No two forms of meditation are alike and there really isn’t a right or a wrong way to use this powerful relaxation method. The trick is to choose a style that best fits your lifestyle, personality and unique needs.
Know Your Goals
What are you hoping to get from your meditative practice? Are you working towards spiritual enlightenment or are you hoping to reduce stress and improve your general health and wellbeing? Knowing what your goals are can help you find and use the right meditation style for your needs.
Talk to Others Who Practice
Talk to others who practice the styles you are considering. Make sure you feel comfortable with the instructor, whether you are taking an in-person class or using a video tutorial. Does the person’s overall attitude reflect the style of meditation you’re looking for? Is the instructor calm and collect or scattered and unorganized?
Try Several Techniques
Would you prefer to meditate on a single daily mantra with a different focus each day? Would you like to hear a guided meditation, background music, or complete silence as you focus on your practice? Have you considered focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM), or automatic self-transcending (AST) techniques? Each uses a different form of visualization, breath awareness, or even sound to bring a person into a state of balance. If you aren’t a particularly visual person, you may be more frustrated with a meditation practice that asks you to imagine or see pictures in your mind.
Experiment, learn what you’re comfortable with, and don’t be afraid to go back and forth, trying things more than once if needed. A long-term meditative practice can have huge benefits to your mental, emotional and physical well-being, but only if you are comfortable enough to practice regularly.
Do you already meditate? Please comment and tell us what type of meditation practice you enjoy.