Find the best type of meditation based on your personal goal with this detailed guide. BeWellBuzz brings you the lowdown on the many benefits of meditation.
Do you know about all of the Benefits of Meditation? By now we’re pretty much sure that you are aware of meditation in one of the following forms:
- You practice meditation yourself
- You know somebody who practices it
- You’ve heard about it in the media
In 2016, almost everybody has heard of meditation and it’s over the past couple of decades where we have seen a more mainstream type of support for meditation.
Many, however, do not know the full extent of the benefits of meditation.
Like anything else, meditation has it’s “haters” but let’s face it, the majority of the people opposing it:
- a) haven’t tried it themselves properly
- b) Are ignorant and don’t believe in anything they can’t see without any type of spiritual connection.
Let’s clear some things up right off the bat if you’re new around the topic of Meditation…
- Meditation can be practiced by anyone
- Meditation can help you with all aspects of life
- Meditation is practiced by a surprising amount of the most successful people in the world and many say they owe a lot of their success to it.
- Meditation is completely safe, especially at beginner levels
+ there’s so many benefits of meditation!
Confused about the types of meditation?
If you’ve heard of meditation even just once, the chances are that you know there is a wide variety of types of meditation varying in “difficulty”, effectiveness and what the meditation is often used to accomplish.
We searched for a summarised guide on meditation and what types of meditation are suited for different people and their goals and we simply couldn’t find one. We only found lists of benefits of meditation but without the links between the benefits and personal goals.
This is where we come in!
In this short guide, we are going to put together a detailed guide on how to choose the best type of meditation for YOU as well as simplify it.
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We understand that you, as an individual, has a specific goal when it comes to meditation. This guide will not only break down the types of meditation accompanied with the benefits and an explanation of how this could help you as well as the type of person that this would be appropriate for.
Here we go…
The Top 3 “Categories” of Meditation
Scientists and meditation experts alike generally agree on the main two categories of meditation which is split due on the way they differ in the way you focus.
1 – Focused Attention
This is the category of meditation in which you focus on a single aspect of something for the entirety of the session. Some popular examples are breathing, repeating a mantra, visualization, a part of the body or even an external object.
Goal: Inner peace that is achieved by a vast number of techniques.
2 – Open Monitoring
This is where, instead of focusing your attention on just one object, you keep things more open. Many people tap into all perceptions like feelings, memories and thoughts. This is a time to reflect on things in a non-judgemental way.
Goal: To see things as they truly are. (often from a completely different perspective)
3 – Effortless Thoughts
Although not an official category of meditation, this is often the category that types of meditation that don’t fit into either of the two other main categories fall into. Effortless thoughts is the state in which the attention is not focused on any specific thought, object, emotion or feeling. This is the state where the mind is completely empty… like a blank canvas.
Goal: To let go of worries, tap into deeper states of consciousness and allow your mind and soul to tell you things without the distractions of modern day life.
The rest of the guides examples of meditation will fall into one of these three categories.
Not that these 3 categories are not types in themselves. Think of these as a way to group a more focused / detailed type of meditation.
Benefits of Meditation (Based on Your Goals)
From extensive research we found a summarised list of the different reasons people choose to (and continue to) meditate.
What you need to do:
Look through the following “meditation goals” and pick one that resonates closest to your personal goal.
We hope that your reasoning falls into one of the following categories:
1 – To Find Inner Peace / Search for Yourself / Get Epiphanies
If this is your goal: Pick a meditation technique from the Focused Attention list following this section of the guide.
2 – To Reflect on Life / Reflect on the Day to Improve Productivity / Look at Things from a Different (better) Perspective
If this is your goal: Pick a meditation technique from the Open Monitoring list following this section of the guide.
3 – To Relax / Clear the Mind / Think with More Clarity / Reduce Stress
Pick a meditation technique from the Effortless Thoughts list following this section of the guide.
Instead of recommending lots of more specific techniques, we wanted to focus on the categories as a whole and condense all of the techniques into one plan.
Rules for all types of Meditation:
1 – Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can be sure you won’t be interrupted. This could be outside in a quiet park or in a quiet room in the house.
2 – Choose to either sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight or be seated on the floor, cross-legged with your back straight. Try both out and find what’s comfortable for you.
3 – Wear some comfortable clothes that to not restrict your movement and take off your shoes.
Getting in the “Zone”
1 – Begin by allowing yourself to slowly start to relax, consciously imagine all of your muscles release from head to toe.
2 – Close your eyes and begin to take some slow, deep breaths into your stomach.
3 – Spend these first few minutes focusing on allowing all of your worries and external thoughts leave your mind.
Length of Time
The length of time that you should practice meditation will always vary. You may want to try longer sessions (20-30 Minutes) daily at first to practice getting into “the Zone”. Others that have been practicing for a while may benefit for 5-15 minutes. If you’re really looking to reflect on a week and love practicing, there is nothing wrong with mediating for an hour or more.
Top Tip: Don’t meditate for too long at the start to stop the chances of your losing motivation and consistency.
1 – Choose what you want to focus on. You can do this in two main ways.
a) The first is by planning what you focus on. For example, if you meditate 5 times per week, you could have one specific thing to focus on once per day.
b) The second technique is to simply allow your mind to choose what to focus on and focus on whatever comes naturally.
2 – Remember that the aim here is to find inner peace, relax and to forget everything else.
Breath – Breathe normally but focus on how you are breathing. Feel the air coming in through your nose, the expansion of the lungs and then focus on the warm air leaving the nose and the chest deflating.
Mantra – Choose a positive quote or statement that you would like to follow. This could be to do with anything. Common examples are to do with weight-loss, monetary, for love, to be calming and for anything else in-between.
Visualization – Focus on an exact visualization of something you want to happen in the future. This could be you purchasing a new car and the visualizations could be you opening the door, sitting in the car, smelling the leather and feeling the steering wheel. Focus on every single part of the situation.
1. This type of mediation often comes naturally to you however there is another way you can meditate with this technique.
a) To keep things coming naturally, you can try varying the places the meditate for this as you can use ope monitoring to meditate on your surroundings. You may even just feel what to mediate on in the same place as you allow your subconscious mind to take over.
b) If you find it hard to find what to mediate on naturally, you can try pre-planning this type of meditation by already knowing what you are going to mediate on before the session. This could be your day and everything in it or even a specific event in your life.
2. Remember that the main focus of this technique is to meditate on all aspects of the experience, free from judgement. Meditate on the entire experience – sound, touch, smell and focus on letting your subconscious mind look at the situation from a completely different angle.
Effortless thoughts is a technique that seems simple and technically is but to benefit from its full potential takes lots of practice and patience. In this technique, you do not need to focus on anything in particular but instead, clearing your mind of everything else. Your goal is to stop thinking and reach deeper and deeper levels of silence and peace.
It is in times of the purest silence in which you are truly relaxed and the incredible life benefits will follow.
We hope, from this guide, that you have been able to find out what type of meditation fits what you are trying to achieve from practicing meditation.
Feel free to do your own further research into these three categories to find out more specific techniques to reach your goals.
Our advice: Try lots and let us know what you find! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section – Which category do you fall into?