Monday, February 6, 2017

Meditation Types

My logical mind likes to categorize things, so I tried to find a list of all the types of meditations by category. It wasn't as simple as I thought. Everyone seems to have a different idea on how to classify meditation practices. Here are my notes from this research, which I will add to as I learn more. I'm still very new to this, so if you know of any good resources I could use, please let me know.

Meditation Categories

According to this article on Mental Health Daily, nearly all types of meditations fit in the following three categories:

1. Focused Attention (Concentration)
Focus your attention on one specific thing (object, thought, or breath). When the mind wanders, calmly bring your focus back to the object.

2. Mindfulness (Open Monitoring)
Let your attention flow freely without judgment or attachment. Notice all sensations you’re feeling, but just observe them instead of judging them or reacting positively or negatively.

3. Effortless Transcending (Pure Being, Transcendental)
The goal is to help recognize the true nature of the self by eliminating all thought, becoming aware of deep states of consciousness. It requires no mental effort or concentration.

This article on Spiritual Healing for You lists five categories of meditation techniques:

1. Concentration
Concentration is at the heart of all the types of meditation, but in some techniques, focus is predominantly on building concentration. This can help you overcome distractions within and outside your mind and sustain mental focus.

2. Reflective Meditation (analytical meditation; disciplined thinking)
Choose a question, theme, or topic and focus your analysis or reflection upon it. Train your mind to come back to the topic in question whenever your thoughts wander to other topics.

3. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation lays emphasis on cultivating a highly receptive mindful attention toward any action or objects within your sphere of influence. It helps you learn a simple thing: to pay attention or be "mindful."

4. Heart-Centered Meditation (heart chakra meditation, loving-kindness meditation)
Heart-centered meditation will help you release all your fears and sadness and bathe in the radiance of loving kindness and compassion. Choose a quiet place, set the right posture and focus on the heart area while inhaling and exhaling slowly but smoothly. You can also connect your heart to the heart of a teacher or a compassionate person.

5. Creative Meditation
This form of meditation will enable you to consciously cultivate and strengthen different qualities of your mind, such as appreciation, joy, compassion, patience, empathy, love, gratitude, compassion, humility, fearlessness, and tenderness.

Types of Meditation
The Mental Health Daily article mentioned above also lists the following types of meditation. Please visit my page for a summary of each type and a list of sub-types, or read the whole article for more detailed information.
  1. Guided Meditations
  2. Mantra Meditation 
  3. Metta Meditation (Loving Kindness)
  4. Mindfulness Meditation 
  5. Qigong (Chi-Gong)
  6. Taoist Meditations
  7. Transcendental Meditation (TM)
  8. Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism)
  9. Yoga Meditation
  10. Zen Meditation (Zazen)
I also found this article that lists 108 Meditation Techniques. Too many for me! I'll stick to the ten above.

Let me end with this infographic about meditation, which I found on Woodside Health and Tennis Club's website (click on it to enlarge and access their website).


Question of the Week
What's your favorite type of meditation?

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