The 8 types of meditation and their characteristics

Meditation is an ancestral practice that has experienced a boom in popularity in Western countries over the past decades. For people new to meditation practice, it can be a bit confusing associated with meditation: mantras, chakras, Vipassana meditation, Tonglen meditation, etc.

In this article you will be able to find the different types of meditation and their characteristics so that you understand what makes them different and know what their advantages are.

Benefits of meditation

Meditating is not always easy, especially at the beginning, as it takes discipline and practice for perfection. It therefore requires effort, but in the long run its health benefits are numerous.

In the fast-paced world we live in, many people find in meditation a way to reconnect with themselves, far from Western culture, where consumerism and materialistic values ​​rule the lives of the vast majority of citizens. Meditation is a way to find the essence of oneself and achieve inner peace.

In short, these are some benefits of meditationnot:

  • Increase your self-knowledge: Some forms of meditation help to reflect on one’s own experience.
  • Reduces the effects of stress: it helps to regain calm and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

  • It positively affects the immune system: It has positive effects on general health.
  • Improves attention and concentration: works on self-awareness and attention.

  • It is useful for showing empathy towards others: it improves interpersonal relationships.

  • Increases pain tolerance: Reduces painful symptoms.
  • Improves memory and cognitive functions: Increases memory as indicated by some studies.

  • Improves the appearance of positive thoughts: helps to have an optimistic and positive attitude.

Types of meditation

Whether it is to calm the mind, to find yourself or to reduce anxiety or stress, it is interesting to introduce this practice in your daily life, because it is a way to improve your quality of life.

But … What types of meditation do you have? What do the different ways of meditating give us? You can read more about the different meditation courses in the following lines:

1. Primordial sound meditation

Primal Sound Meditation is a mantra-based meditation technique, Rooted in the Vedic tradition of India. A mantra is a repeated phrase that helps us achieve the state of relaxation and internalization that promotes the meditative state. Mantras are not random phrases, but sacred sounds that the sages of antiquity used for their meditative practice, because they have a great power of harmonization.

Although this type of meditation goes back a thousand years, Deepak Chopra and David Simon have revived this ancient practice and created a mantra-based meditation program that anyone can practice, so in the West it enjoys some popularity today. hui. During meditation, this mantra should be repeated in silence, as it creates a vibration that allows one to place oneself in a place away from the noise of the mind, reaching a calm and pure consciousness. This type of meditation is ideal for those looking for structure in their meditation practice.

2. Vipassana meditation

Vipassana meditation is often known as “insightful” meditation and allows you to see things as they really are.. It is also a traditional Buddhist meditation practice, widely used in the West through mindfulness. This type of meditation emphasizes the awareness of the breath, tuning the air in and out through the nose. It also focuses on labeling thoughts and experiences as they arise.

Whenever a thought or emotion is identified, it is necessary to identify it and let it pass without judgment. There are several types of Vipassana meditation which have evolved from the traditional style over the years.

  • You can immerse yourself in this type of meditation with these techniques: “5 Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Your Emotional Well-being”

3. Zazen (Zen) meditation

The translation of the Japanese word “Zazen” means “sitting meditation”. Many people, when visualizing meditation, imagine a person on the ground with their legs crossed, eyes closed, and fingers in the Mudra position. This is not the case with Zazen meditation.

Although this type of meditation focuses on breathing and observing thoughts and experiences as they pass through the mind and observing experiences in the environment, such as in Vipassana meditation, there are some differences between them. two meditation classes. A major practical difference is that in Zen meditation the emphasis is on breathing on the stomach rather than the nose (as in Vipassana).

Another big difference is that the posture is much stricter in Zen meditation than in Vipassana, with special attention to the straight spine, squatting chin, and the hands placed in a special position on the stomach. In Zazen meditation, the eyes should always be open, with a low gaze, and in Vipassana, there are no strict rules for gazing, although it is common for the eyes to remain closed. Zen meditation is recommended for those who already have previous experience in meditative practice.

4. Transcendental meditation

Another type of mantra-based meditation is Transcendental Meditation. Like primordial sound meditation, its origin dates back to ancient India and each person is given a personal mantra used for vibrational qualities to help calm the mind. Although the purpose of meditation in both forms is similar, there are many differences, including the mantras themselves and how they are selected, the instruction for meditation, and the recommended time for meditation.

5. Metta or benevolent love meditation

Metta or Benevolent Love meditation has its meaning in unconditional goodness and friendship. This style of meditation also has its origins in Buddhist teachings, primarily Tibetan Buddhism. As scientific studies show, compassion and this kind and loving type of meditation have been shown to be especially helpful in fostering empathy, positivity, acceptance, and compassion towards oneself and others. Anyone with low self-esteem, high levels of self-criticism, and a desire to be more empathetic with others can benefit from this practice.

6. Kundalini meditation

The main idea of ​​this type of meditation is that thanks to this technique one awakens one’s Kundalini energy., Located at the base of the spine. When this energy is released, it travels down the spine and leads to an experience commonly referred to as Kundalini Awakening, which ultimately leads to enlightenment. Kundalini meditations can include breathing techniques, mantras, mudras, and chanting to harness the power of the subconscious. It is an energizing way to awaken the mind.

7. Chakra Meditation

A chakra is an energy center in the body, and we have seven of them, Each located in a different area of ​​the body and each associated with a different color, sound and energy. Chakra meditations can be very powerful, especially when they focus and connect with one physical or emotional body element at a time. Many chakra meditations use sound, specific hand placement, and visualization techniques to connect to the chakras and their healing energy.

8. Tonglen Meditation

This type of meditation is Tibetan Buddhist and is characterized by the fact that the person who practices it connects with their own suffering. in an effort to overcome it. Our culture teaches us to avoid suffering and to flee, the opposite of Tonglen meditation.

This meditation course teaches you to deal with difficult life situations as it allows you to deal with them by developing an attitude of openness to suffering and letting go of negativity. It is also called giving and receiving meditation, and cultivates compassion and empathy through breathing, visualization. the practice can be done in any comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.

Are you interested in learning to meditate?

If you are considering incorporating meditation into your daily routine, you may be interested in the courses taken by Well-being vibrates.

This center has a team of psychology professionals and meditation and yoga instructors with extensive experience in psychotherapy, mindfulness, Pilates and other forms of beneficial intervention. Its facilities are located in Madrid, although they also offer classes via online sessions, so you can attend wherever you are.

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