TYPES OF MEDITATION
The term ‘meditation’ can be used in a variety of ways. By no means all meditation is done sitting by candle light with your legs crossed. In this article we look at types of meditation, a morning meditation, chakra meditation and breathing, for relaxation and cleansing. If you can find even five minutes a day in your busy schedule, you can experience the gifts of meditation.
VARIOUS TYPES OF MEDITATION
- Quiet reflection, such as when you look at a sunset, re-live a memory, ponder or just think peacefully about something
- Conscious relaxation, where you let go of tension in your body – this can be a meditation in itself, and is usually part of other meditation
- Guided visualisation, where you go on an inner journey, like a waking dream, that has symbolic meaning
- Journeying – this is essentially a non-guided visualisation, usually involving the help of a power animal, seeking answers to questions
- Mantra meditation, where a word or sound is repeated to achieve a state of peace
- Transcendental meditation – this lifts you to a tranquil altered state of consciousness, often through use of a mantra, or focusing intently on an object, like a candle flame
- Mindfulness meditation – this is the type of meditation taught by the Lord Buddha. It involves being fully, serenely present within the moment. It is now commonly advised by the medical profession, as a way of reducing stress
A SMALL WORD OF WARNING
There are few activities safer than meditation. However, if you have any mental health problems you may be advised to study meditation with a master. Since mindfulness became ‘fashionable’ there have been one or two reports of negative effects.
There are some people who believe this has been exaggerated by drug companies who are anxious for their products to be used instead. However, there can be little doubt that mindfulness is far safer than any drug!
The problem with mindfulness being ‘prescribed’ is that it is taken out of the spiritual context in which it evolved, See BODHI DAY – BUDDHIST ENLIGHTENMENT
on this site. Science may assume it can ‘use’ the visible effects of a practice while discarding what it may regard as the trappings. However, a spiritual background to your meditation will give you a valuable framework, and is to be advised.
Doing a chakra meditation is wonderful for spiritual cleansing and revitalising on all levels. Please refer to the article CROWN CHAKRA
on this site, and use it to connect you with the other articles on the chakras, so you are well-informed about the subject. It takes some weeks or months of practice to be aware of your chakras and able to work with them.
When you feel you are chakra-aware, you can get into the habit of doing a chakra meditation. Sit comfortably (cross-legged, in the lotus position, or simply on a comfortable chair) straighten your spine and relax your shoulders. Close your eyes and allow your state of mind to become calm.
Focus on your root chakra, and imagine that it is drawing power up, from the earth, becoming energised and active. Imagine its deep red colour becoming pure and clear. Affirm that you are connected to the wonderful power of the earth.
When you are ready draw the power into your second chakra, imagining its orange/vermilion colour purifying and strengthening. Affirm that you are open to healthy intimacy and sharing. Draw the power into your solar plexus chakra, experiencing the radiance of its gold glow as your confidence and self-awareness blossom.
Now it is the turn of your heart chakra. As its wonderful emerald green strengthens, feel filled with love for the world. And so to your throat chakra, its vibrant blue light opening up your communication centre.
The power reaches your third eye chakra, and the indigo colour of this centre connects you with your intuition and foresight, as you become aware of being so much more than your ‘everyday’ self. Finally, with the transcendent violet of your crown chakra, you are connected with other levels of being, and with your spiritual self.
Now visualise the power issuing like a fountain from your crown and re-entering through your solar plexus chakra, so you are re-charging, like a battery.
Hold this image for as long as you are comfortable. Then come back to everyday awareness. Give thanks to the Cosmos for the experience. Shut off each chakra carefully, by imagining they are closing, like eyes. It is important that you affirm all your chakras are closed, or your energies could be very depleted. Take a sip of water and touch your palms to the floor, for grounding.
A short meditation before you start the day will get you off in the right spirit. Play music that is soothing, but not too ‘sleepy’, because you need alertness for the day. The sound of stringed instruments or piano may be best.
Relax, close your eyes and affirm to yourself ‘Today I say YES to life. I see the best in everything. I choose to make the best of everything. Today is a good day. Today is a positive day. Today is full of promise and abundance. I choose to make the best out of today.’
If you like you can record the affirmations and play them back to yourself at least three times. Imagine things going well. Imagine that you get to the end of the day feeling satisfied, productive, successful. After doing this for a few weeks you will see your life improve immeasurably.
Try this morning breathing to start the day, and also to help you get off to sleep. It’s called pranayama, and is deeply relaxing. Stick your tongue behind your front teeth, exhale loudly from your mouth, breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, exhale trough your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat three times – troubles dissolve and the world brightens!
In this article we have looked at types of meditation, breathing, morning meditation and chakra meditation. It is up to you to find out what is right for you and choose something that fits into your life and routine. The benefits of meditation have been proved by millions of people, so start today and give yourself the gift of peace.
PUBLISHED: 07 DECEMBER 2015