Meditation is the practice of going inward and focusing the mind for a period of time. It can be practiced in silence or with the help of songs, and this for several reasons, ranging from religious or spiritual goals to a method aimed more at relaxation.

In our modern, fast-paced world, meditation has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to manage stress. Scientific evidence has also emerged that shows meditation can be a useful tool in the fight against chronic illnesses, including depression, heart disease, and chronic pain.

The 7 different forms of meditation

If you want to try meditation but don’t know where to start, here is a list of seven types of meditation practices:

1. Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being aware means being aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not being overly reactive to what is going on around us.

Mindful meditation can be practiced anywhere. Some people prefer to sit in a quiet place, close their eyes, and focus on their breathing. But you can choose to be mindful any time of the day, including when you’re commuting to work or doing household chores.

When you practice mindfulness meditation, you observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judging them.

2. Transcendental meditation

Transcendental meditation is a simple technique in which a mantra, such as a word, sound, or short phrase, is repeated in a specific way. It is practiced for 20 minutes twice a day while sitting comfortably with your eyes closed.

The idea is that this technique will allow you to settle inwardly into a deep state of relaxation and rest, with the aim of achieving inner peace without concentration or effort.

3. Guided meditation

Guided meditation, which is sometimes also called imagery or guided visualization, is a method of meditation in which you form mental images or situations that you find relaxing.

This process is usually led by a guide or teacher, hence the term “guided”. It’s often suggested that you use as many senses as possible, such as smell, sound, and texture, to evoke calm in your relaxation space.

4. Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana meditation is an ancient form of Indian meditation that involves seeing things as they really are. It was taught in India over 2,500 years ago. The mindfulness meditation movement in the United States has its roots in this tradition.

The goal of vipassana meditation is self-transformation through self-observation. This is accomplished through disciplined attention to physical sensations in the body, in order to establish a deep connection between mind and body. Continuous interconnection results in a balanced mind, full of love and compassion, say the teachers of the practice.

5. Loving-kindness meditation (Metta meditation)

Metta meditation, also called loving-kindness meditation, is the practice of wishing happiness to others. Those who practice it recite specific words and phrases meant to evoke warm feelings. This practice is also common in mindfulness meditation and vipassana meditation.

It is usually performed while sitting in a comfortable and relaxed position. After a few deep breaths, you repeat the following words slowly and steadily. “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be at peace and at ease. »

After a period of directing this loving kindness towards yourself, you can begin to imagine a family member or friend who has helped you and repeat the mantra again, this time replacing “I” with “you”. .

While continuing the meditation, you can remember other members of your family, your friends, your neighbors or the people in your life. Practitioners are also encouraged to visualize people with whom they have difficulty.

Finally, you end the meditation with the universal mantra: “May all beings everywhere be happy”.

6. Chakra meditation

Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that translates to “wheel” and has its origins in India. Chakras refer to centers of spiritual energy and power in the body. It is believed that there are seven chakras. Each chakra is located in a different part of the body and each has a corresponding color.

Chakra meditation is composed of relaxation techniques aimed at bringing balance and well-being to the chakras. Some of these techniques involve visualizing each chakra in the body and its corresponding color. Some people may choose to light incense or use crystals, which are color coded for each chakra to help them focus during meditation.

7. Yoga meditation

The practice of yoga dates back to ancient India. There are a wide variety of classes and styles of yoga, but they all involve a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises intended to promote flexibility and calm the mind.

The poses require balance and focus and practitioners are encouraged to focus less on distractions and stay more in the present moment.

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