If you do an Internet search for types of meditation you’ll probably get a lot of different meditation methods and techniques listed in the search results.
However, although there may be many meditation techniques (or meditation methods), they can probably all really be boiled down to four or five basic types of meditation practice. And even these can possibly be reduced to three broad categories. And most have as their ultimate goal the experience of happiness.
Concentration forms of meditation
In this form of meditation you focus on, and concentrate on, an object of attention. This might be, for example, a visual object such as a burning candle, a statue or a picture; or it could be an auditory object (a sound).
The intention is to control your mind from wandering to other objects of attention such as the thoughts that seem to keep flowing. The goal is that your mind should ultimately settle down to a quiet state without thoughts, just consciousness with no object of attention.
Concentration like this obviously requires effort and control. There is a school of thought that says the perceived need for mind control is due to a misunderstanding about how the mind actually functions. This results in a belief that the wandering nature of one’s attention needs to be curbed.
Contemplation types of meditation
In this category of methods and techniques the mind is encouraged to explore a certain concept, often regarded as spiritual in nature - such as love - or to think about a spiritual entity, or to offer prayers, devotion or supplication.
Some methods of Christian meditation fall into this category of meditation techniques.
If one is wanting to experience deeper levels of consciousness, and to come totally into the Now, as it is popularly called, then having the mind deliberately involved in thinking would suggest that with this type of meditation such a state would not easily be reached, if it is reached at all.
Observation types of meditation
Methods of meditation that would fit this category would include those that involve observing your breath, or observing your thoughts. An example would be the method known as mindfulness meditation.
Somewhat like contemplation types of meditation, observation methods involve keeping the attention focussed externally – to the rhythm of one’s breath, for example. Yet these types of meditation often involve more innocence and less control than the concentration methods.
Virtually effortless and effortless types of meditation
These meditation methods do not subscribe to the notion that the mind must be controlled in order to be stilled. They are based on the principle that the mind only wanders because it is seeking more joy, more comfort, more power, more order. And the seat of those is at the source of thought - in pure consciousness - which can be reached without effort.
Virtually effortless types of meditation
Virtually effortless meditation makes use of this natural tendency of the mind by employing techniques or approaches that make it easier for the mind to find what it is looking for – bliss, the finest value of human happiness. This is sometimes called authentic happiness, the happiness that dwells within, at the source of thought.
I call such methods ‘virtually effortless’ because there is often still a small degree of effort involved in introducing some kind of ‘vehicle’ for transcending the finest level of thought.
The vehicle is often a sound, referred to as a mantra, a syllable or a vowel, depending on which particular technique one is using. This sound must be ‘thought’ in a particular, ‘effortless’ manner.
This type of meditation is sometimes referred to as mantra meditation.
There is some debate as to whether one can deliberately think a particular sound and still have no effort involved. The explanation given by the experts in some of these types of meditation techniques is that, just as effortlessly as thoughts enter the mind, that is how effortlessly the mantra should be thought.
However, spontaneous thoughts come by themselves. Deliberate thoughts are thought, and this requires consciously thinking. This is why I hesitate to call these methods or techniques truly effortless, and prefer to add the word ‘virtually’.
Effortless types of meditation
In these kinds of meditation practices – and I have personal experience of only one such meditation method – there is no mantra or sound involved, and no visual object of attention either.
In the method I use - my own process that I call Conscious Mental Rest<span style='font-size: 50%'>©, which can be learned via this website - the process is started in a specific way and the mind is then allowed to follow its own course towards the source of thought within, pure consciousness.
Because of the specific yet effortless manner in which the session is approached - with no mantra or other 'vehicle' - the mind does not stay indefinitely at the surface level of random thoughts.
Neither does the meditator engage in the process of thinking, as one would do in contemplation. Nor does one use observation or concentration.
This type of meditation is, in my mind, a 100% natural approach, relying on the natural tendency of the mind to want more and more – more happiness, more charm, more peace, more stillness.
All that is needed is to start the innocent process and then give the mind the opportunity to follow its natural flow towards stillness.
Looking for more info on types of meditation?
