Types of Meditation - Meditation for Beginners

 

20 years ago, if one began the quest to calm the mind through meditation, one would probably get many weird stares from relatives and elders in their family. Fast forward to today, and we see that meditation is becoming common and widespread in the western culture. As its acceptance begins to grow, more studies are showing that meditation is not only a great tool for spiritual awareness, but has many significant (and scientific) healing properties for the physical body.

Why Meditation?

Mindful meditation has been proven to improve the bodies wellness; mentally, emotionally, and physically. Many healthcare professionals are even recommending it to their patients as a natural remedy against depression, anxiety and life stress. When you begin to meditate, you’re in a state of awareness. You’re able to deduce the habits or unhealthy coping mechanisms that you may have accumulated over years. Through regular meditation, you can transform the mind into being more peaceful and cultivating different methods of happiness.

It’s known to lower cortisol and I’ll be downright honest, it makes you feel good and relaxed. Especially in a culture where we pride ourselves in being the opposite of mindful. By this I mean social media and productivity.

Benefits of meditation (with studies to prove it)

Types of Meditation


1. Mindful Meditation

With roots from Buddhist teachings, it’s exactly as described. It involves regulating your breathing pattern and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. When your focusing your attention to your breathing, you allow thoughts to come in and out of your mind without attaching judgement. Through thorough practice and introspection of thoughts, you deduce habits that are formed through the process.

Your breathing is used as your object of focus. Breathing in a rhythm that feels natural to you is key.

This meditation is good for depression, anxiety and stress because it allows you to truly live in the moment. Additionally, it increases your focus. Here’s the research that shows how it cures depression.

2. Focused meditation

In this meditation, you’re simply focusing your attention to any object, sound, your external stimuli. Through this you are able to become in a trance, focused solely on the chosen object. I highly recommend focusing on a consistent song or counting something.

This meditation is known to be an intermediate one, due to the fact that beginners may find it difficult to focus on an external item for long periods of time.

 

3. Spiritual Mediation

When someone is commencing meditation for spiritual purposes, it is assumed that their trying to get in touch with the energy of life force that flows within the planet and in every living thing. Most people call it “awakening”. Its purpose is to dance with God on a deeper level.

In esoteric knowledge, people believe that the origins of suffering are from the belief that we are separate from God and those around us. With intentions of spiritual mediation, it is the art of connecting yourself with God by doing the shadow work that limits the human soul.

Various tools can be used such as sage, essential oils, sandalwood and frankincense that allow one to go into a deeper trance or a heightened state of consciousness.

 

4. Movement Meditation

Standing in one spot too boring? Love exercise? Well this part will tickle your fancy. Practicing meditation doesn’t mean you’re cooped in an awkward position that ends with back pain. You can actually perform movement meditation while walking, or doing different poses that will engage you.

During this meditation, you will be aware of your body’s movement and how your body interacts with its environment. Imagine walking through a rose garden. Feel the scent of a thousand roses being inhaled into your lungs and what emotions you encounter while doing so. This is perfect for the restless soul.

5. Mantra Meditation

Used among most Hindu and Buddhist, this type of meditation is highly popular with beginners. It practices the art of using a repetitive sound, word or phrase, with the intent of calming the state of mind. “Ohm” is a common phrase that is used.

Positive affirmations are a great way to meditate because thoughts and words have power. There’s a vibration with sound that allows you to become more at peace with yourself. Vibrations cause the cells in our bodies to vibrate on the frequency in which we set (through mantra), which allows us to restructure the brain.

Meditation doesn’t have to be a chore or become boring. You can fit it into any routine. I personally enjoy meditating between classes or jobs in my car for 5-10 minutes. There’re also different apps that make it entertaining as-well. Most of society puts an emphasis on the physical reality that we often forget that connecting with our inner selves will lead to salvation of our problems.

Inspiring author who’s an undergraduate at Harvard university.

Sarah Sunatra

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