Anywhere between 7 and 23! That’s how many meditation styles are out there if you take a couple of blogs and articles in the WWW as a reference. But which meditation style is the best one for you?
Well. In order to get to the very individual bottom of this specific answer, it might make sense to clarify the most important point of this topic: You need to know, why you want to meditate. Do you feel stressed out, sad and in constant inner survival mode? Or do you just want to touch base with the inner you? Do you want to be healthier, fitter and feel sexier? Do you want to improve your relationship with your family, your partner, your new flame you just meat on a casual dating website or people in general (aka “Learning to listen and to act accordingly”)?
When reading through all these different kinds of reasons to meditate, be aware: These reasons change. They change with us, our development, our way through life. We change. And this – admittingly not new – epiphany leads us to the very simple answer:
Every meditation style is good for you!
It just depends which one suits the situation you’re in at this very moment.
‘Great!’, you might think right now. ‘That’s so not helpful … at this very moment!’ And you’re right. So, let’s dive a little deeper and try to find a general definition of meditation.
What is meditation? What does it help us do?
One of the oldest and most helpful way to explain meditation is comparing your mind to a small, cute and incredibly chatty and noisy monkey. This little dude spits out thoughts 24/7. Randomly, according to what you see, hear or experience. The monkey bombards you with stories from which emotion arise upon which you act. This guy is chaos! It controls you. Every hour of every day since you where conscious enough to become aware of your surroundings.
Through meditation however, you will manage bit by bit to take back control. You can make this little dude behave for a while. You can make it sit down on a meditation cushion and shut up. Just for a bit. Then a bit longer. And when (not if!) the monkey keeps on yammering meditation lets you change your view and your involvement with it. You can grab the thoughts which pop out of the monkeys’ mouth, look at them, acknowledge them, give them a hug and send them on their way. You can choose to either act on a though or not.
Or you can give your relationship with your monkey a twist and give it some food for thought. You visualize something you would love to happen. Or how you are happy right now. How you love your kids. You can tell it to picture someone who is close to you to get better or even send a mental hug to someone you don’t like at all.
You can make the monkey not dwell on the things which make you feel bad because you should have acted differently, could have done so or so or would have spoken up if … blablabla. You can stop the monkey from bombarding you with worrisome images of the future which might or might not happen. Instead, you can tell the monkey to focus on the here and now. This day. This breath. This wonderful, peaceful moment where you are just here. Just you.
Three of many meditation styles
- Mindfulness Meditation: This wonderful way of meditating lets you rest in the present moment. One of the many great things about mindfulness mediation is the fact that you can do it anywhere: just be aware of your surroundings. As mindfulness is a common term when it comes to explaining meditation in general, its effects on us has been thoroughly studied with amazing results.
- Loving-Kindness-Meditation: Sounds beautiful, right? And it is! Also known as “Metta Meditation” this style focuses on positively changing your mindset towards yourself and towards other people. No matter if friend or foe! Roughly explained: You inhale love, energy, kindness, tolerance and understanding, and spread it all out with each exhalation.
- Transcendental Meditation: For many people who meditate and for many more who don’t this seems to be the “real thing”. The goal is to find so much inner calm and peace that you can spiritually rise above your current state of being. You do this by focusing on your breathing and a repeating a specific mantra.
And which one is the best for you? Well, only you can tell. Just try out some styles. Always knowing that each meditation style will do you only good.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.