Types of meditation Meditation comes in many forms, including the following:
Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.
Ways to meditate can include:
Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
- Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.
Transcendental Meditation. A well-known technique in which you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. Natural technique. This form of meditation may allow your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
- Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you're encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.
- Concentration meditation. Teaches you how to focus your mind. It’s the foundation for other forms of meditation.
- Heart-centered meditation. Involves quieting the mind and bringing the awareness to the heart, an energy center in the middle of the chest.
- Mindfulness meditation. Encourages you to focus objectively on negative thoughts as they move through your mind, so you can achieve a state of calm.
- Tai chi and Qigong are moving forms of meditation that combine physical exercise with breathing and focus. Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
- Walking meditation. Turns your focus to both body and mind as you breathe in time with your footsteps.