Meditation has been practiced for centuries and is scientifically proven to reduce stress and heal the mind and body. But there are many misconceptions about the various types of meditation and meditation techniques. Some associate the practice of meditation with devout religious followers like monks, and they see it as difficult and inaccessible.
The truth is, there are thousands and thousands of meditation techniques out there, and most of them are free to learn and easy to do. Though some types of meditation require specific training, the vast majority are totally accessible to every person.
But trying to find the right meditation techniques for you can be completely overwhelming! That’s why we’ve created this list of meditation techniques.
In this article we’re going to tell you about 18 different types of meditations. We’ll explain each meditation’s purpose and goals, help you decide if it’s right for you, and then show you how to get started.
Though there are many types of meditations, we’ve categorized them to help you find what you’re looking for a little faster. Here’s what we’re going to cover in this article:
- Mindfulness Meditations — These meditation techniques are very calming and are excellent for helping you train your mind to stop overthinking and analyzing. Mindfulness meditations are perfect for anyone looking to find inner peace, deal with stress and anxiety, and become a more focused, calm person. (Mindfulness Meditation – Vipassana Meditation – Buddhist Meditation –Walking Meditation)
- Body Meditations — These meditation techniques focus on healing your body through your mind and spirit. If you suffer from pain, illness or the physical symptoms of stress, these meditations can help you cope and heal. (QiGong Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Body Scan Meditation)
- “Religious” Meditations — These meditation techniques are for anyone looking to understand more about their own consciousness. Based on the traditions of different religions and philosophies, these meditations are meant to connect with your divine self and understand your consciousness. (Christian Meditation, Hindu Meditation, Taoist Meditation, Loving Kindness Meditation)
- Sound-Based Meditations — These meditation techniques use repeated words and phrases as the focal point. Repeating a mantra and focusing on a sound can help you achieve inner peace, calm and even spiritual and body healing. (OM Meditation, Mantra Meditation, I AM Meditation)
- Modern Meditations — These meditation techniques were created within the past few decades. Often combining ancient techniques with modern knowledge of science and psychology, these meditations have been adapted to be accessible and easy to do in our modern world. (6 Phase Meditation, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Primordial Sound Meditation)
1. Mindfulness Meditation
What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness Meditation is a meditation that focuses on being present in the moment, without judgment. It is one of the most ancient forms of meditation and is also one of the most practiced and researched meditation techniques.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, pain and even illness. It is extremely easy to practice and can be done anywhere, by anyone. Some schools have begun teaching mindfulness to children because it is so easy to learn and helps with focus, attention, memory and emotional regulation.
How To Do A Mindfulness Meditation
There are many different variations of mindfulness meditation techniques, but, in general, mindfulness only requires your focus and attention.
A general mindfulness meditation can be practiced by following these steps:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down (without falling asleep).
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Notice how your breath feels as you inhale and exhale. Just pay attention to the natural feeling and rhythm of your breath.
- Allow your thoughts and feelings to drift and simply observe where they go.
- Don’t judge or place value on any thought or emotion. Try not to experience boredom, anxiety or frustration as negative. Just let the feelings and thoughts exist, and watch them rise, peak and fall like your breath.
- Continue to do this for 10 minutes, returning to your breath when you find yourself distracted or in a place a judgment.
You can also listen to a guided 10-minute mindfulness meditation like this one.
Who Is Mindfulness Meditation Ideal For?
Mindfulness meditation is a great meditation for absolutely anyone! It’s a great beginner meditation, as it is very easy to do and has a quick and lasting impact on mood.
Mindfulness is particularly helpful for anyone suffering from anxiety, over-thinking or attention and focus problems.
What Is Vipassana Meditation?
Vipassana Meditation is the oldest form of Buddhist meditation techniques. It is also called “Insight Meditation” because its goal is to eventually provide the meditator with insight into existence and being.
After years of practice, meditators begin to understand the nature of reality and existence. This realization comes through a series of insights. However, those insights are only discovered after devotion and commitment to the process.
Practicing a Vipassana meditation for a few months will certainly help with focus, stress and attention, but the deep spiritual insights only come from years of repeated practice.
How To Do Vipassana Meditation
Vipassana is an easy meditation to learn and does not require guidance or a teacher. Though a guide may be helpful, you can simply follow the instructions below to begin practicing.
