Meditation Techniques

Types of MeditationMeditation has evolved throughout history, with respect to location, religion and philosophy. It is widely recognized that there are many different ways to Meditate, even though many techniques have similar goals.

It reminds me of the saying, ‘There are many paths to God.’ I believe it is wrong to say that one Meditation Technique / path is better than another, because you are judging a person’s journey, and you don’t know from where they have come.

Their path is perfect for them, as yours is for you.

As such, I will not say that any of the meditation techniques listed below is better than the others. I encourage you to explore the doors that open before you to learn through experience, so you can decide for yourself.

This page gives an overview of the different forms of meditation that exist, with links to more specific information.

Concentrating on your Breath is a great place to start. You can consciously notice the movement of the air moving in and out of your nostrils, or you can count the breath in various ways.

Mindfulness is cultivating awareness of your inner experiences; such as bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts and memories. With this meditation technique you simply observe without any judgement.

Emptying the Mind is what many beginners believe needs to happen for them to be meditating correctly. The truth is that this is just one technique of many. Allow your mind to clear and ‘float’, gently pushing aside any stray thoughts, or allowing thoughts to float in and out of awareness like clouds moving across the sky.

Focusing your attention on an Object, (but not necessarily your thoughts), on a shape, sound or texture of an object, such as a flower, a candle flame, or a spiritually significant picture can assist you to create stillness in your mind.

Movement and Meditation is more common than you might think. A physical technique like yoga or tai chi helps to still the mind by coordinating the breath and the body with gentle movement.

Using a Mantra incorporates repeating a word or phrase over and over. This can occur aloud or silently, sometimes timed with the breath, to focus the attention and release different energies that benefit our bodies and minds.

Other organized aspects of Meditation are listed below. Each links to specific information.

Vipassana Meditation TechniquesWhile Vipassana meditation has grown in popularity over the course of the last few years, it’s been a well-established form of meditation ever since Buddhist times.

Specifically, Vipassana refers to seeing something as it truly is, with the ultimate goal of such meditation being to reach one’s maximum potential for happiness.

Furthermore, this specific form of meditation is often done to rid the mind of supposed impurities and negative thoughts.

When one practices Vipassana meditation, he or she focuses on his or her unique sensations. It is believed that, by doing this, one is able to see and understand the true nature of any given situation.

Vipassana MeditationVipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills.

Vipassana is an art of living – a way of life.

While it is the essence of what the Buddha taught, it is not a religion; rather, it is the cultivation of human values leading to a life which is good for oneself and good for others.

Buddhist MeditationBuddhist Meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight.

Core meditation techniques are preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through the millennia of teacher-student transmissions.

Non-Buddhists use these techniques for the pursuit of physical and mental health as well as for non-Buddhist spiritual aims.

Transcendental MeditationThe Transcendental Meditation technique, (or TM technique), is a form of mantra meditation introduced in India in 1955 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

It is reported to be the most widely researched and one of the most widely practiced meditation techniques.

Taught in a standardized seven-step course by certified teachers, the technique involves the use of a sound or mantra and is practiced, while sitting comfortably, for 15-20 minutes, twice per day.

Taoist MeditationMeditation is one of the chief tools in the Taoists quest for inner peace.

The Chinese word for meditation simply means ‘sitting’, but Taoist Meditation techniques have developed into sophisticated and complex systems designed to have profound mental and physical effects. These techniques have developed over thousands of years.

Unlike most meditation techniques, much of Taoist meditation is performed while moving, as in Chi Gung and Tai Chi.

Zen MeditationWe tend to see body, breath, and mind separately, but in Zen Meditation they come together as one reality. Basically, zazen is the study of the self.

The great Master Dogen said, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”

To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.

Christian MeditationChristian Meditation stands alone as it refers specifically to meditation in a Christian context.

Christian meditation is often associated with prayer or scripture study. It is rooted in the Bible, which directs its readers to meditate.

In Joshua 1:8, God commands his people to meditate on his word day and night to instill obedience and enhance relationship and fellowship. This brings us in close touch with God’s reality, power, grace, faith and miracles.

In recent years, some evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have taught that contemplative meditation is dangerous, warning of its similarity to mysticism and New Age practices:

This concludes this short exploration into the different meditation techniques available for you to practice. Try the different styles to see what works best for you.

Always keep in mind the goal of meditation, ‘To get beyond reflexive thinking, into a deeper state of mind.’

As you work towards this, you will open yourself to the many benefits of meditation, and your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

If you would like to know about the physical changes that occur in the body when you are in meditation, check this link. It explains the difference between the 4 different brainwave patterns.


12 Responses to Meditation Techniques

  • kodillath
    Thanks. It is realy a hard task by going through varity of meditation methods.
    • Nigel Coates
      Hi Kodillath, You don't need to explore them all! Just go with the one that feels right. Ask the Universe to present you with the opportunity that will best serve your spiritual growth, pay attention for syncronicity, and watch the doors open for you! Enjoy the FUN JOURNEY! Nigel.
  • Coral
    Thank you. Very informative. Good starters picture of Meditation Techniques. All the best, Coral.
  • Eliyaspirit
    Thank you for this overview on Meditation. It's very valuable for today since there is soooo much info out there. Although I have been meditating and teaching meditation for over 20 years, it gets confusing with all the ins and outs and advice we are given. The point is it doesn't matter how you do it, just do it! Great site!
    • Nigel Coates
      Exactly Eliya, some people ask me if they are, "Doing it Right?" I tell them they are - because they are 'doing it'! :) Also, there is no point spending your life researching all modalities so you are intellectually aware. Meditation is an experience of practice. Namaste, Nigel.
  • chris
    Hi all,people generally think of meditation as something too way out for them to grasp or something a little clandestine.As previously written it doesnt matter how you get there,even daydreaming is a lovely relaxing process.sit or lie down rest your eyes and free your mind,it will love you for it.keep up the great work nigel.chris
  • Chandrakant
    Your meditation explanation is very beautiful and clear, thanks.
  • Denise
    That was really interesting thank you and as always so beautifully and clearly explained.
  • jingo
    Hi I really need to know how to do. I try many times to meditate but my mind just cannot stay at one place. I want to know how, please. Tank you.
    • Nigel Coates
      hey Jingo - you are in the right place. Guided meditation is a great meditation starter for beginners, as you mind can focus on the story. The goal is not to empyty your mind. Click the link and have a play. Good Luck, Nigel.
  • Lisa
    It's motivating to know that just 'doing it' is worth much more than 'not doing it at all' it does not matter in which form. There are no losses if you start off doing it wrong, there are all benefits. I'll keep at it. Thanks Nigel
    • Nigel Coates
      You got it Lisa! It doesnt matter in which direction you march... for that movement is forward! Many Blessings, Nigel.

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