Thursday, January 11, 2007

Types of meditation

I found an article today by Charles Hamel that goes into the health benefits of meditation and also several different types of meditation a person can do. Here are the types:
Types of Meditation

It is not my intention to confuse the beginner by giving them different types of meditation, but just to show that there is not just one way to meditate, therefore giving the beginner different options, because one way that is good for me, may not work for another person very well.

Breath Watching - Breath watching is just simply paying attention to your breath for a few minutes. When your mind starts to wander, just re-focus your mind on the breath.

Mantra Meditation - Some people find it easier to keep their mind from wandering by concentrating on a specific thing, or in this case a word or phrase. Pick a word or phrase that works for you. You can then repeat the mantra aloud or in your mind as you meditate.

Walking Meditation - Walking meditation gets the body involved. It can be done inside or outside. The idea is to pay attention to the movement of your legs and breathing and body as you walk. When your mind starts to wander, just bring it back to the legs and breathing. Other forms of walking meditation can be martial arts, or Tai Chi.

Mindfulness Meditation - Mindfulness meditation a practice Buddhists call vipassana which means insight meditation. This is a good meditation to perform in the forest or next to a bubbling stream. This meditation is the art of becoming deeply aware of what is here right now. You focus on what’s happening in and around you at this very moment, and become aware of all the thoughts and feelings that are taking your energy from moment to moment. The key is to watch without judging or analyzing.

Empty Mind Meditation - This is the act of emptying your mind of all thoughts, it involves just sitting quiet and letting the mind go silent on it’s own accord. This meditation can be difficult for the beginner, because any effort to remain silent seems to just cause more business in the mind.

Meditating on an Idea - Meditating on an idea is usually used to receive answers or insight into a certain subject or theme that you desire. It involves sitting quiet and focusing your attention on the subject that you have chosen to explore.

There are other types of meditation also, but beginners seem to have the most luck trying the "Breath Watching" or the "Walking Meditation". Try the different types until you find the one that best suits you.
I recommend that you try each one of these. Contact me if you run into difficulty or have a question. And, of course, if you're in the Tulsa area the thing to do is to take the Foundations in Meditative Practice course here at the Center. You can check our website for information about upcoming classes.

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