8 Most Popular Methods of Meditation and How to Do Them

Mindfulness meditation, spiritual meditation and progressive meditation are among the most popular methods of meditation.

These meditation techniques help relieve stress, boost mental focus and improve physical well-being. 

Besides relaxation, meditation also heightens one’s soul awareness and dissolve negative energy. 

Beneath every meditation technique, there are many subtypes of meditation each themed to uplift a specific body function.

Since human beings respond differently to situations, there is hardly any specific method of meditation that can be said to be more effective than the others.

Our health status and the level of energy triggers largely determine whether to combine two or three types of meditations. 

Meditation shouldn’t be a forced activity.

However, knowing the methods of meditation that can lighten the positive energy in you and persistently practicing them is the only secret to successful meditation.

What is Meditation? 

Meditation is an exercise or a conscious practice aimed at reducing stress, promoting mental clarity and happiness, increase calmness and relaxation.

This practice bases its roots in India, Japan and China.  

Whereas today’s meditation incorporates many techniques with diverse benefits, the ancient meditation methods focus on attention, compassion and awareness.

On a positive note, anyone can do meditation. 

Meditation has become a multi-billion dollar industry as more people are joining meditation classes and clubs.

Just like health habits, it requires self-devotion and focuses to achieve meaningful long-term positive results.

8 Methods of Meditation and How to Do Them

Every society is connected partly by its cultural, traditional and spiritual practices and then beliefs.

This explains why there are many methods of meditation.

The 8 most common ways to meditate include:

1. Mantra meditation – Best for expanding your awareness

methods of meditation

Mantra is a word or phrase that you repeatedly phrase either in silence, by whispering or spoken loudly when meditating.

Mantras are believed to have energetic essence that supports one’s intentions.  

Mantra meditation is among the simplest meditating techniques anyone can practice.

Some of the universally accepted mantras include SO HUM (meaning I AM), Shivo’ham (Shee-voh-hum) embodying the essence of “I Am Conscious” and Aham Prema (Ah-hum Pray-ma) a phrase meant to instil the essence of self-love. 

How to Practice Mantra Meditation  
  • To benefit from mantra meditation, set aside at least 20 minutes (early in the morning and late evening at sunset) for your daily practice.
  • Then find a quiet place and before closing your eyes, you can choose to light up a candle, an aromatherapy essence or apply essential oils like lavender essential oil, Peppermint essential oil and eucalyptus essential oils for a cooling sensation.

2. Transcendental meditation – Best for strengthening your inner-being

methods of meditation

This meditation technique has a strong element of spirituality involved.

More often, the repeated use of mantra in transcendental meditation helps to strengthen your inner being. 

This type of meditation is practised while seated and breathe is slow-paced to match the rhythmic flow of your mantra.

The choice of mantra may be determined by your coach.

Alternatively, you can draft a personalized mantra based on the transcendental goal.

Whichever mantra you choose, it should have a spiritual and mindful essence.

How to do Transcendental Meditation
  • The first step involves seating on a chair or floor with both hands on the lap.
  • While in that position, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax your body. This should last for your entire meditation session (15 -20 minutes).
  • Using the Sanskrit sound taught by your teacher, or a sound, phrase or words you have wisely chosen, repeat the mantra while completely focusing on it. 

3. Progressive relaxation / Body Scan –Best for releasing tension and anxiety

If you looking for a meditation method that will help you relax the muscles and release the tension you may not even be experiencing, progressive meditation is best for you. 

To scan your body, progressive relaxation requires you to start paying attention to one end of your body and then progress to every part.

To promote calmness and ease that long chronic pain, visualize a wave drifting over your body. 

4. Loving-kindness meditation – Best for relieving anger, frustration and interpersonal conflict

The only way to live a happy life is to exist in a world where everything is your friend including your enemies.

Love-kindness is the most effective meditation technique for anyone looking to experience a deep feeling of love, warmth and self-affection.

This method involves repeatedly sending love messages first to yourself and then to others. 

