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Updated by Deniz Yalım on Mar 28, 2020
Headline for Meditation Styles and Techniques Explained
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Meditation Styles and Techniques Explained

There are many different meditation styles and techniques, from mantra to mindfulness to sensory … and the list goes on. One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about the difference between the many styles, techniques, and programs—so I put together this overview of some popular types of seated meditation.
Remember—there is no best form of meditation—the best style is the one you will actually practice with consistency. So try a few out and see what feels best for you.


Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is also known as Metta meditation, meaning unconditional kindness and friendliness. This meditation style also originates from Buddhist teachings, mainly Tibetan Buddhism. In the growing field of compassion research, the loving-kindness meditation has been proven to be particularly helpful with boosting empathy, positivity, acceptance, and kindness toward oneself and others.

The traditional loving-kindness meditation always starts with sending loving-kindness to oneself, then continues to send it in this order: to a friend or loved one, to someone who is neutral in your life, to a difficult person, and then out to the universe.

Who should try Loving-Kindness meditation? Anyone with low self-esteem, high levels of self-criticism, and a desire to grow more empathetic with others


Kundalini Meditation

In Kundalini meditation, the main idea is that through meditation, you awaken your untapped Kundalini energy, located at the base of the spine. When this energy is released, it travels up the spine and leads to an experience commonly known as Kunadalini awakening, which ultimately leads to enlightenment. Kundalini meditations can include breathing techniques, mantras, mudras (hand placements), and chants to tap into the power of the unconscious mind and bring it forward to energize and awaken the conscious mind.

Who should try Kundalini meditation? Open-minded individuals; those looking to dive deeper into their spirituality


Chakra Meditations

A chakra is an energetic center in the body, and we have seven of them, each located in a different area of the body and each associated with a different color, sound, and energetic purpose. From the practice of yoga, chakra meditations can be very powerful, especially when focusing on and connecting with one element in the physical or emotional body at a time. Many chakra meditations use sound, specific placement of hands, and visualization techniques to connect with the chakras and bring healing energy to an issue or emotion that needs attention.

Who should try chakra meditations? Chakra meditations are a great compliment to those already practicing yoga; Those looking to heal something in their physical or energetic bodies; Spiritually-minded individuals


Mantra Meditation (OM Meditation)

As most type of meditations, it is usually practiced sitting with spine erect, and eyes closed. The practitioner then repeats the mantra in his mind, silently, over and over again during the whole session.

Sometimes this practice is coupled with being aware of the breathing or coordinating with it. In other exercises, the mantra is actually whispered very lightly and softly, as an aid to concentration.

People usually find that it is easier to focus with a mantra than with the breathing. Because a mantra is a word, and thoughts are usually perceived as words, it can be easier to keep the focus on a mantra rather than on the breathing. It is useful especially when the mind is racing with many thoughts, since it mantra meditation demands constant attention.

Meditating with a mantra can also make it simpler to integrate your meditative state into your daily life. In whatever activity you find yourself into, it can be as simple as repeating the mantra in your mind.


Reiki Meditation

Reiki is a wonderful relaxation technique as well as healing energy work. If you are a Reiki Practitioner you might know that when Reiki treatment is done for oneself it is like meditation by itself. Place your hands on your body for several minutes, allowing universal life-force energy to flow through you, your hands to your body. Take time to relax and to go deep into a very meditative state.

Usually, a Reiki practitioner places his/her hands on the receiver over the chakras, working along the back and the front of the body. There are seven major chakras on our body (to read more check Chakra Balancing Meditation) and hundreds of manor ones - all the acupressure points are our energy centers.

Although, to be a Reiki channel you will need to get an attunement from Reiki Master and/or to take a class you might try the following Reiki Meditation using Reiki hand positions and sending to yourself a beautiful loving and healing energy.


1 - Sit or lie down comfortably with your back straight. Take few deep breaths imaging that the most pure loving and healing energy is entering your body. When you exhale imagine that all tension, all negativities, pain, anger, frustration, depression etc are flowing away from your body together with your breath out. Let them go….let them go….

2 - You will place your hands on each major chakras on the front of your body and hold them over each one for about three minutes unless your body will ask you to hold them a bit longer or shorter. It is a perfect opportunity now to get in tune with your body. Listen to it and trust. As you hold your hands over your chakras, imagine life force energy from the universe entering your body and feel it flowing through your hands to the rest of your body for the highest good of all concerned. Feel the peace, deep relaxation, vitality in whole your body.

3 - Place your both hands with fingers together over the top of your head. Hold and listen to your body - gently with loving attention. Breathe in and out - nicely, slowly and deeply. Focus on positive qualities and let go of negatives.

4 - Very gently take your hands and place them on your forehead covering your eyes if that feels comfortable. Hold and relax.

5 - Gently move your hands to the back of your head. Find the position there which is the most comfortable for you and hold your hands there.

6- Next, place your hands on your throat, very gently, do not push too much as you need to breathe and feel comfortable.
You might put both hands on the front of your throat or one on the front and the other one on the back of your neck.
Find a position which works for you, hold and relax.