- Sit in a comfortable seated position with your back upright, forming a right angle to the ground. Vipassana is an hour long meditation, so it is critical that your back be in a position that will not cause discomfort or injury. Those with physical issues may sit in a chair with a back to assist in holding this position.
- With your eyes open, begin to focus on your breath.
- Pay very close attention to your breath entering your lungs and moving your abdomen upward, and then leaving your lungs and pulling your abdomen inwards.
- Do not force a rhythm in your breath. Instead, breath naturally and direct your focus exclusively on your breath.
- Begin to label your breath silently in your mind. Repeat the words “rising, rising” or “breathing in, breathing in” as you breathe in, and then “falling, falling”or “breathing out, breathing out” as you breathe out.
- As your mind drifts, take notice and then label the drifting such as, “planning, planning” or “remembering, remembering.”
- Do the same with any distractions. If you hear a sound, label it “hearing, hearing.” If you see something that distracts you, do the same.
- Continue to do the same with your body. If you have an itch or discomfort, label it and repeat the label in your mind. The purpose of labeling is to direct your focus as precisely as possible.
- You should be noticing the rise and fall of every experience and sensation. You will likely find yourself suddenly distracted. Label it, repeat it and don’t force yourself away from the distraction. Just continue repeating the label until the distraction fades and your focus has moved on to something else.
- When you find yourself focusing on nothing, move your attention back to your breath.
Each meditation session should last for at least one hour. Be sure to set an alarm so you won’t focus on time.
Here is a guided meditation you can follow along with.
Who Is Vipassana Meditation Ideal For?
This mediation is great for people who want to work on their over-thinking or attention and focus issues. It will train your brain to step back and see that all things follow a pattern of rising and falling and will teach you to flow with this rise and fall instead of resist it.
Of course, this meditation is great for anyone looking for spiritual enlightenment. If you’re on a quest to understand the nature of reality and existence, then this is definitely that meditation for you. Just keep in mind that you will need to devote to a lifetime of practice to achieve insight.
Buddhist (Zazen/Zen) Meditation
What Is Buddhist Meditation?
Zazen/Zen Meditation is commonly known as Buddhist meditation, though this is a bit of a misnomer because there are several types of Buddhist meditations. The Zazen/Zen meditation, however, is the foundation for the zen practice of Buddhism.
It’s a sitting meditation that focuses on the breath and the body’s physical position. It’s an attention-based meditation, but it is very calming, and with practice can change the way you process and deal with life’s stresses and complications.
Just imagine the word “zen” and the peace and comfort it brings to mind and you’ll understand what Zazen meditation can provide.
How To Do Buddhist Meditation
Many Buddhist temples and organizations offer free Zazen/Zen meditations where you are guided into the meditation and follow along with a group of other meditators. These mediations are usually free and open to the public, but you can also start practicing on your own and achieve the same results.
Follow the instructions below to start your Buddhist meditation practice.
- The first important thing to understand about Zazen is that your sitting position needs to be natural, but exact. There are several different positions you can try out to find the one that works for you. Your bottom should be lifted off the ground. You can use a thick pillow to achieve this.
- With your legs crossed like a pretzel in front of you, place your knees on the ground and straighten your back.
- Your feet can do one of three things. You can either a) place the top of your feet flat on the ground in front of you with your heels facing upwards, b) place one foot on top of the opposite thigh, again with your heel facing upwards, or c) place both feet on your thighs with your heels facing upwards. If these positions are difficult for you, you can sit on your knees with your feet underneath your bottom. You can also sit in a chair, but your back should be straight and your feet should remain flat on the floor.
- Rest your hands comfortably in front of you with one hand on top of each other, both palms up. The knuckles of each hand should be touching, your dominant hand should be on the bottom and your thumbs should meet and touch.
- Get comfortable. It’s more important to be comfortable than worry about getting these positions exact. However, these positions are designed to support your body and reduce staring and injury, so you may want to practice them outside of meditation.
- Keep your eyes open. They should focus on the ground 2-3 feet in front of you.
- Once your comfortable and your eyes are focused, begin to breathe in and out. As you do so, count 1 at the end of your inhale and 2 at the end of the exhale. On your next breath, count 3 at the end of the inhale and 4 at the end of the exhale. Once you get to 10, start counting all over again.
- When you become distracted by thoughts or outside sensations, acknowledge the distraction and then purposely let it go, bringing your attention back to your breath and starting your counting over again.
You can time your meditation for however long you like. The standard is one hour, but that may be difficult at first.
