Meditation is an ancient practice that originated a few thousand years ago and was used as a religious and spiritual practice. Its objective is simply to get people’s focus on the present moment. This shift of focus brings peace to the body and the soul, as focusing on the future brings anxiety and stress as to what will happen in the future as well. Focusing on the past brings sadness or anger about what happened in the past. In other words, it frees our minds from stress and brings calmness to us. Here we will focus on 3 types of meditation.
You might even do meditation without even knowing it as when you engage in activity after you lose track of time and your other worries, you basically live in the moment and hence practice meditation. Think about activities that bring your meditation stage and write in the comment section below.
Even different religions and cultures came up with different types of meditation through time.
These 3 types of meditation are:
- Concentrative techniques
Concentrative techniques are the most taught and practiced techniques throughout the world. This is because they require no additional resources and can be done by anyone in a short range of time. The goal of these techniques is to concentrate on a single thing, be it an object, light, or breath.
There are a few things that need to be careful about before starting the concentrative techniques, and those are:
- Take care of positioning as you need to sit down in a comfortable position.
- Removing distractions from your environment. A quiet place is perfect for meditation.
Focusing on the breath is one of the most popular and it’s easy to perform too. To do this, first, close your eyes, then try breathing through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Try to focus on the breath as you inhale and exhale. This will help to shift focus on breath from any other thoughts. Try to do this for a couple of minutes, you can even extend the time as you go on.
Another effective technique is Mindful seeing. To do this, firstly, find a space of a window or door through which you can see outside. Then, look for everything that you can see, and without labeling them notice their color, textures, and patterns. Try to be observant of them and not critical. If your mind gets diverted to some other thing, then focus your mind on the color and textures of other things near you.
If sitting in one space is not your forte, and you like to move a lot, then movement meditations can help you. You need to move and focus on certain or all parts of your body to focus on present movement. Yoga, tai-chi, and other martial arts are prime examples of movement.
You can start with a simple muscle progression technique. This technique allows you to relax and contract your muscles one by one from head to toe while focusing on them. To do this, first, get into a comfortable position. Then tense your forehead muscle for a few seconds, then relax them while taking long breaths. Then, try to do this with all muscles from head to toe while focusing on breaths and taking a few seconds of rest between them.
Remember to notice the difference between contractions and relaxation. Try to do this everyday for a couple of weeks to master it. And as you master it, try to do it in a quick way in which you contract and relax all muscles in one go.
Another movement technique that is quite helpful to clear emotion is taking a few minutes to dance or move as you want, alone in any space. Then, focus on your breath after your dance and accept the emotions, if any of them get surfaced because of the dance.
Expressive techniques are the ones that use the creativity of the individuals to meditate. Some examples are journaling, drawing, creative writing, doodling, or even working with clays or sticks. The white paper technique is often used in this meditative style. All you need is white paper and something to sketch with (pencil or colors).
Then, pick any of the colors or shapes and start making freeflow sketches. Remember to focus on what you are doing instead of any other past or future thoughts. Similarly, you can do this with doodling or writing where you focus on doodling or writing whatever comes to mind instead of planning what you want to write.
Needless to say, these meditation techniques are quite popular in current times as they help to reduce the stress experienced by individuals. While having all these resources of available techniques is appreciative, yet it can also create confusion and complexity within the present generation of individuals to select which technique works best for them. The most effective way to deal with this situation is by focusing on this four-step process:
- Scheduling time for meditation.
As in the current time, we are bombarded with activities that make us busy everyday, finding time for meditation can prove to be the most difficult step for a few of us. Start with finding a small amount of time you can give for meditation everyday, try to select a time range that you can be constant with. Consistency with time can help you build this habit by adapting to our body’s rhythmic cycle.
- Understand your type of meditation.
We all have different inclinations and activities we are comfortable with or have an interest in. For example, if you have a high interest in creative writing or painting, then you should try expressive techniques to focus on your present moment. In that also you can try different techniques to see which one is best for you and which one you want to learn. You can also search for other similar techniques if given above and use those to work on your meditation.
- Master selected techniques.
Choosing only a selected technique from the pool of available techniques will help you to focus and master a selected technique rather than building confusion by trying new techniques every now and then. To master your selected techniques, follow them for at least a period of time and then adjust them in a specific way so that you can use them anytime and anywhere.
For example, if your meditation requires materials such as paper and pen, then find alternatives to meditate without them, or if your meditation requires large movements, then find alternatives to meditate in smaller movements that you can perform anywhere when you want to alleviate your stress.
There are numerous meditation techniques in the world and through the internet, we can access and learn almost all of them. This can be advantageous as well as disadvantageous, hence it’s better to learn which meditation technique might be more beneficial and easier for you to use and use that to bring calmness in your chaotic mind.