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Curejoy Expert James Dudley Explains:
Meditation has a wide range of implication as a whole, thus different people practice it for different reasons. The term meditation, in fact, refers to a broad variety of practices, like the term sports.
It could be practiced to promote relaxation or build internal energy. Moreover, even augment life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness, among others.
Although, there are numerous forms of meditation, but most fall into three or four general categories. These include concentrative, open awareness, and guided – as well as the broadly defined practice of mindfulness. Anyway, rather than going into the details of meditation, let’s see what meditations you can practice.
5 Meditations You Can Practice
Rediscovered by Gotama Buddha, Mindfulness is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. This aims at total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Also called ‘Vipassana’, it is taught along with awareness on the breath, though the breathing is often considered to be just one sensation among many others, not a particular focus. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, thus it can be called an observation-based meditation that dissolves mental impurity and replaces it with mind full of love and compassion.
Zazen which is considered as the heart of Zen Buddhist practice is just sitting. Thereby, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. It is a very generic kind of meditation with little instruction beyond the basics of posture. There is no particular attention to the breath, or an attempt to change the breath. It is a form of open awareness meditation to open the mind into a vast awareness of whatever is happening without a specific focus.
Qi gong which is a form of Taoist meditation uses the breath to circulate energy through the organs and energy centers of the body in an oval pattern called the ‘microcosmic orbit’. Attention is focused on the breath and the circulation of energy (called ‘qi’ or ‘chi’) and the three major centers used in Taoist meditation: a point about two inches below the navel, the center of the chest, and the center of the forehead. Qi gong uses the breath to direct energy, and circulate energy in the body and spirit, but it is not heart-based. However, Qi gong is typically a moving meditation that coordinates slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. It is a practice of aligning body, breath, and mind for health, meditation, and martial arts training.
Guided visualization is a safe and powerful meditation technique that can be used for healing, stress relief and personal development. This involves concentration upon an image or imaginary environment. Usually it is performed while listening to a recording. An example would be to imagine you are in a grassy field, with a clear sky overhead. There is sometimes a focus on the breath, but generally no attempt to use or control the breath, and because the sensation is imaginary, and the impetus for it comes from outside, the practice tends to be rather passive.
Heart Rhythm Meditation
Heart Rhythm Meditation is quite well known for directing the energy and circulating the breath throughout the body. It focuses on the breath and heartbeat, making the breath full, deep, rich, rhythmic, and balanced. Attention is focused on the heart as the center of the energetic system. One tries to identify oneself with the heart. While you practice this particular meditation, you are in control of yourself at all times, and you become more powerful and more sensitive. Moreover, you also tend to become more compassionate.