Be patient with yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t make it to 10 on your first few sessions. Calming your mind and having such strict attention is very difficult, so just allow yourself to keep practicing without judgement and know that with practice you will eventually achieve a very disciplined, calm mind.
For detailed instructions, visit this website.
Who Is Buddhist Meditation Ideal For?
This is an incredible meditation for anyone who has issues with anxiety or over-thinking. Training your mind to be at peace and focus on one task is very powerful and very calming. It’s also a great meditation for children suffering from ADHD.
Since it is frequently done in a group, this can be a great meditation to practice as a family.
What Is Walking Meditation?
Walking meditation is a type of Buddhist meditation that uses the action of walking as a way to focus and practice mindfulness. There is not one particular way to practice a walking meditation, rather it is a type of meditation that encourages deep focus, concentration and awareness, so it can be done in many different ways.
This meditation can be quite powerful because it reveals the incredible knowledge and strength our bodies carry, often without our acknowledgment. A walking meditation isn’t just great for improving physical health, it improves mental health by helping you slow down and enjoy each incredible moment as it passes.
How To Do Walking Meditation
To do a walking meditation, you simply need to focus on the act of walking. Though that may sound easy, when you start to become mindful of every action involved in walking, you will realize how complex it really is.
- Find a space where you will not be distracted or bothered. Walking meditations can look strange from an outsider’s perspective, so you may also want to find a space where you will not be seen.
- Begin by standing still and finding your breath. Focus on the physical action of breathing in and out. Notice how your body automatically does this for you, but you also have the ability to exercise control over it.
- Start to walk forward 10-15 steps. As you do so, become aware of every muscle movement and action involved with taking a step.
- After 10-15 steps, pause and refocus on your breath. Turn around and walk 10-15 steps back in the other direction.
- Draw your attention back to the action of stepping. Take your time and notice how you must use your muscles in synchronicity, releasing and giving pressure.
- Continue to focus on your steps and your breath for at least 15 minutes.
You can find a guided walking meditation here.
Who Is Walking Meditation Ideal For?
This meditation requires a lot of focus, but it is really great for people with active minds and imaginations that want to learn how to calm and center the mind. Since it gives the mind something to actively focus on, some people find walking meditations to be easier than similar mindfulness meditations.
2. Body Meditations
What Is QiGong Meditation?
QiGong is a system of meditations that focus on cultivating life energy or “Qi”(pronounced chi). Many of the systems are considered dynamic because they involve slow, intentional movements. However, QiGong can also be performed as a still, sitting meditation.
An ancient Chinese practice, QiGong focuses on healing the body, mind and spirit as one. The active movements are considered to be Yang energy, while the sitting and still meditations are considered Yin energy.
QiGong, in its traditional sense, is a complex technique meant to provide full body, mind and spirit healing. It is meant to be learned in a particular order, however, many contemporary practitioners customize and individualize their practice.
How To Do QiGong Meditation
Because QiGong involves specific movements and breaths, it’s helpful to find a teacher to guide you. There are many books, videos and online courses they can guide you through the deaf-teaching process as well.
To learn more about QiGong and to start your practice, visit this site.
Who Is QiGong Meditation Ideal For?
QiGong is a great meditation for anyone looking to devote their time to an entire series of dynamic meditations. If you are interested in adding some slow movements and breath work to your meditation practice, you will really enjoy working with QiGong.
What is Chakra Meditation?
Chakras are the energy centers of the body that start at the base of the spine and move out through the top of the head. There are seven major chakras in the body and each corresponds to a specific attribute of our own personal existence.
A Chakra meditation is one that aims to balance these energy systems. Throughout the day we use our energy to focus on different emotional and logical tasks. These activities burden our chakra systems, and if we don’t focus on balancing them, we can end up with energy stuck in certain areas and depleted in others.
How To Do Chakra Meditation
The best way to do a chakra meditation is to follow along with a guided meditation. Guided meditations are great for chakra meditations because if you’re new to understanding the chakra system, it will be difficult to remember the color and function of each chakra. A great chakra meditation can be found here.
If you’re familiar with the chakra system, you can follow the instructions below:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit with your eyes closed.
- Focus on your breath and release the tension in your muscles.
- When you’re in a comfortable, calm state of mind, start focusing on your chakras one by one, beginning at your root chakra.
