Meditation in Many Forms

    Meditation comes in all different forms.

    Meditation comes in all different forms.

    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.


    How to Rid Negative Thoughts

    Meditation and yoga can help calm your soul and strengthen your mind and body.

    Meditation and yoga can help calm your soul and strengthen your mind and body.

    In an article written on tinybuddha.com by yoga teacher, Michelle Uy, she shares with us a recent struggle where she allowed her thoughts to take over and create a false reality in her relationship. As she and her boyfriend were deciding to take the next step and move in together, negative thoughts of change, compromise and regret clouded her mind and led her to believe that they would fail when the time came to figure out a cohesive life of togetherness and a new routine. As Michelle is more aware than most people that negative thoughts are powerful and can be detrimental in some situations, she began to do what she knew best to rid the thoughts of negativity and move forward with hope and confidence.

    One thing you can do is surround yourself with positive people. Being around people who love you and care for you or even just in a healthy positive where you may know no one, can get you back to a better place mentally. Positivity is contagious. This can result in the next step, turning your thoughts around. It is alright to think that there will be challenges, but the great news is that when you believe that you can overcome those challenges, and you do – you will be stronger and wiser in the end than you were before.

    A simple step to decreasing these heavy negative feelings is smiling. Do what you know will make you smile, or even giggle. It is truly amazing what smiling and laughing can cure. Smiling is another contagious act; when there is someone smiling at you, it is probably going to take more energy to keep that straight face than to smile back and appreciate the generosity. This brings us to the next step which is doing something nice for someone else. When we perform acts of kindness as humans, we tend to feel a sense of gratitude for what we have in our own lives. Whether it is community service, donating to shelters, or simply helping your elders when you see them struggling up the stairs, everything counts. It feels good to help others.

    Music is always a great way to feel our feelings. If we listen to sad, slow songs, chances are we will be sad; if we listen to happy, upbeat songs, chances are we will be happy. If you are upset, listen to one of your favorite feel good songs and enjoy it. Reading can also sooth our worried souls. Pick up a good book, maybe a book of positive quotes or self-help, motivational book and read. Read on to remind yourself that no one is perfect and we all need a pick-me-up every once in a while. Be easy on yourself, you are not alone. It is equally important to understand that while we accept help in times of need, we must take some responsibility as well. You have choices and you have to be strong enough to know that and to eventually make the necessary changes.

    Last but certainly not least, take a yoga class or meditate. Meditation calms your mind and body and lets you rejuvenate your soul as if you were to receive a fresh start. The beauty in this is that we do get a fresh start every single day that we wake up. We must think of the good in our lives and learn to appreciate them every day. If we see the good and truly appreciate them, it is much easier to deal with the bad as it comes. We all have the power within us to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we just have to find it and believe.