We all know that meditation has numerous health, Wellness and spiritual benefits, and we also know that the goals of doing it. Now the big question is how to do it? I mean techniques. Meditation these days are getting popular not like that of the old days when few monks used to do this in a lonely place for gaining spiritual development.
There are many ways you can do it. Here I will explore the most useful techniques those will fulfil your goals.
I will advise you to bookmark this blog for your future reference.
Sitting in meditation is almost same in all techniques. Sit in lotus posture (cross leg) or half lotus on a mat.
If you are not comfortable then you can use a meditation cushion or a floor chair or kneeling, but make sure to keep your spine erect but don’t stiffen your upper body.
Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae. Put your both hands-on lap and your palm should touch your knees.
1) Zen Meditation (Zazen)
Zen is a Buddhist way of meditating originated in 7th century China during the Tang dynasty. The Chinese name ‘Ch’an’ converted into Japanese ‘Zen’ after it was spread to different far eastern countries like Korea, Japan, etc. It is the translation of Indian ‘Dhyana’.
Three popular techniques of Zen:
1) Observation of Breath – It is performed by following or observing breath in and breathe out from the belly.
2) Quiet Awareness – It’s performed by simple sitting with allowing thoughts to pass by and without judgement, accept or reject. They call it shikantaza, or “just sitting.”
3) Intensive Group Meditation – It is performed in groups with multiple sessions, where each session lasts for thirty to fifty minutes. Alternate breaks are available for walking, as well as meals. While taking meals, they remain in silence on the part of their practice.
2) Vipasana Meditation:
It is a pali word means ‘insight’ or ‘clear seeing and part of the Buddhist meditation style originated in 6th century BC, and came from Theravada Buddhist Tradition. It was popularized by S. N. Goenka under the Vipasana movement.
Sitting postures is same as what we have already described above. Only difference is while sitting on a floor chair the back should not touch the chair rest. The first step is development of the concentration through awareness of breath in and out. Remain in the session of the breathing and not get distracted by the thoughts.
Here an object is taken into consideration for focusing. Say the movement of the belly is your primary object, then a secondary object may arise from your five senses. Then you need to shift your focus from your primary to secondary object and labeling with it your mental note. This is known as ‘noting’.
In case you feel an unpleasant session like body pain or, etc. then you need to shift to your primary object.
3) Mindfulness Meditation
It is originated from Vipasana and Vietnamese Zen meditation. “Mindfulness” is the common western translation for the Buddhist term sati.
John Kabat-Zinn is one of the main influencer of Mindfulness in West and developed Mindfulness – Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – has been used in several hospitals and health clinic.
Here, you need to focus on your present thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations. Don’t get distracted by past and the future thoughts. Simply put your attention to whatever you are experiencing during your practice. It involves muscle relaxation, mental imagery, breathing exercise, and awareness of mind and body.
Follow your breath in and out and belly up and fall. Watch your thoughts but don’t get into it, and return to your breathing.
4) OM Meditation
The OM is the eternal sound or vibration of the universe. With this vibration all Vedic way of meditation is carried out. While chanting of OM or AUM is spoken and then the complete focus is placed on that vibration.
Sitting is almost same, we have described above. In the breathing part, keep your mouth shut and breathe using your nose. Keep your jaw muscles relaxed and your upper and lower teeth should not hold tight one another. Follow your breath in and out, and during the breathing chant OM or AUM. Place the Chant on your breath like A-A-U-U-M and it will begin from your naval instead of lungs. Follow the vibration and get sunk in it.
5) Transcendental Meditation (TM)
It is a silent form of Mantra meditation developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1965. It is considered one of the most widely researched meditation techniques in the world. TM was included in many schools, colleges, universities and corporation’s educational and social activities. As per Maharishi TM needs to perform twice a day.
Bubbles of thoughts are popping up one after another in a stream and one need to experience that thought in divine or restful state of mind. It involves no mindfulness, or empty of mind, no control mind and no concentration involved. Simply breathe normally and focus the silent chanting of the Mantra to reach restful state of mind.
6) Trataka Meditation
It is a Sanskrit word means “to look” or “to gaze” and one of the six purification (shatkarmas) methods described in Hatha Yoga. A Yogic method of meditation involves focusing on a point of awareness be it a flame of a candle, a picture, an idol, sun or moon, etc.
Light on a candle and sit at least one meter from it (seating postures are almost same as described above) . Gaze at continuously without a blinking till your eye leads to irritation or tearing. Close your eyes and bring the burning flame to the point of your third eye. Practice it as long as you see it there.
7) Kriya Yoga
An ancient yoga technique involves energy, breath control. It was mentioned in the ancient yoga text “the yoga sutras of Patanjali”. It was revived by world-famous Yogi Shyama Charan Lahiri better known as Lahiri Mahashay in the spiritual world and the direct disciple of Mahaavatar Babaji. It was introduced to the international awareness by a book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda and his practice of Kriya Yoga in the Western world.
One can learn the Kriya Yoga from a Teacher or Guru only. The method is complex involves seven Kriyas or act, and each of the kriya comprises of number of techniques. 1st Kriya is initiated by the teacher with a number of techniques. Second, third and fourth Kriyas invitations depends on the progress of the meditator. In fifth, sixth and seventh Kriyas no teacher or Guru is required as one can meditate taking the God almighty as the teacher.
8) Flin Meditation
It is an ancient way of meditating and reintroduced by Joy, based on visual imagery, remembering with a wilful flow of internal energy. One needs to learn it from a Teacher or Guru. In advance level it can be used to achieve knowledge of self-healing, spiritual awakening, third eye activation and obtain absolute spiritual consciousness. Many words or vibrations are being used to raise the internal energy or Prana for healing and reaching Siddhi, Samadhi and enlightenment.
The sitting postures are almost same as mentioned above. The exercise begins with a physical observation of an object by touching. When the meditator fell satisfied with the physical properties, then he/she needs to remember it and visualize it with the mind’s eye. The physical eyes will remain close. Thoughts may popup and this is normal, then don’t get crazy and just open eyes and examine the object with the physical touch, to repeat the exercise again.
9) Nada Yoga
As described it is a journey to Samadhi or absolute consciousness using Nada or sound vibration. The mediator discovers the wisdom of the body, emotional and cognitive intelligence, the union of body and mind (atman or soul), and the expansion of Atman into Nada Braham or Shabd Braham (God of Sound or Word).
It starts with focusing on some external sound, for example, sound of a musical instrument. Then set focus on the hearing and collect the mind. As the meditator progress and focuses on the internal sound without a vibration.
10) Guided Meditation
It is a new way of meditating popping up in present time, and is done using voice and visual guidance. It’s useful for people, those who get distracted very easily. In today’s world, distraction is everywhere and everything. So it is becoming harder for many to focus and concentrate.
It is usually of same types we have already described above. Only difference is that it accompanied with music CD, podcast, audiovisual support.
Lastly, meditation needs to be learn under the guidance of a Teacher or Guru. Because one may face a number of difficulties while learning as well as practicing. Only a Teacher can help and solve the problems.
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