List of 10 Different Types of Meditation to Try
Have you tried meditation only to feel like it wasn’t for you? Many people believe in the benefits of meditation but have a lot of difficulty actually learning to meditate. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are many different types of meditation. The classic method of just sitting still and watching your thoughts might not be right for you. Try one (or more!) of these types of meditation instead:
1. Walking Meditation. The biggest problem with meditation for a lot of modern people is that they aren’t used to sitting still for a long time without a lot of distraction. Many people find that it’s a lot easier for them to start meditating using a walking meditation. In this type of meditation, you focus on the experience of walking. You become mindful of your breath speeding up, the feel of your foot coming down on sand or pavement, the way one foot lifts as the other moves. You can walk slower or faster to change the dynamics and bring your focus back to the experience as you walk.
2. Writing Meditation. ZenPens recommends a really great approach to meditation – mindful writing. So often when we write we are focused on the outcome or the thoughts that go into our writing. Writing meditation is about focusing on the action of writing, on the forming of the letters on the page. You may also practice the art of calligraphy as a method of writing meditation.
3. Eating Meditation. This is a favorite of a lot of people who practice mindfulness. Food can appeal to so many of our senses – taste, touch, smell – if we pay close attention to it. Eating meditation is all about noticing every little detail of the food that you’re eating. Even if you decide that meditation isn’t for you, it is possible that you may enjoy your daily meals more by practicing a little bit of eating meditation in your life.
4. Chakra Meditation. Some people enjoy working with the energy of their body’s chakras. In chakra meditation, you may use visualization to picture the different colors of light associated with the chakras. You may also use the sounds associated with each chakra to do a chanting meditation. If you’ve never explored the chakras before, a good place to start is with a chakra massage. If this is offered in your area, your massage therapist can help guide you through your first chakra meditation.
5. Chanting Meditation. You do not have to be interested in chakras to take an interest in chanting meditation. You may do this in a group or you may do it on your own. You may chant a single sound, a series of sounds or an affirmation or quote that you enjoy. The repetition aids a lot of people in achieving the focus and concentration necessary for meditation.
6. Music Meditation. Instead of creating a chanting sound yourself, you may want to meditate by focusing on music from a CD. You should choose a relaxing type of music, preferably instrumental only. Try to really pay attention to the different sounds. Try to differentiate each note. Ask yourself how the music makes you feel and notice how your body is responding to it. A variant of this can be a dancing meditation. Some people think that the dancing meditation might be easier because it’s physical but others find it difficult to relax enough in their dancing to truly focus on it in a meditative way.
7. Koan Meditation. Koans are puzzles to ponder over. A famous one is “what is the sound of one hand clapping”. There isn’t an answer; there are just myriad ways of looking at the issue. In this type of meditation, you focus on one koan and your thoughts on it, always bringing your mind back to this koan when it starts to wander. Concept meditation (such as focusing on the concept of impermanence or the concept of loving kindness) is similar to koan meditation.
8. Body Awareness Meditation. You can sit, stand or lie down to practice this type of meditation. The goal is to focus on how each part of your body feels. You may do this by tightening and loosening the muscles in each limb of your body. Alternatively, you may simply focus your mind on each part of your body in turn and assess how it feels. This is a great way to get in touch with how your body feels. That can give you some great information about your emotional feelings too!
9. Breath Awareness Meditation. This is the type of meditation a lot of people think of as classic meditation. You sit in a comfortable position and focus on the breath coming in and out of the body. When your mind wanders, you notice that it is wandering and you bring your attention back to your breath.
10. Light/ Flame / Object Meditation. This is similar to breath awareness meditation. However, instead of focusing on your breath, you focus on a single point. This may be a light, the flame of a candle or a specific object. Some people find it easier to sit still when they are focused on something external other than the breath.
All of these types of meditation are designed to bring your focus and awareness to the present moment. Being mindful during your day can provide you with many benefits. Don’t discount it just because one type of meditation hasn’t worked for you. There are many more types that you might try.