People have varied myths about meditation and thus scared or reluctant to try different forms of it. Before we list down the best 5 ways to learn meditation let us learn what Meditation means.
Wikipedia, defines Meditation as a practice where a human trains their mind by a mode of consciousness. This is done either to observe benefits for the mind or acknowledge contents in it without identifying its end.
Merriam- Webster Dictionary actually simplifies its definition and explains it as spending some time in quiet for relaxation or religious purpose.
Meditation can be categorized in two ways – Focused Attention and Open Monitoring
Focused Attention Meditation
As the name suggest, in this form of meditation, an individual focus the attention on a single object or sound during the whole session. Focus can be on breath, some mantra, a part of individual’s body, some external object etc. For example: Chakra meditation, Kundalini, Mantra meditation etc.
Open Monitoring Meditation
We monitor all aspects of the experience without judgment or attachment instead of focusing the attention on any one object. In this, one monitors the experience in a non-reactive manner. For examples: Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana etc.
H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar ji from Art of Living gives three thumb rules of meditation: ‘Achaha Aprayatna Akinchan’ which means
Achaha – I want nothing
Aprayatna – I do nothing
Akinchan – I am nothing
Best 5 ways to learn meditation
Zen Meditation (Zazen): Zazen means seated meditation. It is generally practiced by seating on a floor in lotus or half-lotus position. Here back is kept straight with eyes lowered and gaze resting on the ground about two or three feet in front of you. Focus the attention on the movement of your breath, coming in and going out.
Vipassana Meditation: Vipassana is a Pali word which means clear seeing or insight.Most of the Vipassana teachers emphasize starting the practice with mindfulness of breath in the initial stages to stabilize the mind. Then the practice moves on to develop a clear insight on the bodily sensations and mental thoughts, observing them moment by moment and not clinging to any.
Mindfulness Meditation: It is the practice of focusing on the present moment, accepting and embracing the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise. You can practice mindfulness during your daily activities: while eating, walking, and talking.The key practice is to pay attention to what is going on in the present moment, to be aware of what is happening and paying full attention to whatever you are doing.
Mantra Meditation: It is usually practiced sitting with spine erect, and eyes closed and repeating the mantra in his mind, silently, over and over again during the whole session. The repetition of mantra creates vibrations that allow mind to experience deeper levels of awareness. Some commonly used mantras are Om, Om namah shivaya, so-hum.
Chakra Meditation: There are 7 chakras in a human body. These chakras are the centers of energy. Chakra meditation is focusing on each chakra one by one and chanting a specific mantra for it.
Since the benefits of regular meditation are beyond measure, as it connects all three – mind, body and soul, it is highly recommended to learn the proper form of meditation from a teacher who has been practicing it for years or be a part of a community who can explain the correct way and benefits of it. The whole idea of meditation is to train our mind and connect with the endless power of soul and light.
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