For today’s Meditation Monday tips, we turn to http://www.project-meditation.org, a website entirely dedicated to teaching varying forms of mindfulness.
This site provides a wealth of information on everything from vipassana and moon meditations to walking meditation. Be sure to check them out!
Meditation has many benefits and many who have tried even a single meditation technique will swear by it. People meditates to bring peace and serenity into their lives, to be one with their inner selves, and to heal and to improve their mental and physical health. No matter what the reason for practicing, meditation is universal.
Although meditation is universal, meditation techniques may differ from one culture to another. Often different meditation techniques are suited to different personality types. Some techniques are expansive and allow for the free flow of thoughts and their observation whereas some types are concentrative that involve bringing focus into one’s thoughts.
An overview of various meditation techniques are listed below for your reference.
Mantra Meditation: The mantra meditation technique involves the conscious repetitions of certain sounds that appeal to the mind in order to achieve a meditative state. Mantra literally means ‘revealed sound’ or a combination of sounds that develop spontaneously. It is important not to confuse a mantra with religious chants. A mantra maybe given by a guru or may be a personally chosen sound or word, but the important thing is that it must appeal to the mind.
Trataka Meditation: The Trataka meditation technique is one that has been followed by many religious systems, including Sufism and Christianity. In this, a steady gaze is performed on any one particular object. Trataka is an established yoga cleansing technique and dedicated practice of the same takes it to the highest level of meditation.
Chakra Meditation: Chakras represent a higher level of energy manifestation and development of self. The meaning of the word ‘Chakra’ is a wheel. Each chakra represents the major nerve centers that branch off from the spinal cord, serving the major organs of the body. In all, there are seven chakras. The main aim of this meditation technique is to help individuals discover and explore their chakras, thereby awakening them on a conscious level in a balanced and integrated way.
Vipassana Meditation: The word Vipassana means ‘insight’. It refers to the ability to see things as they really are, attained through a process of self-observation. It means identifying one’s own nature, recognizing the bad elements and consciously eliminating them from the system. Vipassana is a meditation technique that is free of rites, helps develop wisdom and allows an individual to study different sensations in the body such as cold, pain, itching, etc.
Raja Yoga Meditation: This form of meditation takes the yogi (person who practices meditation) through to a higher level of oneness and a greatly ennobling experience. It fills him with super-sensuous joy or bliss that elevates the mind away from pleasures of the flesh and reforms his bad habits. A Raja Yogi establishes a relationship with god and gives up all worldly pleasures and devotes all his energies to the spiritual awakening of fellow beings.
The above stated meditation techniques are merely a brief insight into each one of them. In order to understand them fully and to attain their benefits, one must learn the techniques under the guidance of a guru.