- As you focus on each chakra, see the appropriate color of light emanating from the corresponding space in your body. Feel it energizing and balancing as you focus your attention on that chakra.
- When you’re ready, move up to the next chakra until you have reached your crown, devoting attention and focus to energizing and balancing each chakra individually.
- It is helpful to end your meditation by imagining the energy from the center of the earth coming up through your feet and grounding you and the golden energy of the sun coming down through your crown and energizing all your chakras.
Who Is Chakra Meditation Ideal For?
Chakra meditation is great for anyone looking to combine a spiritual and physical healing experience. It is a very active imagination mediation, so it’s also great for anyone who prefers meditations that are visualization heavy.
Body Scan Meditation
What Is Body Scan Meditation?
The body scan meditation is a meditation that helps you focus your attention on each part of your body, releasing tension and providing healing where needed. It’s a very calming meditation that is based on mindfulness, and is an excellent way to reconnect with the messages your body gives you.
Your nervous system is the messenger for your body. It sends signals to you all the time in response to all kinds of stimulation. It’s very reactive, but most of us are pretty tuned out from it until it’s too late.
The body processes stress through illness, and if you tune in before the message gets too loud, you can prevent so many illnesses and bad feelings. The idea behind the body scan meditation is to give yourself time with your body to listen to the messages and give healing, helpful energy.
How To Do Body Scan Meditation
It’s recommended that you follow along with a guided meditation to practice a body scan meditation. Since this is a very active meditation — meaning it requires you to focus and pay attention — it can be helpful to have someone guide you through the process. Here is a great guide.
This is what a body scan meditation might be like:
- Lie down on the floor on your back or in a position that is comfortable for you. Use pillows and blankets and anything else that helps you be in the most comfortable position.
- With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths and try to relax any tense muscles that you noticed.
- In the stillness of your breath, see if you notice any sensations in your bodylike tingling, itching, pain, burning or other similar sensations. Just notice them and breathe through them. The idea is to let your body have the sensation and process it, not try to “fix it” or “change it.” Simply keep your attention focused on that sensation until it passes. Ride the wave of the sensation.
- As you continue through the mediation, bring your attention to any sensation that comes up and repeat the process of paying attention, breathing and letting it be.
- Then start at your toes and work your way up your entire body, bringing your full focus and attention to every body part. Let your mind and attention focus on one body part at a time and see if there are any sensations you notice. Again, just ride the wave of the sensation.
When you’re done, you will feel very relaxed and probably sleepy. If time allows, take a nap and let your body refresh.
Who Is Body Scan Meditation Ideal For?
This is a great meditation for everyone, but it’s especially great for those who suffer from stress and anxiety. This is because stress and anxiety gets processed through the nervous system and when we don’t pay attention to this signals they get louder and we get sick.
It’s also a great meditation to do before bed, as it calms your body down and prepares it for the rejuvenating process of sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, this is a fantastic meditation for you.
3. “Religious” Meditations
What Is Christian Meditation?
Meditation isn’t always a religious experience, but it certainly can be. With Christian meditation, the meditator uses meditation to become closer to God or to practice an aspect of the religion like understanding the Bible or seeking forgiveness for sin.
How To Do Christian Meditation
There are several ways to practice a Christian meditation.
A popular method is called contemplative prayer. Similar to a mantra meditation, you get in a comfortable sitting position and with your eyes closed and repeat a sacred Christian word like “Jesus” or a desired state of being like “peace and love.”
Who Is Christian Meditation Ideal For?
This meditation is great for Christians who want to experience the peace that meditation brings, but still want to focus on being closer to God. Those with an interest in the spirituality of Christianity can also practice this meditation.
What Is Hindu Meditation?
Hindu meditations are ancient meditations that originate from the Hindu religion. Their focus is always about understanding one’s Self or the Divine. They involve either mantras, breathing or working with the body.
Though these meditations originated from the Hindu religion, they can be used by anyone and are a great resource for creating a highly spiritual connection with your own personal consciousness.
In the Hindu religion, there are six schools of philosophy, one of which is called the yoga. You might think of yoga as the popular exercise program in the West, but yoga is actually the school of philosophy in the Hindu religion.
Yogas are divided further into 4 main paths:
- Bhakti Yoga — the path of devotion
- Karma Yoga — the path of action
- Gyana (Jnana) Yoga — the path of knowledge, and
- Raja Yoga — the path of royalty (maintaining the kingdom of your mind and body).
