How To Find The Right Meditation Practice For You

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How To Find The Right Meditation Practice For You
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Meditation seems to be a loaded topic for a lot of people.

There are those who think learning how to meditate is either religious or sacrilegious. Some think you have to work too hard at it or give too much time to it.

And, there are those who think they just aren’t the meditation type.

The key to capturing the benefits of meditation is to find the right meditation practice for you.

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So, why meditate?

Well, because meditation is good for you! Nowadays, there’s plenty of information and evidence available to support this claim.

Thanks to meditation champions such as Deepak Chopra, meditation has become a common term and is more broadly practiced.

More and more health practitioners are offering relaxation sessions by incorporating relaxing and de-stressing energy healing sessions within their suite of services, as well as recommending some form of meditation to their clients.

Conventional medicine has embraced it.

Some of the benefits of meditation include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure
  • Relief from headaches, tension, and tension-related conditions
  • Increased energy and balance
  • Enhanced mental reasoning
  • Improved memory
  • Increased focus, clarity, and productivity
  • Greater perspective
  • Greater creativity, intuition, and innovation.

This is no small list and many of these benefits are important to anyone's well-being.

Meditation is personal.

Finding the right meditation practice starts with you.

Too often, a person is introduced to meditation without considering their intentions, preferences, and lifestyle. All of these things matter.

Accounting for these 3 factors can make the difference between an enjoyable and arduous meditation practice.

1. Clarify your intentions.

This helps you make an appropriate choice about which method is most suitable.

Why do you want to meditate? What do you hope the outcome of your practice will be?

2. Assess how much time you realistically have to dedicate to your practice.

It can be as little as a few minutes when you want or need to meditate, or as much as 40 minutes every day.

You can derive benefits — either extreme and anywhere in between. So, don’t let your available timeframe deter you. Just work with it.

3. Consider your style or technique preferences.

Identify a practice that incorporates them. For example, if you love nature and movement, pick a practice that lets you get outdoors and move.

Do you love movement, but not the outdoors so much? Try 5Rhythms dance, a dance-meditation style developed by Gabrielle Roth in the 1970s that is rapidly growing in popularity.

There are also many types of seated meditation for those who like stillness and deep inner reflection.

So, if you want to explore (and perhaps establish a mediation practice of your own), make sure to consider these three, first and foremost. Do so before you start your research into the different forms of meditation. Otherwise, the process could become complicated and overwhelming.

There are many ways to meditate and not all types of meditation are alike. It's difficult to generalize because different methods entail different intentions and processes.

People meditate for a whole range of reasons such as:

  • Stress release and relaxation
  • Reflection and personal growth
  • Enhancement of cognition and mental clarity
  • Release and circulation of subtle energy for improved health and spiritual practice
  • Mind-body-spirit balance and integration
  • Transcendence

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Here are 8 categories of meditation to research and try.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Buddhist meditation techniques tend to be observant and reflective of personal development and enlightenment, with the mind gently engaged in the process.

There’s a lot of variation within mindfulness, but typically the breath is used alone or with soft awareness.

2. Spiritual or Expansive

These techniques involve a connection to source — however it is defined — and tend to focus on the retrieval of guidance, which is often associated with a specific question that the meditator has posed for the session.

Spirituality can be associated with organized religion, but this isn't necessary and often is not the case.

Some spiritual meditation practices are expansive, opening the meditator up to universal energies. Still, the meditator doesn't necessarily have to have a specific spiritual intention.

3. Transcendence

Transcendental meditation aims to effortlessly quiet the mind and move toward a state of inner awareness, pure consciousness, and transcendence.

These methods typically reduce stress and support self-development.

4. Focused

Focused meditations use techniques that focus the meditator's attention on something. This form of meditation frequently uses aid in the form of music, mantras (words or sounds), or mandalas (symbols or designs).

5. Open-Focused

The basic technique of open-focused meditation is incorporated into many styles of meditation dating back to perhaps the first meditators.

It is most commonly incorporated into practices that address trauma and stress release as well as creativity, neuroplasticity, and manifestation.

6. Guided meditation

Guided meditation is a technique whereby the meditator is guided through a process of deep relaxation by someone who is either speaking in person or recorded.

Sometimes, the guided meditation acts as a conduit to achieving a particular state. Other times, the meditation is used to expose the meditator to new ideas and personal possibilities, such as self-improvement.

7. Movement

Some meditators like movement. The simplest, most accessible style would be taking a walk, maybe in nature, and daydreaming or listening to an inspiring guided meditation.

Qigong, Tai-chi, and yoga use the breath combined with a flowing transformative process through a series of postures.

5Rhythms is an example of meditation through movement.

The main idea is for the person — the dancer —to naturally and freely express and gain awareness of themselves and their emotions through their movement and dance, which arrives through the music of five basic rhythms: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness.

8. Kundalini Awakening

Kundalini meditation aims to release and circulate Kundalini energy, a dormant-but-powerful source of creative and spiritual energy stored at the base of the spine.

The methods mentioned here are just a small set of what is available. Do your research. Sample a few options. See what works for you and use as many different styles as you like.

Meditation is good for you. It can support you and your decision making in any number of ways.

To really take advantage of meditation, pick a practice that works for you.

It's important to develop a practice that integrates easily with your personal intentions, preferences, and time availability — the practice should be supportive and without adding any additional burden.

Over time, your intentions may change and so may the type of practice, but the practice should always reflect and support your intentions.

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Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) Leadership Coach and a certified Martha Beck Life Coach. For more information, visit her website.

This article was originally published at starchaser-healingarts.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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