In the modern world, everyone is adopting the practice of yoga and meditation to maintain their physical and mental benefit. A daily practice of meditation can significantly be beneficial for your physical and mental health. Survey results show that more than 15.4% new practitioners of yoga and meditation and its alternative therapies are added up. Scientific evidence proves that meditation can be a useful tool in healing chronic illnesses, including depression, heart disease, chronic pain.
Simply, meditation is the practice of being the observer. By detaching yourself from body, mind and emotions, you can reach a higher state of consciousness. Meditation aims to focus your mind for a particular period of time. But, which technique of meditation should be followed? Each technique is different, not every approach is suitable for everyone. There are more than hundreds of meditation techniques encompassing techniques from different cultures, traditions, spiritual discipline or religions. So, there is not one technique or specific technique accepted universally. It is more inclined towards an individual preference that intended to use one or more than one technique that works best for you. There is no universally “the best” technique or practice for meditation.
Here are some meditation techniques that are proven scientifically helpful to achieve greater results for the practitioner.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being fully conscious in the present movement. It urges practitioners to remain aware in the present moment. Generally, our mind is dwelling on the past incident or dreading on future. Being Mindful is to be aware of where you are and what you are doing. It is the most popular technique as it can be practiced anywhere at anytime like waiting in a queue at the store, doing home activities, vacant time in office etc. In the process, you need to focus on your surroundings including the sights, objects, sounds, smell or observing people without forming a judgement. This technique is involved in other forms of meditation as well but in its pure form, its purely focus on awareness of every movement happening around you while its progressively relaxation takes your conscious away from the areas of tension in your body.
Mindfulness meditation can be beneficial in releasing negative emotions, improvement in memory, being responsive rather than reactive.
Transcendental Meditation i.e. Bhavatit Dhyana (in Hindi) is more like a spiritual form of meditation where practitioners remain seated and breathe slowly. The purpose is to take your consciousness in a transcendental state or rise above the person’s current mental state. In this technique, a specific matra or a phrase is assigned to the practitioner by his master, teacher or mentor based on a complex set of patterns and ask the practitioner to repeat it in specific manner.
Metta Meditation known as Loving-kindness meditation, is the practice of forming the mentality of well wishes for all mankind and nature. The practitioner is encouraged to recite the specific word or phrase meant to generate the feeling of well wishes and you repeat the word or phrase slowly and steadily. For example – in India, there is a popular phrase of a famous slogan – “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah! Sarve Bhadrani Pashayantu, Maa Kaschid Dukha Bhag Bhavet!!” means all humans, creatures, nature and space may remain happy and healthy.
Breath Focused Meditation
Breath Focused Meditation or Breath Awareness Meditation is a practice of taking deep breaths and observing them. You require to focus your consciousness on your breathing sound. You need to listen to it consciously and sometimes, you are asked to count it. The main purpose of this technique is to converse your conscious on your breathing and point it on a single object. Breath awareness meditation offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness meditation. It is helpful in reducing anxiety, building up the concentration level and better emotional flexibility.
Vipassana meditation is the most ancient form of meditation that means to see things in their real form. It is more focused on realizing the ultimate reality of the world. It is the root of all prime meditation techniques developed with time. Vipassana meditation techniques focus on self-observation. The practitioner of Vipassana meditation is asked to develop this observation in incremental order so that it helps the practitioner to achieve self-transformation through self-observation. The purpose of vipassana meditation is acquiring self-transformation through self-observation. This is achieved through awareness to physical impulses in the body, to establish a deep connection between body, mind and emotions and it gives a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
Chakra refers to the center of latent energy and spiritual power in the body. There are seven chakras in the body and each chakra is located at different parts of the body. The chakra meditation technique is based on relaxation techniques and focused on balancing chakras and activating the latent energy and spiritual facets of human personality.
Guided meditation refers to visualization of guided imagery. In this technique, a mental picture or object on which you can point your conscious. This process solely operated by your mentor or guide. And he formed that picture in your mind by giving the strong instructions during your meditative state. You will only be able to listen to his/her voice. The teacher guides you through the entire process. So, he actually converts your mind and evokes calmness in your mind.
You may read and hear other meditation techniques but these are the prime meditation techniques used all over the world. In different cultures, the meditation techniques developed to help people for mental relaxation. In different cultures, different meditation techniques are used but their roots are among these 7 meditation techniques.
If you are new to meditation and are about to learn it, we would recommend that you consult with an expert yoga and mediation mentor or join a yoga studio or yoga school. There you can find the best experienced professionals. You could also join a yoga teacher training to learn the basic meditation techniques and practise them to calm your body, mind and emotions.