Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

Five Top Methods of Meditation: An Introduction

In ancient times, meditation was used as a vehicle of spiritual growth, achieved by altering your state of consciousness. Today, though still often used for spiritual purposes, meditation has come to appeal to a broad range of people -- students, moms, people in the business world, and more.

Meditation is a simple way to clear your mind of worry and anxiety.

It's meditation's broad range of benefits -- it can help everything from stress and anxiety to insomnia and your immune system -- along with its simplicity, that has made it so appealing to so many people.

However, if you're new to meditation, just browsing through the numerous types can make it seem daunting. This is a contradiction because at its heart, meditation is supposed to be about relaxation -- and relaxation that can be achieved simply, in just a few minutes.

Here we've compiled the most common types of meditation to clear up some of the confusion, and to give you a chance to choose the type that's most appealing to you (but don't be afraid to try a few different methods, as they all provide benefits in their own way).

Meanwhile, as you begin your meditation journey, the Pure Relaxation CD is an excellent companion. It offers an easy way to experience the meditative state in which your mind "lets go" and your body relaxes, even before you're into the full swing of a specific meditation method.

1. Transcendental Meditation, or TM

TM is one of the most popular forms of meditation, perhaps because you can experience benefits in just a few days, and it is relatively simple to learn.

TM was popularized in the United States by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during the 1960s, and today more than 5 million people worldwide, including more than 1 million people in the United States, practice it.

In TM, an instructor will give you a mantra (or you could make one up on your own), which you must keep to yourself. You then sit quietly, close your eyes, and repeat your mantra for about 20 minutes, a couple of times a day. Focusing on your mantra helps you to reach a state of concentrated altertness. If outside thoughts enter your mind during TM, you simply observe them and let them pass, while still focusing on your mantra. Eventually, your mind will begin to quiet, and you will be able to experience even upsetting thoughts in a calm manner.

2. Mindfulness Meditation

During mindfulness meditation, which Buddhists call vipassana or insight meditation, the purpose is to clear your mind of worry and be in the present moment. You do this by focusing on your breathing, and paying attention to its passage through your body. When thoughts come into your mind, you welcome then and become a passive observer, then direct your mind back to your breathing in a non-judgmental way.

Pure Relaxation CD

Need Help? Try a Guided Meditation

Often it's easiest to meditate while being guided, at least in the beginning until you get accustomed to meditating. The Pure Relaxation CD was created just for that purpose. It has deeply relaxing meditations of various lengths and styles, accompanied by soothing music. Learn more about the CD now including the special price and FREE SHIPPING offer.

3. Walking Meditation

Popularized by Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh, walking meditation is a form of meditation that involves movement. As you walk at a pace that feels comfortable to you, you focus your thoughts on your stride, your feet touching the ground and your breath. Try to keep your gaze forward and don't turn to look at distractions.

When your thoughts wander, bring them back to your movement. Walking meditation can be done inside or outside.

lotus position

The lotus position, pictured above, is typically used during Zen meditation.

4. Zen Meditation

Zen meditation, or zazen, is an ancient Buddhist practice that promotes your awareness and presence. During Zen meditation, you sit in the lotus position, often on a small cushion, and focus on your posture and breathing. If you find yourself distracted by thoughts, you bring your awareness back to your posture and your breathing. Zen meditation can be done once or twice a day, for 10-20 minutes or longer.

5. Trataka (Third Eye Meditation)

During trataka meditation, which is a type of yoga meditation that has been used by most religions, including Christianity and Sufism, your awareness is focused on an object. Focus your gaze on the object (such as a lamp, photo or statue), then gradually close your eyes, but still focus on the object with your eyes closed. Focus is placed on the eyebrow center, or third eye, to "see" the object with your eyes shut. The eyes are opened and closed several times during one session, which can last up to 15 minutes.

Recommended Reading

Simple Meditations for Busy People

The Different Kinds of Yoga & The Focus of Each Kind in Brief June 17, 2004

Shambhala Sun

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

Share Email to a Friend Print This