There are unbelievably many meditation types, which all differ in the way you do them and their goals.
Truth be told, there are thousands of ways and possibilities out there to learn how to meditate. Usually even free. Although some kinds of meditation techniques require specific training, most are accessible to everyone.
Across different resources, you will stumble on different names for the same types of meditation. Don’t be too strict about that fact though.
Eventually, it’s just important that you acknowledge the different ways to meditate and that you do the meditation properly and that you benefit from the advantages.
He will only guide you through the most important types of mediation:
The goal of mindfulness meditation is to sharpen your awareness and to achieve the state of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a state in which you concentrate on everything that is happening in the present moment without judging it. You notice everything that is happening around you without interpreting, judging, or comparing it.
Basically, it’s about perceiving things without reacting to them.
Mindfulness is an attitude of complete acceptance of the events that are happening in the present moment (including thoughts, feelings and mental images). This approach can be integrated into all aspects of your daily life. For example, you can take a mindful shower, have a mindful walk, or even wash dishes mindfully.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, pain, and diseases. It’s extremely simple and can be practiced anywhere and by anyone. In some schools, children are taught mindfulness because it is so easy to learn and helps with concentration, attention, memory, and emotional self-control.
This type is the best way to meditate for beginners and a great opportunity to get into the subject of meditation as it is very easy to use and has a lasting effect on the mood right away. You’ll see the first improvements after a single meditation session.
For many, mindfulness meditation is going to be their go-to type. Especially since this technique is aimed at physical and mental benefits and has little spiritual meaning.
Mindfulness meditation can be done with your eyes open or closed.
We originally decided against adding any religious or spiritual types of meditations to this list, but the Vipassana meditation simply belongs in every list of the most important types of meditation.
Vipassana meditation is the oldest form of Buddhist meditation. Its aim is to eventually give the meditator insights into the existence and the essence of life.
After years of practice, meditators begin to understand the nature of reality and existence. However, you will only experience these insights after years of devotion. There are almost no short-term benefits with Vipassana.
Meditators experience improvements in concentration, stress, and attention after only a few months. However, the deep spiritual insights only come after a few years.
Each meditation session should last at least one hour. It’s best to set an alarm clock so that you don’t spend too much worrying about time while meditating.
Vipassana meditation helps physically, mentally and spiritually. Not only will your attention and concentration improve, but also your spiritual connection.
This meditation is ideal for people seeking spiritual enlightenment.
If you are only interested in the physical and mental benefits, try mindfulness meditation for example.
Concentrative meditation, or focused meditation, is a meditation technique where you focus all your attention on one object during the meditation session. This object can be a physical object (chair, table, couch …), your breathing, a part of your body, sounds around you or even something you imagine in your head.
The most important thing you need to keep in mind during this type of meditation is that you always have to bring your thoughts back to the specific object as your thoughts begin to wander. Allow your feelings to develop, without trying to change them. Simply notice them and let them go.
Focus your attention on the object you want to focus on. Many people choose their breath. Don’t try to force the focus on the object and don’t be frustrated when you get distracted or have difficulties getting started. This only creates stress and a coercive feeling. If you feel like you’re too distracted, just concentrate on a new object.
When you select the object for the concentration meditation make sure that the object evokes pleasant emotions without creating too much excitement or boredom.
If you choose an object that is important to you, make sure your memories don’t distract you. Your goal should be to focus on the object itself, not on the things you associate it with.
Pay as little attention as possible to distracting thoughts.
The goal of concentrative meditation is to train the mind for continuous concentration. When thoughts or feelings come to your mind, no matter which kind, perceive them and then draw your attention back to your object of observation.
However, you shouldn’t completely ignore these feelings and thoughts. Simply because it’s not possible and causes you to be disappointed, frustrated or irritated, which distracts you even more.
Therefore, notice the disturbing thoughts and then return to the object you want to concentrate on.
It requires plenty of practice to keep your focus balanced. If you concentrate too much on the object and block everything around you, you will feel tense and as a result, your spiritual progress will be slowed down. If you concentrate too little, you will quickly become distracted and the meditation will lose its effect.
Walking meditation is an extraordinary form of meditation and not necessarily a beginners meditation.
This type of meditation aims at practicing mindfulness.
It requires a lot of concentration but is really great for people with active minds and imagination who want to learn how to calm and center their minds.
