1. Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular and researched form of meditation in the West.
In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.
This practice combines concentration with awareness. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.
This type of meditation is good for people who don’t have a teacher to guide them, as it can be easily practiced alone.
2. Progressive relaxation
Also known as body scan meditation, progressive relaxation is a practice aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation.
Oftentimes, this form of meditation involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body.
In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension.
This form of meditation is often used to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime.
3. Focused meditation
Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses.
For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention.
- counting mala beads
- listening to a gong
- staring at a candle flame
- counting your breaths
- moon gazing
This practice may be simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first.
If your mind does wander, simply come back to the practice and refocus.
As the name suggests, this practice is ideal for anyone who wants to sharpen their focus and attention.
4. Movement meditation
Although most people think of yoga when they hear movement meditation, this practice may include:
- qi gong
- tai chi
- other gentle forms of movement
This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment.
Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and want to develop body awareness.
5. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a type of meditation that’s been the subject of numerous studies in the scientific community.
TM was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and refers to a specific practice designed to quiet the mind and induce a state of calm and peace. It involves the use of mantras and is best taught by a certified TM practitioner.
This practice is for those who want an accessible approach to the depth that meditation offers.