There are 2 basic types of meditation – mindfulness meditation and concentrative meditation. All meditation techniques are based on these approaches.
While ancient meditation was based on religions, modern day meditation can be secular or religious.
And, while you may think of meditation as being New Age. In fact, it is not limited to one group or to people with specific beliefs.
The truth is that anyone can learn to meditate.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a way to bring your mind, thoughts, feelings, sensations and body–totally into the present moment. When you practice mindfulness, you are completely aware of everything that is going on around you.
Simply stated, you concentrate on one thing. Let’s use your breathing as an example. Pay attention to everything around you. Now pay attention to the rising and falling of your stomach, your breath moving through your nostrils, and the difference from one breath to the next.
With mindfulness meditation, you welcome and appreciate everything that you notice. You gently pay attention to fantasy or reflective thoughts and then let them go away. Trying to stay completely in the present, you become totally aware of your surroundings.
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. You can even do this while walking or doing simple repetitive tasks. You become a better listener and more productive, when you are mindful and fully concentrating on your partner and the conversation.
on only one object.
The second of the types of meditation, concentrative or concentration meditation, has a different twist.
In fact, it’s almost the opposite of mindfulness meditation in that, you concentrate on one thing. And, while you’re doing so, you become unaware of your surroundings.
With concentrative meditation, your concentration on the one thing–a mantra, your breathing, or a position. This helps you block out everything around you. But your mind becomes more peaceful, relaxed, and aware.
Yoga, Transcentental Meditation, and the Roman Catholic rosary are examples of concentration meditation.
There are many variations of these two types of meditation, and deciding on a meditation type is strictly a matter of preference. There are a number of books like these on Amazon, that can help you get started with concentration meditation.
Photo #1 courtesy of HaPe_Gera
Photo #2 courtesy of h.koppdelaney