Here are two useful websites I've come across. They give more perspectives and info about the different types of meditation as well as descriptions of a variety of different meditation techniques:
Meditation -- All You Need
And this one with special focus on the ladies:
Daily Meditation For Busy Women
Pages related to meditation:
Meditation & Happiness
One of the important benefits of meditation is that it takes us to the source of happiness within. With regular meditation we can therefore progressively unlock more of our inner authentic happiness.
Types Of Meditation Described
Although there may be many techniques or methods of meditation, they can probably all really be boiled down to three or four types of meditation practice.
There are three meditation techniques that I have personal experience of and can say are definitely effective for taking one towards the source of happiness within. The last one in this list is my personal favourite.
Transcendental Meditation - A Meditator's Experience
This series of pages is about my own personal experiences of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programmes - an insider's view, so to speak.
Transcendental Meditation Is Explained To Me By A TM Teacher
My experience at a TM Introductory Lecture where Transcendental Meditation is explained by a rosy-cheeked young TM Teacher.
Transcendental Meditation - A Means To Transcend Thought
The Transcendental Meditation teacher explained to us how TM leads the mind to transcend the finest level of thought, to experience the source of thought - pure consciousness.
Learning Transcendental Meditation - What I Experienced
Learning Transcendental Meditation was a very structured and thorough process, and an interesting experience to say the least.
Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying
From my personal experiences of Transcendental Meditation and the Yogic Flying technique, part of the TM-Sidhi programme, I can offer some interesting insights and comments.
The Purpose of Transcendental Meditation Sidhis Including Yogic Flying
The Yogic Flying technique of Transcendental Meditation may seem a bit strange, but its intended benefits are actually quite specific in terms of brainwave coherence.
Other Transcendental Meditation Courses I Have Attended
My comments about some of the other Transcendental Meditation courses I've attended, including residence weekend, world peace assemblies and the Science of Creative Intelligence course.
Transcendental Meditation - My Personal Views
Transcendental Meditation elicits rave reports from many of its practitioners, and also some criticism from others. Here are my own views based on my years of experience with TM and the TM-Sidhis.
Conscious Mental Rest
Born out of my 30 years of advanced meditation practice, I discovered Conscious Mental Rest, a 100% natural and most effective method that allows the mind to go effortlessly towards stillness.
Balanced Living Through Conscious Mental Rest – A Key To Happiness
Happiness requires balanced living, Living a balanced, healthy, happy life becomes much easier if you incorporate the regular daily experience of Conscious Mental Rest into your daily routine.
Physical Activity Is Essential
Today, the nature of work has far less physical activity than in past generations. More people today spend their work week sitting down: working at a desk, at a computer, and so on.
Nutrition Is Essential For Happiness
Poor nutrition does not support happiness. Yet a high proportion of the food available these days consists of manufactured and highly processed substances.
Mental Stress – CMR Can Help
Mental stress is a major problem today. Two periods of Conscious Mental Rest - outside the sleep period - every day can really be of benefit.
CMR Explained: What Does Conscious Mental Rest Actually Mean?
CMR Explained tells how in Conscious Mental Rest - CMR - we close our eyes and allow the mind to disengage from active thinking; yet we don’t lose awareness of our self in the way we do in sleep.
Benefits of Meditation Are The Benefits Of Conscious Mental Rest
The benefits of CMR are akin to the benefits of meditation - provided the meditation method that is used allows the mind to transcend thought.
CMR Testimonials - What Others Say About Conscious Mental Rest
Conscious Mental Rest gives the same kinds of benefits in daily living as effective meditation techniques offer. Read the CMR testimonials of people who have experienced Conscious Mental Rest themselves
Guided Meditation Is How CMR Is Taught
A guided meditation session is used in teaching this course of meditation for beginners. This enables you to learn meditation - i.e. my Conscious Mental Rest - effortlessly and with confidence.
As For Types of Meditation – Conscious Mental Rest Is Different
Conscious Mental Rest is 100% effortless and is not one of the many types of meditation around. It is also not a form of mantra meditation. It is totally natural, yet highly effective.
Learn Meditation – Learn Conscious Mental Rest
Get started today and download the CMR<span style='font-size: 50%'>© course.