7 - Now place your hands over your shoulders behind you with fingers pointed down. Hold and relax.

8- Place your hands now on your chest covering your heart. Do it very gently. Hold and listen and relax.

9- Now gently move your hands to your lower chest near the bottom ribs. Hold and relax.

10 - Place your hands over your stomach. Hold and relax.

11- Next, move them gently and place your palms over your lover abdomen gently touching just over your pubic bone. Hold and relax.

12- Gently place your hands on both hips. Hold and relax.

13 - Move your hands and place your palms on each knee. Hold and relax.

14 - Next place your hands on your both feet - cover either top or bottom of your feet whatever is more comfortable for you. Hold and relax. Do this position only if it is comfortable for you.

15- Now, bring your hands together in a praying position or just put one on the other one and hold for about three minutes breathing naturally and feeling the energy moving through your whole body. Feel that all negativity were flushed away and replaced with love, healing and joy.

May you always be blessed with Love, Light, Joy, Peace, Happiness


Visualization Meditation

In meditation, the mind concentrates while the body relaxes; an effective position in which to begin visualization. You may find it helpful to consult visualization scripts or relaxation scripts before you try on your own. When the mind is clear and the body is relaxed, you can engage the imagination to visualize images and ideas. Meditation and visualization have the power to teach and heal. Visualization is one method of using the mind to influence the body.

Here is an example of an easy relaxation script for meditation: "Breathing in, I relax. Breathing out, I smile." Repeat this as long as you like, visualizing your body relaxing as you continue. Notice the physical changes.


Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action.

In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of our experience while walking, and try to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking. Actually, there are several different kinds of walking meditation. We’ll just be looking at one of them in detail, although we’ll touch on the others. Once you’ve mastered one form, you’ll easily be able to pick up the others.

Obviously, there are some differences between walking meditation and sitting meditation. For one thing we keep our eyes open during walking meditation! That difference implies other changes in the way we do the practice. We are not withdrawing our attention from the outside world to the same extent that we do when we are doing the Mindfulness of Breathing or Metta Bhavana (development of lovingkindness) practices.

Walking: The Ultimate Exercise for Optimum Health
We have to be aware of things outside of ourselves (objects we might trip over, other people that we might walk into) and there are many other things outside of ourselves that we will be more aware of than when we are doing sitting – especially if we sit inside. These include the wind, the sun, and the rain; and the sounds of nature and of humans and machines.

But one of the biggest differences is that it’s easier, for most people, to be more intensely and more easily aware of their bodies while doing walking meditation, compared to sitting forms of practice. When your body is in motion, it is generally easier to be aware of it compared to when you are sitting still. When we’re sitting still in meditation the sensations that arise in the body are much more subtle and harder to pay attention to than those that arise while we’re walking, This can make walking meditation an intense experience. You can experience your body very intensely, and you can also find intense enjoyment from this practice.

The practice of walking meditation can also be fitted in to the gaps in our lives quite easily. Even walking from the car into the supermarket can be an opportunity for a minute’s walking meditation.

The form of walking meditation we’ll be introducing here is best done outdoors. For your first attempt, you might want to find a park or open space where you will be able to walk for twenty minutes without encountering traffic


Body Scan Meditation

The body scan meditation alternates between a wide and narrow focus of attention; from focusing on your little toe all the way through the entire body. The body scan trains your mind to be able to move from detailed attention to a wider and more spacious awareness from one moment to the next.

You can begin the practice by lying on the floor, or a mat, or your bed. Basically, you can begin by focusing your attention at the top of your head and then move down the body, or vice versa.

This exercise asks you to systematically focus your attention on different parts of your body, from your feet to the muscles in your face. It is designed to help you develop a mindful awareness of your bodily sensations, and to relieve tension wherever it is found. Research suggests that this mindfulness practice can help reduce stress, improve well-being, and decrease aches and pains.


Sleep Meditation

Mindfulness-based sleep meditation has been suggested to help with many of the issues that stop us sleeping.

For example, the Stanford Medical Centre undertook a pilot study to investigate whether a combined 6 week programme of mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy could improve the sleep of 30 insomniacs.

Following the mindfulness course, the insomniacs got to sleep twice as quickly as before, taking 20 minutes as opposed to 40 minutes. At the end of the study, approximately 60% of the participants no longer qualified as insomniacs. In a follow up study, 12 months later, they found the majority of benefits had remained5,6.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed an effective sleep therapy that incorporated meditation as an integral component.

In a non-controlled study of 102 insomniacs, 58% reported significant improvements and 91% of those using medication either reduced their dose or eliminated its use completely. Six months later 60% of respondents said the benefits had been maintained7.

The good thing though is that the techniques are practical and work effectively without needing to attribute any spiritual meaning to them.

The techniques work by focusing your awareness in the moment. So if you’re lying awake at night worrying about the past or future, it can help you deal with that.

On a personal note, I became interested in mindfulness during a particularly difficult period of my life. Within just a few days of practicing the techniques I started to cope much better with the stress and anxiety I was experiencing.

Needless to say I slept much better because of that. So from personal experience I recommend considering mindfulness if you’re currently suffering from anxiety, stress or depression.