Meditation is a science practiced by followers of Sanatana Dharma (now called Hinduism) since many tens of thousands years ago. It was originally called Dhyana. Buddha was a Hindu prince who attained wisdom through meditation under a Peepal tree sitting on a Dharba or kusha mat. Dharba or Kusha is a grass. It is woven to make mats that are used for meditation. Ancient Hindu scriptures originally forbid meditation without a Dharba mat. Miraculous powers were said to have been acquired through diligent practice of yoga and meditation. There are many schools and styles of meditation within Hinduism. Yoga is generally done to prepare one for meditation, and meditation is done to realize union of one's self, one's ātman with the omnipresent and non-dual Brahman . This experience is referred to as mokshaby Hindus, and is similar to the concept of nirvana in Buddhism. The earliest clear references to meditation in Hindu literature are in the middle Upanishads and the Mahabharata, the latter of which includes the Bhagavad Gita.

Within Patañjali's Ashtanga yoga practice there are eight limbs leading to kaivalya "aloneness." These are ethical discipline (yamas), rules (niyamas), physical postures (āsanas), breath control (prāṇāyama), withdrawal from the senses (pratyāhāra), one-pointedness of mind (dhāraṇā), meditation (dhyāna), and finally( samādhi), which is often described as the realization of the identity of the Self (ātman) with the omnipresent (Brahman), and is the ultimate aim of all Hindu yogis

Types of Meditation

  • Spiritual Meditation : This type of meditation is for those who regularly participate in prayer, as it's based on communicating with God. Just like the other styles, you must become calm and quiet and then begin to focus on a question or problem you might have. This style of meditation can feel not only relaxing, but rewarding as well

  • Focused Meditation : If the idea of clearing your mind of all thoughts stresses you out, focused meditation is great because you can focus on a sound, object, mantra, or thought. The key here is to just focus on one of these things and stay committed to that one thought or object. This is when relaxation music comes in handy. Even though you're essentially using your mind, you'll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel afterwards. In our day to day lives, our minds really are in 10 different places at once

  • Movement Meditation : Movement meditation may seem intimidating, but if you're by yourself and you really get into it, it can be extremely uplifting and relaxing at the same time. Sitting with your eyes closed, simply focus on your breath and try out different gentle, repetitive flowing movements. Rather than focus on a sound, object, or thought, just turn your attention to your movement. I find a slow left and right swaying motion to be therapeutic, or you could try moving your entire upper body in a slow circular motion.

  Different Kinds of Meditation

The different types of meditation help keep your body and mind healthy. Meditative practices have existed for centuries and since the last couple of decades, the use of meditation has increased due to the rise of interest about the teaching of the eastern cultures and the stress and anxiety of modern life.

Beside a practice for spiritual growth or a way to enlightment, people also use meditation with specific purposes such as:

  • meditation for anxiety
  • meditation for pain relief

The different types of meditation techniques that have evolved from Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism can be classified under five categories.

  • Concentration
  • Reflective Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Heart-Centered Meditation
  • Creative Meditation

  Concentration Meditation

Concentration is at the heart of all the types of meditation, but in some techniques, focus is predominantly on building concentration. Why is concentration so important?

This is because in order to gain the fruits of meditation, you need to train the mind to concentrate and focus on an object or nothingness, that is to cut all distractions. This allows your mind to be calm and awaken beyond thought elaboration and even beyond your sense of self. Once you hold this view of awareness, you can use it for your wellness and for the greater good. It is more correct to say that it affects positively all the beings, yourself included.

There are several types of meditation techniques in concentration meditation category that can help you overcome distractions within and outside your mind and sustain mental focus. The different types of techniques that will help you gain concentration include:

  • Zen meditation
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Om meditation/ mantra meditation
  • Shine Meditation or Samadhi
  • Chakra Meditation

  Reflective Meditation

Reflective meditation is also known as analytical meditation and refers to disciplined thinking. In order to successfully practice reflective meditation, you will need to choose a question, theme, or topic and focus your analysis or reflection upon it. Initially, your thoughts may wander to other topics but then you need to train your mind to come back to the topic in question. In order to do this, you need to learn concentration meditation first.

As you practice this every day, your mind will be more in control and not wander off. It is one of the most important types of meditation and is considered to have a calming effect on the mind. It stimulates transformative power and provides you with great conviction and strength to change the course of your life.

There are different types of questions or reflective ideas that you can focus on, such as:

  • Who am I ?
  • What is the true purpose of my life ?
  • What is my role in this universe ?
  • How can I help remove the sufferings of others ?

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