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Different Types of Meditation

There are many ways in which to meditate, and one of the frustrations beginners have is to understand the various ways to do it.

forms of meditation

  • Focus on breathing. Note that the simplest method of meditation (and possibly the most common) is to simply focus on one's breath. Concentrate on your breath--it's that easy.
  • Mantras, which are words repeated over and over. Herbert Benson, author of The Relaxation Response (RR), recommends the mantra "one" which is said with each exhalation. Many people use different mantras, such as "aum" or others.
  • Focusing your attention on a specific sense. For instance, you might focus solely on what you hear. Alternatively, you might focus on what you feel.
  • Visualizations (many forms of these exist). These involve trying to envision a particular object. One of my favorite forms of this is visualizing yourself from outside of your body (i.e. from a 3rd person perspective). This requires great discipline for some people to do. Others find it easy.
  • Walking meditation. This involves focusing on the process of walking. There exist a multitude of books on this matter if you are interested in further reading on this matter.
  • Passage meditation. This involves memorizing and slowly repeating the words of a simple, positive, inspirational passage from one of the world’s great spiritual traditions (for example the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi).

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