- BUDDHIST MEDITATION
- ZAZEN MEDITATION
- TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION
- VIPASSANA MEDITATION
- KABBALAH MEDITATION
- MANTRA MEDITATION
- SUFI MEDITATION
- DZOGHEN MEDITATION
- CHAKRA MEDITATION
The Buddhist meditation, also known as Mindfulness meditation is about keep the mind fully focused in the present moment. No past, no future, no mental connotations, just present, here and now.
Our mind is one of the best tools we have but the lack of knowledge on how to use it makes us slaves of our mind. Most of the people unfortunately do not disassociate themselves from the mind stuff.
Buddha says our mind is like a chain of reactions and desires, and is because we catch ourselves in this downfall of reactions we miss experiencing the true meaning of life.
I.e.- When eating an apple, our mind can say “I’ll fell better if I eat a banana”, then you change and instead the apple you eat a banana, and when eating the banana, your mind says “I’ll fell better if I eat a pineapple” because a pineapple is suppose to be more expensive, and it will be harder to get. Once you get a pineapple this continues on a on.
Another way to explain this technique of being fully in the present time will be when engage in some activity like cooking, or driving. Normally the unaware mind will be all around the place thinking on the past or future. Things we shouldn’t said in our last conversation, or all the things we have to do once we get to the place we are heading to, or the imaginary conversations the mind like to spin with.
For the mind there is no different between the real and our mental dialogue, both of them produce feelings, emotions, and ultimately actions. Then these actions create reactions, also known as the karma cycle.
“All sickness, all shallowness, all pain, all miseries are the outcome of one source: keeping negativity within yourself” Yogi Bhajan
Mindfulness is about to keep the mind in the here and now enjoying the present moment with full attention. The technique is simple just to keep the attention on the breath. This may be simple to say, but for the untrained mind can be hard to achieve one pointed attention for more than 3 minutes.
Another common distortion of the mind is “the mental connotations”. In any situation the mind always looks in the memory bank for situations where we had experience the same or similar feelings. This happens so fast that instead of see and fell that moment in particular as unique, the mind jump immediately to what was for you in the past situations. So you are not fully seeing what it is, but connecting with experiences that happen to you in the past.
Zazen meditation is Zen Buddhism. In Japanese means sitting in Zen, or sitting in concentration. It’s about to experience emptiness, nothing.
The way of doing it is by counting the breaths. For example, one, two…..
The focus on the breath is total, and if any disturbance arises you should start the counting all over again. That’s why many beginners don’t go further than one.
The goal with keeping the mind totally focus on the breath is to experience emptiness. The act of pushing any mental disturbance out will prevent you from experience emptiness. So a total firm determination of being fully present focusing on the breath will be needed before start.
Transcendental meditation got famous in the 60s and 70s because of the Beatles starting to meditate by the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Today the organization has gotten bigger they have over 1200 centers in 108 countries.
This technique is about repeat a holy mantra. It’s recommended to do it twice a day in the morning and evening in 20 minutes sessions.
This is not a religious organization, although they affirm that the repetition of mantra brings you close to the deities. And it said that about 5 million people practice this technique today.
To know more about this technique you can go to;
Maharishi Open University or TM.org
Vipassana meditation means to see things as they really are. It’s originally from India. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago, and it was use as a remedy for any illness.
The technique is base on self observation. By observing the mind stuff the person can take control over the mind. The chain of actions and reactions becomes conscious, and the negativity and suffering goes away.
Of course this doesn’t happen over night. Practice is required. There are courses held totally free of charge, no person receives any remuneration. Everything is being support by donations.
The courses are divided in different steps;
- The first step is about “the conduct”. The aspirant shouldn’t engage in any of the following activities; killing, stealing, sexual activity, speaking falsely and, intoxications. The goal is to bring calmness to the mind, so it can be prepare to self observation.
- The second step is about keeping the focus on the breath, the activity that happens in the nostrils. The goal is to develop mastery over the mind by keeping the focus on the present moment.
- The third step is about observing the sensations in the body, and not react to them. The goal is to understand the sensations in the body, develop equanimity, and learning not to react to them.
- Finally the four step is about emanating love and good will to all. The goal is to develop purity and love.
Kabbalah meditation is being taught by Jewish spiritual leaders. They believe that meditation will bring you closer to God. One of the techniques is visualizing God’s name.
There are different meditations. The beginners can start with what is called Shema meditation. Shema means hear in Hebrew. The meditation is done by inhaling exhaling and making the sound “sh”. Then inhaling exhaling and making the sound “mm” as you feel deeper into the meditative state of mind.
Another Kabbalah technique to achieve this meditative state is focusing in Shviti before the meditation. Shviti is a line in the Psalm 16.
The chanting of sacred sounds has always being a delightful way to focus the mind. This type of meditation is very powerful, and effective because of the vibratory effect of their sounds.
Sound is produce when the vibration strikes the eardrum, and carried to the brain. This explains that sound is vibration. Specific vibrations can stimulate the endocrine system, specially the pituitary gland “the master gland”, and pineal gland located in the head.
Chanting the mantra keeps the mind busy while you breathe in a specific pattern. Is like singing a song, your breath pattern becomes the same as the singer’s breath pattern.
Mantras are made of “current sounds”. Current sound are specific sounds that when trigger produce a frequency. There are 84 meridians points in the palate, and when stimulated with the “current sounds” produce a specific frequency. This frequency passes from the hypothalamus to the Pituitary gland. Then the release of hormones takes place, and the change in mood, emotions, and healing happens.
Through a PET scan, the device use to observe, and study the brain, it was possible to study the changes in the brain while chanting the mantra SA TA NA MA. After a chanting the mantra there was a strong shift in brain activity to the right frontal and parietal regions. This shift indicates an improvement in mood alertness.
Sound currents also stimulate the vagus nerve (this nerve affects the neck, jaw, heart, lungs, intestinal track, and back muscles), the nadis, and the chakras.
To know more about how mantras work go to;
Sufism is the path of the heart. They believe that by pure devotion comes the subjugation of the lower self, or ego. Through this love for God it comes the union of the lover with the beloved.
Different Sufi paths use different meditation techniques. The Naqshbandi order uses the energy of love to go beyond the mind. The first step is to focus on the feeling of love, to activate the heart chakra. For this purpose you can think of God, or a friend or relative may be easy to start with. They believe that the feeling of love will overcome the thinking process leading the person to an empty mind state.
The meditations are in silence. Through meditation they cultivate silence, listening, attentiveness, and emptiness.
To know more about Sufi meditation go to Sufism.org
Dzogchen meditation, pronounced Zog-chen, is known as the natural path on Tibetan Buddhism. This type of meditation is practiced by the Dalai Lama.
Dzogchen meditation doesn’t use any special breath, mantra, or levels of concentration. It’s considering the most natural type of meditation.
Often practice with the eyes open. This meditation works with the fact that all you need, all you are looking for is already inside of you.
The three basics of Dzogchen meditation are “just sitting” “just breathing” “just being”.
Chakra meditation works with the Chakras. The Chakras are visualized as spiral energy vortex.
There are many Chakras all over the body, but the most known are seven (if we count the solar plexus there will be eight).
Each Chakra is associated with a color, and different characteristics. The meditation is guided, and it is done by focusing the mind in these energy vortex and their qualities.