I the first post of this series I talked about why one should meditate and mentioned that there are various ways to go about it and to choose one that suits you personally. Here I want to go through a few types of meditation to give a general overview.
There are great health benefits, both mentally and physically for people who meditate but may I point out that most people who start the practice of meditation give it up. The reasons being time constraints and that most expect instant results but just like other skills you have acquired over the years, you have to work at it? For some people, they cannot sit for a period of 20 minutes, thinking that they are doing nothing. For those people I say that sometimes doing ‘nothing’ is important in the world we live in today and that doing ‘nothing’ is important in recharging your energy and giving yourself some personal space…if nothing else? Also, there is a couple of alternative ways of recharging your energy and giving yourself some space that I will cover here.
With most meditation you need to sit in a quite place and close your eyes. There are different postures but the classic one is sitting in a cross-legged posture, eyes closed and your hands resting on your knees, palms open and facing up. Some people suggest to start the practice of meditation with your eyes open and have a candle in front of you and watch the flame to help you with the skill of concentration…
Kriya Yoga Meditation. This is the classic Indian meditation method involving using breathing techniques, visualization and mantras. Concentrating on these skills will help slow down thought when you concentrate on developing these skills. Of course it is far more complicated than that, but developing these basic skills helps you learn to focus and control your mind. Seeming that this is a much needed skill if you desire to control your life, this is one way of doing it.
Mindfulness Meditation. This is a quite different way to meditate in that you sit in a comfortable position and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a cross-legged posture, but nevertheless sitting upright in a comfortable chair, eyes closed. With this method you become aware of the different sensations in your body and let the river of thought happen but gently bring yourself to the present by bringing your attention to your breathing when you realize that your thoughts are moving in circles (as often happens?)
Transcendental Meditation. This method became popular in the 1970s in Western countries and was linked to the ‘Hippy’ movement. It uses a personal mantra selected for you by a meditation teacher after you have gone through a course on how to meditate. It is expendive but is a method that will suit some people?
Silver Meditation. Invented by a chap named Jose Silver it uses a series of guided meditations with visualization methods and background sound patterns to get the meditator in a lowered brainwave (Alpha) state to help them relax and focus.
Manifesting Meditation. There are a variety of these to the very complex (such as the Joe Dispenza meditations) – which take about an hour per session and some simpler versions. These use breathing techniques and relaxation visualization methods to get a person into the Alpha state before taking them through a guided manifesting program (manifesting positive outcomes in their lives.)
Presence Meditation. This is completely different from the other methods mentioned above in that it does not require a person to sit in any posture with their eyes closed, however it does require some concentration. A person practices on getting their minds into the present point of time (as it always is dwelling in the past or the future) and this is done throughout the day. This has been developed by Eckhart Tolle who has written some inspirational books including ‘The Power of the Present’ and recently ‘A New Earth: Create a Better Life’.
I haven’t gone into any detail of any of these meditation methods as it is a choice for the individual to make….and there are other methods out there that will suit some people better? Even going for a walk in nature will rejuvenate you if you cannot get you head around meditation..
All these methods are vehicles to help a person take control of their lives by learning to control their thoughts and therefore have a life created by design rather than by accident. The key to the success in any of these methods is whether a person is ready to take control of their life…some never will?