I have written about mindful meditation before (and the associated benefits), but not about the other forms of meditation that I also frequently do. There are so many styles out there originating from different philosophies that there is no shortage in finding a style that will suit you. Below are several types of meditation I prefer for various reasons and which one I choose on a day depends on my mood, the amount of time or freedom from distraction I have, or whether I need to relax and rebalance, or if I’m wanting to seek information or solve a problem.
Mindfulness meditation - can be used in daily life anywhere and anytime and creates calm and focus
Guided meditation - can be useful for full relaxation and creating peace within
Chakra meditation - can be useful for clearing energy blockages and relaxation and healing
Third eye meditation - a deeper spiritual practice that connects to source energy beyond this physical world. Can be useful for seeking information or gaining insight.
Mindful meditation – in this form the aim is to bring my attention to focus on the Now without being distracted and really is the centre of all meditation types. I often do this in the form of awake awareness where I can do it as I go about my everyday life…sitting on the train, while having a massage, sitting in a café, walking in nature, doing household chores or just to take a mental pause from what I am doing and detaching from any thinking. This style is great to create space from thoughts and worries and to take a break from ‘myself’ and my chattering mind, brings on relaxation, helps release tight muscles, creates focus and grounds me (as in it brings me into the present) and creates a state of calm. The idea is to tune in to the present moment, let go of thoughts, stay aware, and allow yourself to observe and experience what’s going on around you without reaction or judgement.
Guided meditation (which is also known as guided imagery or visualization) – in this form a teacher or guide leads the meditation and allows you to focus on their words and to be guided with the result being relaxation and healing (you can either attend a class or find an online version). They will often start with focused breathing, relaxing all muscles from your toes to your head, until your body is in a relaxed rested state. Then, depending on the nature of the meditation, the guide may then talk in positive phrases for you to focus on, or they may assist you to visualize a pleasant scenario such as walking in a meadow, or alongside a stream or into a safe sanctuary inside a cave where you can associate this image with positive words and feelings and feel rested and at peace when you are finished. I like to use this style of meditation if I’m having trouble shutting down what else is going on around me – it assists with the focusing and is really only used for relaxation.
Chakra meditation – this style of meditation focuses on balancing and clearing the seven energy centres within the body known as chakras. I usually find a guided chakra meditation online which helps me move through each chakra for this type of meditation. Chakra meditation can be great when things in life are feeling a bit out of kilter and that they are not running as smoothly as they could be or you are experiencing difficulties in certain areas (each chakra is associated with different energy such as health, expressing yourself, giving or receiving love, various health problems, creativity etc). As with the other styles of meditation, this creates a sense of calm and relaxation.
Third eye meditation – in this form, it is a spiritual meditation that is founded on connecting to source energy and consciousness and is a way to gain perspective that is beyond our ordinary senses. This style of meditation creates a gateway into this inner world. I can often just be sitting in a chair or lying down, close my eyes and allow my inner focus to relax and drift to the third eye region inside my skull between my eyes and visualise a circle of light or colour. I form a relaxed ‘lazy’ focus on this image and slow my breathing. Depending on my level of relaxation when I begin, I can connect very quickly within a minute or two by allowing myself to ‘go into’ or become one with the light (which for me also shows up in my third eye as many colours that swirl and blend and change as my emotions/energy changes) and this is where I feel extremely relaxed and the sensation of my physical body disappears and my mind and senses expand and merge into a sense of everything, but nothing, all at the same time and time itself falls away and just becomes a ‘gap’ and brings a sensation of emptiness. This is where I know I have left my physical world behind and I exist as the energy and am connected to all other energy and consciousness in the fifth dimension. Once here I can either just enjoy the space and energy I am experiencing and allow images or thoughts to appear or I can then ask questions to seek new information or for insight to come forward (which sometimes is instant and at other times it 'pops' into my awareness after the meditation is over). I find it impossible to do this type of meditation when I am stressed or have busy thoughts so I may need to do sessions of mindfulness or a chakra clearing in the days before to get myself prepared for this inner work.