Thousands of years ago in the world occupied by hunters, every hunter has his own sword, knife or arrows and bows that work best for them. It is a game of hunters finding their most suitable weapons or tools. Today, we have computers and phones that work best for us. You may like to use a Windows machine while I use my Mac. From these examples, we can see that what is best for one person can necessarily means the opposite for another person. Meditation is the same. It is a tool that helps us clear our minds. While one type of meditation may not make you feel good, the other type can do wonders for you. Let’s now take at a look at a few very popular types of meditation and also explore on how to find out which type suits you best.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness meditation is commonly referred to as breath meditation or sometimes as mindfulness meditation, which is not completely correct technically but by and large correct. The procedure of breath meditation is something that most people with some kind of interest in meditation should have heard of. Let me explain it briefly here to refresh your memory. To practice breath meditation, sit comfortable on a chair or on the floor with your legs crosses. Close your eyes. Now, put your focus on your breath. Observe the breathing in and breathing out of your breath. Just observe and don’t try to change it. There may be thoughts and ideas that flow into your mind. That’s normal. Just say hi to those thoughts without processing them. You will often find yourself not observing your breathing in and out. That’s okay too. Just put your focus back on your breathing in and breathing out. Continue to observe for at least 10 minutes. (Of course you can do less when you first started or when you are not feeling right.) After you have finish your ten minute plus of meditation, you should find that you now have a very clear mind that allows you to think very clearly.
If breath meditation is the iPhone of meditation, mantra meditation must be the Android of meditation. It is believed to be the second most popular type of meditation behind mantra meditation. Usually, popularity of something has nothing to do with whether something or not. But in this case, it seems to have some correlation. The process of mantra meditation and breath meditation are very similar. You basically do everything similarly, including sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and not paying too much attention to your thoughts when they flow in during your meditation. The only difference is that you can now focusing on a mantra that you repeatedly saying quietly in your mind. A mantra is basically a usually meaningless word like “so-hum” which you can easily read in your head. The big idea is the give your mind something not too difficult to do as if you are assigning a part time job for your mind. By doing that, your mind can temporarily stop itself from doing some intense and random thinking that makes your mentally tired.
Body Scan Meditation
While both the breath meditation and the mantra meditation are done by making your mind focus on a repeating task, the body scan works differently. Of course, the big idea of making your mind work on a simple task doesn’t change. It’s just that this time, it is not something looping that makes the body scan meditation easier for some people that just can’t seem to focus on a repeating thing. To practice body scan meditation, you close your eyes and focus on one part of body at a time and feel whether there is tension there. Usually, you start from one end, usually from the feet to the head. Basically, you begin by feeling if there is any tension in your feet. Feel it for roughly 10 to 30 seconds, depending on which pace make you relax better. Then you start to feel if there is tension in your ankles, then the knees, you get the idea. The extra nice thing about this type of meditation is that it allows you to have a chance to relax your body.
Guided Body Scan Meditation
Guided meditation is not technically a new form of meditation, it is just that there is a voice (may be you are playing a video on Youtube or may be you are playing a mp3 track in your computer) that guide you to, step-by-step, complete the meditation. Oftentimes, body scan meditation is the type of meditation that often comes in the form of guided meditation. That may be suitable for those that have a hard time to focus.
Guided Nature Meditation
Sometimes, the content of the audio clip of a guided meditation is about nature. For example, the voice would suggests you to imagine that you are sitting on a beach, the sky is blue and you hear the sound of the ocean. This type of guided meditation is very relaxing and is great for those of you who have a hard time focusing on breath or mantra.
How to I Know Which One Best Suits Me?
There is no need to rank which type of meditation is the best but it is reasonable to believe that there is one type that suits you the best. To find that out, here is a common sense approach. How do I know whether a Windows computer or a Mac computer suits me better? Just use them both. Then observe objective which one allows me to achieve my goal more efficiently. The more efficient one is the best choice for me. That’s the same for meditation. Try the above five meditations. Choose the first one and do it everyday for one week. Choose another one for the next week, etc. After you having done all five, determine objectively which meditation helps you clear your mind best. The one that helps you clear your mind best is your optimal meditation type.