  • Guided Imagery

  • Relaxation & Body Scans

  • Affirmations

  • Binaural Beats

  • Subliminal

6. General meditation Techniques

Focused attention meditation


 Focusing the attention on a single object during the whole meditation session. This object may be the breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, external object, etc. As the practitioner advances, his ability to keep the flow of attention in the chosen object gets stronger, and distractions become less common and short-lived. Both the depth and steadiness of his attention are developed.

Examples of these are: Samatha (Buddhist meditation), some forms of Zazen, Loving Kindness Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Sound Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Pranayama, some forms of Qigong, and many others.

Open monitoring meditation

Instead of focusing the attention on any one object, we keep it open, monitoring all aspects of our experience, without judgment or attachment. All perceptions, be them internal (thoughts, feelings, memory, etc.) or external (sound, smell, etc.), are recognized and seen for what they are. It is the process of non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment, without going into them. Examples are: Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana, as well as some types of Taoist Meditation.


Effortless Presence


It’s the state where the attention is not focused on anything in particular, but reposes on itself – quiet, empty, steady, and introverted. We can also call it “Choiceless Awareness” or “Pure Being”. Most of the meditation quotes you find speak of this state.

This is actually the true purpose behind all kinds of meditation, and not a meditation type in itself. All traditional techniques of meditation recognize that the object of focus, and even the process of monitoring, is just a means to train the mind, so that effortless inner silence and deeper states of consciousness can be discovered. Eventually both the object of focus and the process itself is left behind, and there is only left the true self of the practitioner, as “pure presence”.

In some techniques, this is the only focus, from the beginning. Examples are: the Self-Enquiry (“I am” meditation) of Ramana Maharishi; Dzogchen; Mahamudra; some forms of Taoist Meditation; and some advanced forms of Raja Yoga. In my point of view, this type of meditation always requires previous training to be effective, even though this is  sometimes not expressly said (only implied).