How to do loving kindness meditation
  • Start by finding a quiet place that’s free from interruptions. 
  • While seated or lying on your mat, close your eyes and begin focusing on your breathing. This will relax your mind.
  • Now place your hand on the chest near the heart and in a few moments, you’ll begin to feel some warmth.  
  • Start imagining that warmth spreading slowly towards the other parts of the body. While mentally expanding that warm feeling, send messages of love to yourself and others.
  1. Visualization meditation – Best for boosting mental focus, enhancing self-awareness and consciousness

Visualization meditation entails concentrating the brain and relaxing the body.

To practice this meditation method, you’ll need to visualize images or ideas that will connect your body, spirit and mind. 

Its benefits to the body and brain are immense.

Besides clearing the mind of all toxic imaginations, easing depression and decreasing stress, visualization boosts immunity and relieves insomnia.

For a better visualization experience, it’s good you surrender inner wisdom and to let go of expectations. 

How to practice visualization meditation
  • While seating comfortably, clear your mind and generate images or an idea that you’ll begin to visualize.
  • With your images and idea in mind, close eyes and concentrate on your breath. As you hold the tongue to the palate, inhale deeply to your lungs and then with the mouth slightly open, exhale all the air.
  •  There are many audio visualization scripts available online. Download one that suits you and uses it as a guide.

6. Mindfulness meditation – Best for awakening the inner spirits and promoting awareness

This method of meditation allows you to be aware of the present and fully engaged with the present thoughts.

When practicing mindfulness meditation, you’ve to let present thoughts and feelings to wonder to through your mind. 

Whatever thoughts revolve shouldn’t be subjected to judgment.

This practice involves deep breathing and taking note of your thoughts, sensations and feeling to become aware of your body and mind.

How to do mindfulness meditation

Practicing mindfulness meditation is simple. 

  • Find yourself in a comfortable and quiet place.
  • Sit on a chair or the floor.
  • While seated, ensure the head, back and neck are straight and relaxed. 
  • If you are a beginner start with a 5-minute session and progressively keep increasing meditation sessions- 10-15 minutes and 25-30 minutes.
  •  Maintain focused breathing. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your belly as you inhale and exhale.
  • Take note of the revolving thoughts in your mind and remain calm.

7. Spiritual meditation – Best for increasing spiritual awareness

If you are domiciled in the Christian faith or Hinduism, practicing spiritual meditation will help you connect with your innermost being.

Spiritual meditation uplifts one spiritual awareness as the old you is stripped off.

As you practice this method of meditation, your nervous system will relax, your body will unwind stress and will help you let go of the past.

How to do spiritual meditation at home 
  • With a pillow under your bottom and while seated, place your right hand at the centre of your heart and the left hand underneath the belly button. 
  • Close your eyes and listen to your breath until you connect. 
  • With the breath flowing at a comfortable pace, feel your body move as you inhale and exhale.
  • As you imagine light inside you, visualize the color and brightness of the light.
  • To connect to your Superior Being, allow the light to flow out and follow it as it moves up the sky, through the clouds and into heaven.
  • While feeling connected, explore the surroundings and once satisfied, bring down the light and open eyes gently.

8. Focused meditation- Best for boosting focus

  • Light a candle and while maintaining a focus on it, listen to your breath.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to count mala beads or listen to a gong.
  • As you pay attention to the gong sound or count mala beads when practicing focused meditation, your body will release stress, increase your attention span, improve your creativity and help control anxiety. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which is the best free meditation app?

Every human being has his preferences.

But based on users and followers the best free meditation apps have benefitted many people.

They include:

2. Which is the best meditation music ever?

If you want to listen to the most calming music you shouldn’t miss the following beats:

  • Marconi Union, “Weightless”
  • Airstream, “Electra”
  • Enya, “Watermark” 
  • Barcelona, “Please Don’t Go”
  • Cafe Del Mar, “We Can Fly”
3. Which mantra is best for meditation?

When choosing the best mantra for meditation, you should put your intentions first.

Some of the best mantras for relieving stress, anxiety and depression are:

  • Chakra mantras like LAAM, YAAM, VAAM and KSHAAM.
  • Aum or the Om, meaning “It Is, Will Be or To Become”
  • I am that I am
  • Ho’oponopono, which means ‘I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you.’

Conclusion

The only best way to determine the right method of meditation is to practice by first understating your intention and health needs.

Meditation is today a common practice worldwide and every meditation technique is helpful.

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