I am a strong believer in understanding and trying many different meditation disciplines to find the one(s) that work for you. This guest blog written by Diamond over at eHealthInformer outlines four of them.
Though meditation has been around for centuries, it's still only just starting to take off in the Western world. It first gained popularity in the West during the 1960s as culture changed with music and narcotic experimentation. The Beatles learned Transcendental Meditation from the Maharishi in Rishikesh, which changed their musical sound and lyrics meanings to be about spirituality and eastern philosophy.
Around this time other bands and influential people began learning and experimenting with meditation. However, since then meditation has spread deeply throughout Western culture and is now considered as standard as yoga or shisha pipes.
Meditation is now used not only for spiritual connection but mind health, stress relief, developing focus and vision exercises. Not everyone wishes to use meditation for spiritual purposes, though that is the area the techniques were bred from.
These four unique meditation practices are among the most effective and widely practiced to date. Using the information below you should be able to decide which is right for you and your desires.
A mantra can be a sound, word or set of words that are repeated aloud or internally to focus the mind. Originating from Hinduism and Buddhism, some believe that mantras conceal within them healing powers. Others use them as a tool to quiet the mind activity through repetition so that the individual can transcend all thoughts and activity and be completely in the moment and in tune with their true nature.
One famous example of mantra meditation is Transcendental Meditation which is what The Beatles learned from the Maharishi in Rishikesh during the 1960s. This method can only be taught by a qualified TM instructor.
However, we do know that it consists of repeating a special mantra unique to the individual (given to them by the instructor), which is repeated continuously while acknowledging and allowing other thoughts to come and go. The trick is not to engage with thoughts at all, but simply allow them to be. Over time the thoughts will lessen and diminish completely, which is when the individual knows they've transcended.
Many other mantras can be used for this type of meditation, each with their own meaning and sound. There's a vast amount of information and tutorials on the web teaching different mantras and meditations. Some are freely available via YouTube.
However, from time to time, you’ll come across videos that are censored in certain countries. To get around this censorship, you can use a Virtual Private Network to hide your IP address and give you access to all the mediation and healthy living videos you desire.
This type of meditation combines mind focus, breathing and sometimes mantras with movement and posture holding. There are many types of yoga, and each can be used as meditation if you understand the processes and movements. If you know them by heart, you can focus your mind with an intention and reframe the yoga session as a yoga meditation practice.
Yoga styles such as Kundalini, Jivamukti, Kripalu and Kriya are all known to carry a heavy emphasis on spirituality. Therefore they can be the perfect meditation techniques for those who wish to get in shape and connect with their true nature.
Paramahansa Yogananda brought Kriya yoga to the West just as the Maharishi introduced Transcendental Meditation, which again captured the attention of the 1960s Cultural Revolution movement. However, to learn Kriya yoga one has to undergo a series of meditational practices devised by Yogananda to qualify for Kriya initiation.
Mindfulness meditation is for those who aren't specifically interested in spiritual quests. Commercialized and adapted by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness uses an awareness technique whereby the individual learns to listen to their body and mind activity without engaging with it.
Taking your attention to certain parts of the body in a scan-like fashion, easing and reducing tension with your awareness and intentions. Mindfulness is an incredibly relaxing process, which usually involves lying down or sitting in a comfortable position. It uses slow and deep breathing from the diaphragm so that the body is getting enough oxygen to feel healthy, calm and grounded.
Mala Bead Meditation
Mala beads are necklaces made up of 108 beads. Some are made of wood while others are manufactured from precious gemstones and materials. Most commonly the beads are counted one by one while chanting the mantra verbally or internally.
For example, the most popular mantra for mala bead meditation is, "Om Mani Padme Hum" which comes from Tibetan Buddhism. You can use any mantra you like with this practice or simply feel through the beads one by one in a mindful way focusing your attention on them to quiet your mind activity.
These four meditation techniques are very useful and popular in all cultures and societies these days. If you haven't heard of them before or experienced them, give them a try today.
Author bio: Diamond is a meditation and yoga enthusiast who enjoys teaching others effective holistic health techniques and methods. She also loves learning the science behind yoga and meditation and why it works so well.
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