Meditation comes in many forms. Depending on the individual, some meditation techniques may work better than others. Meditation has become so popular that even doctors, therapists and nutritionists are suggesting it for their patients and clients.
Some basic forms of meditation are mindfulness, zazen, transcendental meditation, kundalini, qi gong, guided visualization, trance-based practices, and heart rhythm meditation. These 8 different kinds seem to be the most popular today according to the Institute for Applied Meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is also known as Vipassana. This type of meditation derives from Buddhists. This is more of an observational process than it is active. During mindfulness, one keeps the mind running and accepts each thought as it comes, but tries to detach himself/herself from the thought. While it is not necessary to change your breathing during this type of meditation, you can often tell what type of energy state you are in by recognizing your breathing pattern and just letting it be. Zazen is another type of meditation that is derived from Buddhists. Zazen means seated meditation. Zazen is done with great posture and not much more instruction. In order to succeed at this type of meditation, you must have a great deal of self-discipline.
Transcendental meditation comes from Hinduism. This is also done seated with great posture and usually in the lotus position. Many times there is a sacred word that is repeated. The purpose of this meditation is to calmly rise above any temporary negativity. Kundalini also comes from Hinduism. Kundalini focuses on rising energy and breath. Essentially, your breath is used to push energy upward continuously.
Qi gong comes from Taoist tradition. This form of meditation also focuses on breath and energy but this time in a circular motion throughout your body, organs, and your soul. Guided visualization is a simple form of meditation that also demands focus and discipline. The object of this meditation is to concentrate on an image or scene, whether real or made up. This has to come from your own thoughts. Trance-based practices are a bit different from the types of meditations listed above. For example, in order to really be in a trance, one must lack self-awareness, awareness of his or her surroundings, and rational thinking. This state is usually not self-induced, but may be from drugs, music, or hypnosis. This is not a suggested form of meditation and can be harmful.
Last, but certainly not least is heart rhythm meditation. This form of meditation focuses on your breath, heartbeat and your emotions. Understanding the energy of your heart and breathing gives you the opportunity to be in complete control of yourself and to comprehend your purpose and worth. This method is absolutely recommended and can benefit one’s spiritual development.
As stated above, depending on the meditator, the best meditation methods may vary. It is important to test a few out to see what type is most beneficial to you. Meditating is very powerful and can truly change someone’s life for the better.