The Raja Yoga path is the path most people in the west are familiar with because it contains eight limbs, or Ashtangas, one of which is the Asanas or yoga poses. Another Ashtanga of this path is called Dhyana, which is a type of meditation.
How To Do Hindu Meditation
The Hindu meditations are quite complex and include many dynamic meditations, postures, breathing techniques and mantras. We won’t cover those here as there are simply too many, but we will cover how to do a Dhyana meditation.
To do this Hindu Meditation, simply follow the instructions below.
In the Yoga, the purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind. This requires practice and devotion, and it is not expected that you will achieve a state of bliss when you’re first starting out. Instead, use this meditation to practice quieting the mind over time.
- Choose an object to focus on. It can be absolutely anything. In certain types of Dhyanas you are instructed to focus on a particular chakra, however, for a general Dhyana you can choose anything that feels relevant to you.
- Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.
- Focus your attention on the object. Don’t allow your mind to drift elsewhere. When it does, simply bring your attention back to the object you’ve chosen.
- You do not need to analyze or think about the object. Instead, bring all your attention and focus to the object and hold it there for as long as you canwithout distraction.
This meditation trains your mind to focus in and find bliss in the stillness. Practice it for 10-15 minutes every day.
Who Is Hindu Meditation Ideal For?
If you are interested in exploring Hindu philosophies, then a Hindu meditation is a great place to start.
You can use Dhyana to focus on Hindu deities or concepts that you want to explore. Hindu meditations are great for finding peace and bliss, and are really wonderful for everyone.
And if you’ve practiced yoga, these meditations can be a wonderful addition to your practice.
What Is Taoist Meditation?
Taoism is an ancient Chinese religion, which focuses on harmony and peace. The Tao is considered the source of all existence, and the aim of Taoism is to return to the source. This creates harmony because the source is all things, and Taoism is centered on the philosophy that we are all one because we all come from the one.
Meditation is extremely important in Taoism because it is the path back to the source. Only when you quiet your mind and activate your intuition can you truly center your body and align with the source of all things.
Taoist meditations are extremely powerful and very healing. If practiced enough they have been shown to physically change a person’s body and many people who practice Taoist meditations appear very young and healthy.
How To Do Taoist Meditation
Taoist meditation works first by making the outer body still. Once this is achieved, you can work on making the inner body still. This, in turn, will heal the outer body.
It takes years of dedication and practice, but if you start small you will see the incredible benefits very quickly. Follow the instructions below to begin your Taoist meditation practice.
- The first step in beginning a Taoist meditation is to train your body to sit completely still and relaxed without being rigid and tense or limp and fidgety. This can be difficult to achieve and requires practice.
- Maintain this position for 20 minutes at a time, so start small at first. Sit with your spine straight and not leaning against anything. You can choose to sit with your feet criss-crossed in front of you, or you can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Your hands should be in a comfortable position, and your chin should be slightly tucked in so your spine is completely straight. Don’t tense and become rigid, simply imagine a string coming out of the top of your head and holding you upright.
- Keep practicing this position, starting with 3-5 minutes a day and then increasing it every few days or week until you are able to hold it for 20-30 minutes in complete stillness.
- If you find that your muscles are sore, this means you are holding tension in that spot in your body when you sit. You’ll need to bring extra focus to that area and consciously release the tension while you practice sitting.
- Once you’ve mastered the physical posture, you can work on your breath. It’s important to breath in the natural way during a Taoist meditation, meaning your abdomen should expand as you inhale and it should deflate as you exhale. If you find that your abdomen goes in when you inhale, you’ll have to practice breathing in the opposite way until it becomes natural.
- Breath naturally. Taoist meditation breathing should be long and deep, but natural. It’s also best to breathe in and out of the nose if possible.
- Keep your tongue lightly touching the top of your mouth. In the Taoist tradition, it is believed that this allows chi (life force energy) to properly circulate through your body. The Taoist meditation is very inactive. It is about finding stillness and peace, but it should be enjoyable. Many Taoist meditators have a slight smile on their face during meditation, and this uplifting spirit is encouraged during your practice.
- Imagine that your breath is cleansing and as it runs in your body it calms and brings stillness. When you exhale a mist of all your pain, sickness and worry leave your body.
- You will being to feel a very calm sensation running through your body, some even describe it s a tingling sensation. Try your best to amplify this sensation when it appears, but don’t force anything, just remain in a state of peace and calm for 10-15 minutes.
