Have you wondered on different techniques used for meditation to simply calm our mind? There is variety of meditation techniques; for example one can simply focus on breath, sound, or an object to meditate. It is always recommended to find a comfortable and quiet place to sit in an easy pose or half/full lotus posture with back straight. Following are the commonly known meditation types; under each one there can be several variations.
1. Mindfulness Meditation - The most well-known type of meditation, mindfulness meditation, is about being aware of the sounds and activities happening around you. It's almost a flow-like type of meditation, because you literally just let your mind be fluid and flow from one thought to the next, not really focusing on one particular thing. For instance, if you live in a noisy city, you don't have to block out the outside sirens and screaming children, you let your mind be aware of the sounds without becoming too focused.
This form of meditation is used in ‘Vipassana’, which comes from the Buddhist tradition. I’d say mindfulness is the most popular form of meditation in the western world. It’s all about ‘being present’, letting your mind run, and accepting whatever thoughts come up, while practicing detachment from each thought. Mindfulness is taught along with an awareness on the breath, though the breathing is often considered to be just one sensation among many others, not a particular focus. There is no attempt to change the breathing pattern, which limits this practice and makes it observational rather than active. Changing your breathing changes the energy; just watching what your breathing is doing (particularly if your breathing is shallow, as it generally is) means you are stuck in a low-energy state.
2. Mantra Meditation - Mantras are words that are chanted loudly during meditation. It may seem odd to be making loud noises during a meditation session, but it's actually the sounds that become the object being focused on. In yoga, the mantra Om is regularly used since it delivers a deep vibration that makes it easy for the mind to concentrate on that particular sound.
3. 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.
4. Movement Meditation - It 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
5. Transcendental Meditation – This simplified practice that emerges from Vedanta, the meditative tradition within Hinduism. In this form, you sit with your back straight (ideally in the Lotus or half-Lotus posture), and use a mantra, a sacred word that is repeated. Your focus is on rising above all that is impermanent. It is a more involved method than mindfulness. At the more advanced levels, it focuses on the breath and changes the breath to change one’s state of being. It often leads to leaving the body (indeed, that is the aim of the practice).
6. Kundalini Meditation – This is another practice that comes from Tantra/Tantric Upanishads. Kundalini is the name for the rising stream of energy that exists in a human being (there is also a downward stream, not emphasized in Kundalini). The aim of Kundalini meditation is to become aware of that rising stream, and to ride the stream to infinity. The practitioner concentrates on their breath flowing through each of the energy centers of the body, always moving upward, toward the energy center just above the top of the head. Kundalini makes active use of the breath, using breath to move energy upward.