7 Meditation Techniques and Benefits

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Imagine if there was one type of everything in this world. That would make it a very boring place indeed! Fortunately for us there are countless numbers of everything and more being created every moment. The infinitude of possibilities of creation is what makes living life exciting because it creates choices. Similarly yoga and meditation have branched into different flavors and depending on our mental and emotional make up, we can pick which one suits us the best.  Physical yoga become instantly popular in west and meditation has recently caught up in its popularity and following.  We have many high profile celebrities talking about meditation, how it has benefited them and the type of meditation practice they follow. Believe it or not there are different types of meditation techniques.  The most popular techniques and the benefits are briefly elaborated below.

1) Transcendental Meditation: In this technique the teacher gives the practitioner a personal mantra (sound, phrase or word), which is repeated in specific ways. The minimum practice time is 20 minutes. With continued practice this technique bring deep rest and relaxation, effortlessly calming the mind. Stress relief, improved intelligence, higher work efficiency and performance are the major benefits.

2) Movement Meditation: This technique makes the body the main object of meditation.  Most forms of meditation requires a seated position for the practice. Movement meditation makes use of movement as in walking, gardening, yoga, tai chi and other forms of martial arts to remain present in the body. This technique is great for those who are new to meditation and are unable to sit for long durations.  It helps build focus and bring relaxation by following the rhythm of the movement.

3) Mindfulness Meditation: This is a seated technique and the practitioner becomes the observer of fleeting thoughts and emotions without becoming engaged or judging them. Regular practice increases moment to moment awareness of one’s own reaction to outside situations and people and encourages a more conscious response.  This meditation brings stress relief, less emotional reactivity, enhances self observation to cause inner transformation.

4) Mantra Meditation: This seated meditation used the words, sounds, or phrase repeated to clear and calm the mind. It also brings a certain pleasantness in the being and improves overall alertness. Uttering the sounds repeatedly helps the practitioner focus on something and keeps the mind from wandering. The most popular mantra meditation is that of AUM chanting.  Chanting creates positive vibrations, removes psychological disturbances, improves vocal chords, increases energy and improves health.

5) Visualization Meditation: This is usually a guided meditation where the practitioner visualizes a beautiful scenery in nature to calm the mind and emotion. This technique uses the creative power of the mind to generate positive, peaceful and loving emotions to bring about a transformation. Visualization is conducive to reaching one’s full potential and realizing the goals.  For example – a full sensory visualization of climbing a steep mountain creates a better chance of actually doing it.

6) Vipassana Meditation:  This is also a seated technique that aims to bring self-transformation through self-observation. In this meditation the practitioner pays attention to the physical sensation and the impact it has on the mind. This technique raises awareness of the deep body mind connection, which can help the practitioner overcome disturbances and negativity and the true nature of existence is eventually revealed. Realizing what lies beneath the surface turmoil of the mind brings the practitioner in touch with reality, compassion and love which in turn results in a permanent state of stress free living.

7) Chakra Meditation: Chakras are energy centers or junction points where pathways of energy intersect. There are 114 chakras in the body of which 7 are major junction points, where most of the healing is targeted.  As each of the 7 chakras has a different color, color therapy and use of crystals is common in this technique. The meditations are designed to restore balance and well-being in the chakras which in turn enhances the overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Now that you have a fair idea of the various meditation techniques and the associated benefits, you can experiment with these to see which one is best suited to your situation and mindset. Once you decide, it is important to stick with the technique to realize the full potential of the benefits.  If nothing else it will definitely reduce your stress levels leaving you in a better state of mind than when you started.  Choose wisely!

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