- When you’re ready to end your meditation, rub your hands together 36 times to activate your chi.
Who Is Taoist Meditation Ideal For?
Taoist meditation is great for everyone. It’s a happy meditation — very calming and peaceful — so it’s great for anyone looking to find inner stillness and peace amongst chaos. It’s especially helpful for those going through a particularly stressful time.
There are actually many more Taoist meditation techniques, so if you find this to be helpful and interesting, you can always dive deeper into Taoism and discover more practices with a teacher.
Loving Kindness Meditation
What Is Loving Kindness Meditation?
Also called “Metta Meditation,” this Buddhist meditation focuses on the feeling of love and kindness in its purest form. The goal of this meditation is to find love within yourself and share it with the rest of the world.
This meditation is always very peaceful and upliftings. It can be performed by anyone at anytime and because there are no specific physical requirements, it can be done lying down or in a seated position.
How To Do Loving Kindness Meditation
It’s easiest to practice a Metta Loving Kindness meditation by listening to a guided meditation track like this one. You can also follow the instructions below:
- Get in a comfortable position. Be kind to yourself and don’t worry about correct posture. Just get into a position, sitting or lying down, that feels perfectly comfortable for you.
- Close your eyes and imagine something that’s easy to love. Many people think of a helpless baby animal. See yourself caring for this small, helpless creature and let the feeling of love and compassion run through your body.
- Focus on the feeling of love and amplify it as much as possible by concentrating on it.
- Imagine sending that love to someone close to you — a loved one. See the feeling coming from your heart and entering their heart. Continue to imagine sending this love to as many people as you like. You can choose large groups of people and even the world at large. If you’re in conflict with someone, or someone is giving you stress, imagine sending love to them as well.
Who Is Loving Kindness Meditation Ideal For?
This is an excellent meditation for when you’re down in the dumps or feeling unmotivated and depressed. It is also a great meditation for grief. It’s a feel-good meditation, so it’s ideal for anyone looking for an actively uplifting meditation experience.
4. Sound-Based Meditations
What Is Om Meditation?
Om Meditation is a very simple but powerful mantra-style meditation. The sound, “Om” is reacted over and over again in this mediation. “Om” is considered to be the sound of the universe — the sound of all things.
If you listen to a gong or a bell, you can hear the om sound. It is not the initial sound of the wand hitting the instrument, rather it’s the sound the instrument makes as it resonates. You can feel the Om sound and it is said to bring inner peace.
How To Do Om Meditation
Practicing an Om Meditation is easy! It’s best to be in a seated position because you’ll be able to breathe easier, but you can do this meditation in any position you like.
- Once comfortable, close your eyes, breathe in and then as you exhale, slowly say OM. Let the word flow from your mouth, evenly saying each part. Try to say it for 8-10 seconds.
- Repeat the phrase 7 times.
- After the 7th time, keep your eyes closed and feel the vibration in your body. Focus on this vibration and stillness and then begin again.
- Repeat the above steps. Each meditation should last for 15 minutes.
Who Is Om Meditation Ideal For?
This is a great meditation for everyone. It’s a very centering and peaceful meditation, so if you suffer from anxiety or high stress, you’ll enjoy the centered, inner peace that it brings.
What Is Mantra Meditation?
A Mantra Meditation is a mediation that focuses on a mantra, or sound. These words and phrases are usually sacred and holy, but they can be any word or phrase that brings a sense of connection or peace and harmony.
Mantra meditations are very old and even predate Buddhism. They were originally associated with religions that work with specific deities, chanting words or phrases to influence and please them. However, modern mantra meditations are more focused on a personal spiritual center.
How To Do Mantra Meditation
You can either follow along with a guided Mantra meditation like this one or follow the instructions below:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.
- Focus on your breath for a few minutes, relaxing all the muscles in your body and getting into a calm, peaceful state of mind.
- When you feel ready, repeat your mantra out loud. Say it slowly as you exhale and feel the vibration of the word as it resonates around you.
- Continue for 10-15 minutes.
Some popular mantras you can repeat include: Om, Sat Nam, Neti Neti or personal empowerment mantras like “I am enough” or “I am grateful.”
Who Is Mantra Meditation Ideal For?
Mantra meditations are great for everyone. They are easy to do, very calming and provide an instant feeling of centeredness and peace.
“I AM” Meditation
What Is “I AM” Meditation?
