Do you like the idea of meditation? Many people believe that meditation can help them find a balance in life, to relax or to achieve a higher goal. However, they are usually not well informed about the types of techniques they exist. In this article, we will give the most common techniques that are practiced in our environment. Sometimes you need to study and try a couple of techniques before deciding which one suits you best.
Firstly, we need to know what is actually meditation.
Meditation is a state of mind. It’s a state of pure consciousness without any content.
Usually, your mind is full of waste, just like when the mirror is covered with dust. The mind is constantly in circulation: thoughts move, tendencies are on the move, memories move, ambitions are moving – it’s all in constant traffic. One day in, the other day out. Even when you sleep, your thoughts are constantly working, they are dreams. It’s preparation for the next day, some underground works deep inside you.
So, let’s talk about most popular meditation techniques:
Autogenous meditation technique
An autogenic training many will not first associate with meditation, however, it is. Teachers, however, more often associate it with exercise and relaxation than with meditation. The reason for this lies in the fact that autogenic training was developed by a German neuropsychiatrist J.H. Shultz.
Aware of the prejudice that the word “meditation” can instigate in the Westerners, he deliberately avoided that term and thus did autogenic training with tempting technique to the broad masses. However, autogenic training is similar, almost identical to some meditation techniques, so it can be classified as a meditation in full.
Autogenic training has no mystical or religious background, it does not have terms such as “universal cosmic energy”. The autogenic training aims to help the user to get to know his body, to learn how it works by the technique of observation and autosuggestion.
The technique is very effective for relaxation and stress. It does not require the trainer to take up a certain pose and sit upright, which is tempting to all who prefer comfortable armchairs, but also hides the risk that a person starts to work and then sleeps (because he is too relaxed).
Pranayama – meditation breathing exercise
This technique has its roots in India and comes as part of the Hatha Yoga exercise. People are most often introduced to the yoga course where they learn that they will not only work out stretching exercises but that they will do exercises for breathing – Pranayama.
The fact is that you can only see the state of mind in your breathing. For example, when you’re upset, breathing is short and quick, when you’re relaxed, breathing is light and slow. Pranayama asks for actively regulate breath to achieve a high degree of relaxation.
Pranayama often finds exaggerated, “magical qualities” – rejuvenation, healing, and the like. One yoga center even claims that beginners do not need to practice for more than 3 minutes because it will raise too much toxin.
However, the technique itself is effective and gives us the opportunity to calm down and relax in a natural way, while also learning something about the connection between breath and body. It is very effective for mental illnesses associated with stress, anxiety, depression, and the like.
Vipassana – Buddhist meditation
Vipassana (Satipatthana) is an ancient meditation technique also coming from India, known for more than 2500 years. This technique in itself has no mystical elements and is very oriented towards the goal. It consists of observing the reality that manifests in the body. The objects of observation are breathing (some of which are called Anaphan) and the senses on the body. As the meditator develops concentration, it is more capable of perceiving all subtle and minor changes (whether in the breath or on the body). For every change we see, we are aware that it is transient. This ability helps the meditator in a life outside of meditation.
The goal of vipassana meditation exceeds the relaxation or concentration of concentration – its goal is to launch deep changes.
Transcendental meditation is a movement with the best marketing department among all meditation techniques. Transcendental meditation is practiced by Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch, and many other Hollywood stars.
It also has a very good business plan because, if you decide to go into it, you will need a “mantra” and do not expect it for free. It has taken on all the characteristics of western culture:
The technique is charged, teachers are licensed (read-expensive). In fact, it’s difficult to get information about this meditation technique, because you will be redirected to “certified teacher” who will explain everything to you.
The transcendental way of meditation is not bad at all, it is pragmatic and without too much mysticism. The trainee requires 20 minutes of time, 2 times a day (comparisons for, Vipassana is usually exercised twice a day for an hour).
It has been widely researched and its positive effects have been proven. If you do not mind this first “Hollywood part” of the technique, the rest seems pretty acceptable. Meditating can also be from the armchair, which again leads to the risk of falling asleep during meditation, but it takes no more than 20 minutes, so you will probably be awake.
Some meditation techniques do not use terms such as “chakras” and “universal cosmic energies”. Reiki is not like that. Reiki is full of eastern terms.
Reiki is a healing system based on the positive values of goodness and help among people. The meditation itself that Reiki practices raise awareness and concentration. It is also oriented to observing the senses and changes in the body.
How to choose the “best” meditation technique?
When choosing a meditation technique, it’s good to ask a few questions and be guided by several factors.
First, what is our aim and what do we want to achieve with meditation? Do we just want a technique that will allow us to relax after a busy day? Do we want to solve some health issues (this also includes a mental) problem? Do we want to fix the concentration and think more clearly?
Do we want anything more than all of this?
The second factor is availability, the technique must be somewhere at your fingertips. We do not have anything of some great technique for whose work it is necessary to go to the Himalayan cave, it’s simply too far away and impractical.
The third factor is common sense. One should look at people who practice a certain technique, they are in some way a mirror of these techniques. If the technique has some moral background/value. We need to look at whether this background is appropriate for us, whether we agree with it. It is also good to ask the motives of those who teach us the technique, do they do it from the desire to help us as someone once helped them or do it purely out of need, for example, for a profit.
Another very important thing, when we go into anything new, we usually have a lot of questions. It is very important that the meditation teacher answers our questions and that our answer is clear. If we receive “blurry” answers, we can suspect that the person concerned does not know what he is teaching or does not want to give us an answer. This ignorance will usually manifest itself through some “mystical answer”.
Here are examples of how to distinguish the “mystical” from the “logical” response. Let’s say the next question –
“Why am I slowly breathing in the middle of meditation?”
Mystical answer: This is because of the “cosmic energy of n-th meridian”.
Logical answer: It’s because you are relaxed and your breathing is slowing down.
Vegetarianism and meditation
Some techniques recommend a vegetarian diet. The reason for this is more, and one of the more important is that the vegetarian diet is lighter and it suits meditation. After a heavy meal, it is very difficult to sit quietly and meditate.