Meditation is a practice that involves focusing attention inwards. The focus of inward attention could be on a mantra, the breathing process (inhalation and exhalation), a vision, an emotion, an area of the body, or even someone else. Some people use meditation to relax and help with anxiety, others use it to build concentration, and yet others pursue the practice as a means of following a particular religion.
There is no right or wrong way to use meditation, but in order to get any benefit, you’ll need to know both proper technique as well as the type of meditation you wish to pursue. To decide what type of meditation you like best, I recommend doing some experimentation. Here are listed a few, but the simplest and most practiced.
Focused-attention or mindful meditation
It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, and compassion, in the here and now, free from distraction or judgement, with a soft and open mind.
Develop a sense of calm focus. Once you have settled into your meditation, which for a beginner may take some time, examine the four foundations of mindfulness.
Examine the first foundation, mindfulness of the body. This is focusing, and exploring component parts of the body such as head, hair, skin, teeth, muscles, bones, heart, stomach, etc. The practice is focusing on what they are, where they are, what they are dependent on, what they do, etc.
Examine the second foundation, mindfulness of physical feelings and sensations. How and when sensations occur is one thing to focus on.
Examine the third foundation, the mindfulness of mental states. This covers thoughts, fantasies, ideas, dreams, images, etc. The focus is to watch how they arise and change or the focus can be letting go of them.
Examine the fourth and final foundation, mindfulness of the consciousness. This may include the state of mind such as tiredness or energetic states, or focused or unfocused states, feeling peaceful or anxious, etc. The skill is to temper or gently change the state of the consciousness, so introducing compassion when feeling depressed, goodwill when feeling angry, or appreciation when feeling dissatisfaction.
A mantra is a syllable or word, usually without any particular meaning, that is repeated for the purpose of focusing your mind. In yoga, the mantra Om is regularly used since it delivers a deep vibration that makes it easy for the mind to concentrate on that particular sound.
You don’t need to devote long horse to meditation. If you feel that you don’t have enough time to meditate, try a couple of minutes a day focusing on breath:
Focus all your attention on the movement of the breath going in and out through the nose. This may be aided by counting the breath in your mind. Each time you inhale you count one number, starting with 10, and then moving backward to 9, 8, 7, etc. When you arrive in 1, you resume from 10 again. If you get distracted and lose your count, gently bring back the attention to 10 and resume from there.
You can do that 3 to 4 times a day.
This type of meditation is for those who regularly participate in prayer, as it’s based on communicating with God. Just like the other styles, you must become calm and quiet and then begin to focus on a question or problem you might have or just what you want to express. This style of meditation can feel not only relaxing, but rewarding as well.
Guided meditation is simply “meditation with the help of a guide”. It’s one of the easiest ways to enter into a state of deep relaxation and inner stillness, and it’s one of the most powerful ways to eliminate stress and bring about positive personal changes. One of the main reasons why guided meditations are such a popular alternative to traditional meditation techniques is because they require no previous training or effort to enjoy.
Even if you are someone who finds it extremely difficult to let go of thoughts, even if you are highly stressed or overloaded with mental activity, you will quickly achieve inner stillness and peace of mind when you listen to a great guided meditation.
Below are meditation that are well known and practiced, also known as yoga meditation
Third Eye Meditation
Focusing the attention on the “spot between the eyebrows”, called by “the third eye”. The attention is constantly redirected to this point, as a means to silence the mind. By time the “silent gaps” between thoughts get wider and deeper. Sometimes this is accompanied by physically “looking”, with eyes closed, towards that spot.
the practitioner focuses on one of the seven chakras of the body (“centers of energy”), typically doing some visualizations and chanting a specific mantra for each chakra (lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om). Most commonly it is done on the heart chakra, third eye, and crown chakra.
Gazing Meditation (Trataka)
Meditator is fixing the gaze on an external object, typically a candle, image or a symbol (yantras). It is done with eyes open, and then with eyes closed, to train both the concentration and visualization powers of the mind. After closing the eyes, you should still keep the image of the object in your “mind’s eye”.