Wanna start meditating to feel more at peace but don't know where or how to start?
With so many styles of meditation, how does one choose? Luckily, you don’t have to. Simply experiment with these four meditation techniques until you find one that sticks and truly works for you.
1. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is also known as japa meditation, Vedic meditation and even transcendental meditation, (although with transcendental meditation you’re given a particular mantra by a trained teacher).
Mantra meditation is one of the most beloved and revered forms of meditation in the yogic pantheon because it has so many positive benefits. Quieting the fluctuations and connecting more deeply to your inner spirit and the great Spirit are two of the biggies.
There are so many mantras from which to choose. A couple favorites are simply “om” and “om namah shivayah.” A set of mala beads will further support your mantra practice.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation, also referred to as Vipassana is the form of meditation most prevalent in modern day Buddhist circles. The mindfulness-based stress reduction practices are practical and accessible to beginning meditators.
Mindfulness practice is all about bringing your focused attention to something that’s happening in the present moment without judgment. You might bring your awareness to your breath and simply watch each inhale and exhale with loving compassion for your capacity to breathe.
You may bring your attention to your body by scanning your body from the crown of the head to the bottoms of your feet. You may wish to practice mindfulness as you eat – by taking a piece of food and being really present with it – using all your five senses to experience the particular food.
Mindfulness encompasses many techniques which you’ll find when you begin to delve into it.
3. Visualization Meditation
I love this form of meditation for igniting my imagination. It’s also great for manifesting your heart’s desires into reality, or for visualizing a positive outcome for something that’s got you feeling anxious.
There are a ton of guided visualization meditations available on various online yoga streaming websites – all which come with different themes and from different teachers. These are fun because they’re so different from one to the next.
If you like being guided by a teacher in meditation as I do, this style is a good place to start.
4. Walking Meditation
Walking meditation is ideal for those of us who can’t sit comfortably on a cushion – for whatever reason. Thich Nhat Hanh is the beloved Vietnamese monk in Plum Village, France who regularly teaches mindfulness walking meditation to his students.
It’s really quite simple. Just lace up your shoes, and take a mindful walk in nature. This type of walk isn’t for increasing your heart rate or shedding pounds. It’s for slowing down and becoming present as you walk – slowly and deliberately.
You can practice placing your attention on the sights and smells around you as you walk. You can place your attention on your breath as you walk. You can even synchronize each step with your inhalation and exhalation.
This meditation is great for the winter months when you’re stuck inside all day. Just bundle up and get outside for a 20-minute mindful walk. You’ll feel so much better for it.
Do you meditate? What's your favorite style or technique for meditation?