There is no particular way to do walking meditation. Depending on how you do it, this meditation technique can boost deep focus, concentration, or awareness.
A good meditation procedure for beginners is to concentrate only on your own walking. How to get started? Even though it may sound simple to just walk and focus on your own walking you will realize that it’s actually quite challenging.
To get started, you should find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Especially for other people, walking meditation may look strange. Therefore, you may want to choose a room where you won’t be seen. It might not be the best way to meditate at home, but if your home provides enough space, feel free to do it there.
Before you start meditating, spend a minute or two just standing there, taking a deep breath and devoting your attention to your body.
Ideally, you should meditate for at least 15 minutes.
Your walking pace should be constant and even. If your mind is excited or your ability to concentrate is weak, slow down until you can stay in the present moment with every step.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that aims to unite the mind, spirit, and body. You use energy or Qi (pronounced “chi”) to bring harmony between these three. Qigong meditation can be done in two ways: standing, with slow movements or sitting.
There are two types of Qi energy: Yin (still and sitting) and Yang (active movements).
Qigong includes many different movements, some with complex breathing and body postures. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might even hurt yourself. Therefore, in order to achieve the best results, we recommend that you consult a professional teacher or start with the easy poses first.
Qigong meditation is the best type of meditation for anyone who wants to try energetic and physical meditation.
Chakras are the energy centers of the body that begin at the base of the spine and spread to the top of the head. There are seven main chakras in the body, each corresponding to a specific attribute of our personality.
Chakra meditation aims to balance and harmonize these energy centers. Therefore, it is ideal for all who seek spiritual and physical healing.
This meditation type belongs to the category of imagination meditation, which is why it is suitable for anyone who prefers meditations that are very intensive in visualization.
The best way to perform a chakra meditation is to follow a guided meditation. Step by step guided meditations are ideal for chakra meditations, especially if you have never dealt with the chakra system before. You may have difficulty remembering the colors and functions of each chakra.
Guided meditation is largely a modern phenomenon. This form of meditation is probably the easiest way, especially for beginners, to deal with meditation.
As the name suggests, this form of meditation is guided by someone else. Guided meditation is essentially a spoken guide. For example, you can do a chakra meditation or a concentrative meditation as a guided meditation.
A step by step guided meditation is useful in many ways. It particularly works for beginners because it “brings you back” at regular intervals and focuses your attention on the essential, the present moment. However, it’s not only ideal for beginners, but also for advanced practitioners that want to give new techniques a go or have difficulties, controlling their attention.
Mantra meditation is a meditation type that concentrates on mantras. Mantras are words and phrases that can be sacred or any phrase that conveys a sense of peace and harmony.
Mantra meditations are ancient. Originally they were of religious origin and connected with certain deities and religions. Today they focus more on spirituality.
This kind of meditation is easy to do and therefore suitable for everyone. It gives practitioners a feeling of centricity and peace.
To perform a mantra meditation, you must sit comfortably and close your eyes. Then, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes and relax all the muscles in your body.
As soon as you notice that you are in a calm state of mind, repeat your mantra loudly. Say it slowly as you exhale, to feel the vibration of the word better.
Repeat the mantra for 10-15 minutes.
Some popular mantras are “OM”, “YAM” or “RAM”, while the latter are so-called chakra mantras. This type of meditation is wrongly called “OM” meditation.
Open Awareness Meditation
Open Awareness Meditation, also called Choiceless Awareness, is a type of meditation in which you open your consciousness to perceive everything around you without focusing on anything specific. Basically, the opposite of concentrative meditation.
You perceive everything more consciously and do not prioritize anything. For some, this will be difficult, especially in the beginning. Your minds are programmed to filter and process things. You need to have a very relaxed mind to simply be present without boundaries and guidance.
Therefore, in this form of meditation, the mind is compared to an open sky. The practitioner observes the clouds (thoughts) passing by.
Similar to guided meditation, open awareness meditation is a superior form of meditating. Zazen meditation and vipassana meditation, for example, are open awareness meditations.
Again, if you meditate with open awareness, it means that you leave your consciousness open. In other words, you let everything that happens pass. You simply become aware of everything that’s going on, but you don’t judge, interpret or prioritize anything.
Strictly speaking, this is the true meaning of meditation.