“I am” Meditation appears like a very simple meditation, but it is actually a profound meditation that focuses on understanding your truest self.
It is a mantra meditation, but rather than focusing on sound and vibration, the goal of this meditation is to focus on the concept and meaning of the phrase “I Am.”
How To Do “I AM” Meditation
Doing the actions of this meditation is very simple. You close your eyes and repeat the phrase “I am.”
However, the important feature of this meditation is focusing on the meaning of “I AM.” You will find that your mind will automatically finish the phrase, but this is not the true meaning of your Self.
You can also proceed with this meditation by asking yourself “Who am I?” Instead of finishing the phrase, simply let the answer be “I AM.”
The difficulty with this meditation is that it is quite abstract. Our logical minds will want to define and label us, but the goal of this meditation is to find your purest consciousness and self that is void of labels, boundaries and definitions.
Who Is “I AM” Meditation Ideal For?
This meditation is probably not great for beginners, simply because it involves abstract concepts that require a sensitivity to intuition and feeling rather than logic and emotion.
For more practiced meditators, this is a great meditation to really discover your own pure consciousness.
5. Modern Meditations
6 Phase Meditation
What Is 6 Phase Meditation?
The 6 Phase Meditation was created by Vishen Lakhiani. Vishen began meditation when he was 14 years old and he worked as a meditation instructor for five years in New York. He created this technique to encourage abidance in all aspects of a person’s life.
He personally uses this meditation every day and many people have found a lot of success after using this meditation. The 6 phases include
- Forgiveness (or Freedom from negative charges)
- Creative Visualization
- Intentions for the day
How To Do 6 Phase Meditation
This meditation follows a very specific formula. It’s recommended that you practice it every single day in the morning before your day begins.
You can follow along with the guided audio meditation here.
Who Is 6 Phase Meditation Ideal For?
This is a great meditation for everyone.It focuses on the major aspects of your life and helps you create abundance in each of those areas.
If you’re looking for a meditation to start your day out on the right foot, this is an excellent choice.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
What Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Meditation?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a type of meditation that combines mindfulness, body awareness, and some yoga. It was introduced in 1979 and created by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn.
The goal of MSBR is total body mindfulness that creates a calm, centered mind. The main tenants of the practice are “non-judging, non-striving, acceptance, letting go, beginner’s mind, patience, trust, acceptance, and non-centering.”
MSBR is typically taught in a series of workshops by a certified teacher. The meditations are practiced 45 minutes each day, and the workshop is 2 hours long, every week for 8 weeks. The meditations often involve slow, intentional body movements where the meditator is asked to bring all their attention to every step, sensation, and experience of the movement.
How To Do Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Meditation
The best way to practice MBSR is to find a workshop in your area to attend. This will give you the full program experience as it was originally intended.
However, for financial or travel reasons, attending MBSR may not be an option for you. Fortunately, a certified instructor, Dave Potter offer free online courses for anyone looking to learn MBSR. You can find those classes here.
Who Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Meditation Ideal For?
This meditation is excellent for anyone that deals with pain and inflammation or chronic illness. The connection and focus on the body is ideal for easing pain and learning to have a higher tolerance and acceptance.
Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM)
What Is Primordial Sound Meditation?
Primordial Sound Meditation is a technique created by Deepak Chopra. It merges traditional concepts of a Hindu Mantra Meditation with mindfulness and stillness-based meditations.
The goal of PSM is to discover the inner stillness and silence that is within all of us.
PSM trains your mind to find stillness and peace, even in times of high stress. Practicing this type of meditation can help you eliminate worry, anxiety and noisy inner chatter. When you learn PSM, you are given a personal mantra to repeat during your meditations. This mantra becomes the sound or phrase that you will return to in times of stress.
How To Do Primordial Sound Meditation
To receive your primordial sound, you must meet with a certified instructor. PSM can only be taught through a certified instructor, but there are several options for in-person workshops and online courses. You can find out more information here.
Who Is Primordial Sound Meditation Ideal For?
This meditation is perfect for someone looking to find a personal sound that they can return to in times of stress.
It’s a great habitual meditation to practice, and it can bring calm, peace and joy to your life if practiced regularly.
What are your favorite meditation techniques? Please share with us in the comment section below!
If you want to become more compassionate and productive, Emily Fletcher's Masterclass on Meditation for Super Performance is absolutely FREE and plays on Mindvalley Academy.