Types of Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is about observing every moment in detail. In computer terms, we use mindfulness meditation to create space in the mind, so there is more room for thoughts to move around. Mindfulness meditation creates more memory space and therefore eases the pressure.
- Mindfully doing or moving – You can be mindfully doing: yoga poses, the dishes, ironing, colouring in, painting, dancing etc.
- Breath meditation is about being mindful about the breath. Focusing on the breath is the most used tool for meditation, noticing the lengths, smoothness of the breaths and the pauses.
- Sound meditation – is using the sense of hearing to paying attention or being mindful of sound: the vibrations, tonal quality, combination of sounds and vibrations, perception and resonance.
- Guided Visualization – is using the imagination to focus on what you can ‘see’ in the mind. Without distractions, we are only aware, or mindful of these visual projections of the mind.
- Mantra repetition – This is a mindfulness meditation that allows the mind to focus only on our voice and the sound of the mantra. These mantras can be spoken of chanted. Sometimes this meditation practice is also called transcendental meditation.
- Trataka meditation, Mindfulness using our perception of sight and focus to steadily gaze at a candle or an intricate mystic pattern (mandala)
- Deep relaxation meditation – This type of meditation is also called Yoga Nidra. In this practice we establish a strong connection with our body all our senses.
Once we start to observe the mind, rather than our body, breath and the senses, we move away from Mindfulness Meditation. Active Mind Meditation is the cooperation of the mind and our awareness, in order to analyze and understand it’s own projections and creations of thoughts and emotions. Once again in computer terminology, this type of meditation results in reprogramming and reorganizing files. This type of work is more arduous than just observing the mess we made; we actually have to decide what to keep, where to put it and what to throw out. Because the mind organizes itself through repetitious thoughts and behaviours, we need to repeat this ‘cleaning up and ordering’ practice many times. We need to retrain the mind, like we need to train a puppy.
- Problem solving meditation is the practice of focusing and using various perspectives on one problematic thing that is repeating itself in your mind. This particular thing could be an aspect of your own behaviour, a creative or work issue, a relationship, a goal you wish to achieve etc.
- Gratitude – , Forgiveness -, Abundance – type meditations are also a form of active mind meditation, where we actively inject some positive energy into our minds. We need to do this from time to time, because of the natural negative bias of the mind. Naturally, an injection of positiveness adds to our sense of well-being and good health.
- Zen meditation – This practice is about keeping the mind occupied with an impossible problem: What did I look like before I was born?, What colour would Tuesday be?, What is X?, where X is a particular abstract concept like value, freedom, issue etc.
- Vipassana, is one of the most challenging types of meditation. Practitioners observe what arises in the mind over a longer period of time in silence. In some traditions there is a chance to discuss the problematic issues that have arisen and methods of how to deal with them.
- Kundalini kriya This is a meditation based on visualizing and working with energetic energy around the chakras, or the subtle energy system that is also part of us. Kriya practices are movements and visualizations to clear the blockages in the energetic system surrounding the body.