Years ago I had a boyfriend that would say things like "I don't need to go see the sunset I've seen it a ton of times". He definitely had a "been there done that" attitude about life can you tell? Today, I'm fairly certain that same guy would comment "I don't do meditation, I tried it and it doesn't work for me". If I had a conversation with him today I would ask - What is the "it" and what is your definition of "work for me"?
Each day provides a new angle on the sun, each day provides a new perspective on life. No two sunsets are exactly alike, no two moments are identical. Most of us have learned that experiences can not be replicated EXACTLY, no matter how hard we may try. When we try to replicate an experience, the result can be for the better or for the worse. It is usually worth the gamble to try for improvement if something did not work out so well the first time.
How many types of meditation are there? I'm not sure an exact number can be given. All over the world people are practicing meditations they have learned from prior generations or current teachers and at the same time others are developing new and innovative ways of meditating. Just like life - the diversity is astounding. Change and growth are ongoing.
What is it that you want from meditation? How do you determine if it "works for you"? Peace, relaxation, relief of anxiety, connection with prior lives, igniting libido, removing false beliefs, connecting with departed loved ones - these are some of the goals people may have in mind when they begin to meditate. No matter our initial intention, most often we can be surprised by the gifts of insight we receive. Usually thoughts will come to us that we may not have previously considered.
For new meditators it is wise to remove all preconceived ideas about what meditation is and ask that they refrain from having any expectations. You don't want to set yourself up for disappointment, that very disappointment may in fact serve as a block for deeper meaning.This advice is true for experienced meditators as well. Just because you were able to go deeper than ever before, see those colors, feel that wind on your face - does not mean that the depth will be replicated. Lose the preconceived ideas and lofty expectations, perhaps your ego is trying to intervene. It is wise to ground yourself in appreciation for WHATEVER may come before the meditation begins.
In this article, I'd like to outline some of the types of meditation that are available to you. I hope that my descriptions will open your mind to new possibilities. I hope that perhaps you will consider trying some of these styles in your life at some point.
CHAKRA DYANA MEDITATION: This is an ancient chanting meditation. Spellings may vary in different parts of India. Participants are guided through the first 7 chakras and learn how to use the vibration of their own voice to activate and balance their own energy. The room will get LOUD. It is an amazing experience. Chakra Dyana is designed to empower and connect you with your highest self. Access your untapped energy by using the powerful vibration of your own voice in unity with those around you. Participation is encouraged. Don't worry no one in the room is listening to YOU, they are focusing on their own voice. Do NOT hold back -your voice is a gift to the community and do NOT force yourself to utter the sounds if it causes you anxiety, instead relax and absorb the sounds around you.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION/BODY SCAN - Focusing on the simplest things in life can be immensely rewarding. During this type of meditation participants are guided through a body scan technique designed to help them connect more fully with their physical body, by feeling the physical we can appreciate the ethereal on a deeper level. Every cell in your body contains energy, relax and harness it in a unique setting. From the tips of your toes to the top of your head, a gentle guide will take you through this focusing exercise.
SOUND THERAPY - Sounds bowls, bells, gongs, sometimes rain sticks are used in this beautiful type of healing mediation. The vibration of sound courses through participants after a guided meditation designed to help them connect with their deepest, highest self. Usually sound healing is reserved for the end of a meditation since people sometimes are lulled to sleep. It is an amazing journey, to feel where the sound takes your soul is incredible.
EXPLORATORY MEDITATION - The best gift you can give to yourself is to take the time to investigate what YOUR unique connection with energy is. How you relate to the elements, how you process spiritual awareness and energy. Different types of meditation and breathing techniques can vary and so can our ability to process the incoming information. In this meditation the focus is on what elements affect the participants. Everyone reacts to the environment in different ways. Sound, smell, sight, knowing, sensory, emotional - sometimes gentle movement is used as you investigate the incredible way your physical body supports and enhances your spiritual journey.
LAUGHING MEDITATION - Release all of your stress in a safe, encouraging environment. Integration of humor into the meditation practice is a powerful tool. Incorporating laughter into our day is so necessary. Sometimes, life can seem so serious. Who better to laugh at than ourselves? Caution: everyone’s idea of what is funny can vary, sometimes no one even needs to know what you are laughing about. Just hearing others laughing can lift your energy. Let your mind go and indulge yourself. One caveat, for your own safety do NOT laugh for an entire hour, pay attention to your guide - the body must come down to a resting state between bouts of hilarity.
WRITING MEDITATION - What a gift to give yourself the time to meditate and then sit in silent contemplation and allow your soul to spill out onto paper. Bring a journal and an open heart to receive guidance, take the time to record your insights while they are fresh. This meditation can be incorporated onto the tail end of any of the above of course. The very act of writing seals in the experience. There is no need to even read the entries - you are writing in order to help your brain take note (literally) of the experience.
INTENTION SETTING MEDITATION - Quite often a spiritual teaching in the form of an affirmation or passage from a book can help inspire new thinking. In this type of meditation a reading is offered and participants sit in silent contemplation then an open discussion or writing can take place honing in on a message from the reading and coming up with an intention for the week (or whatever time period you deem appropriate). A intention setting meditation can be so helpful to help deepen our understanding of the teaching and help us integrate the teaching into our everyday lives.
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Maria is Passionate about Empowering others to regain their connection with their spiritual selves! She is a meditation facilitator, certified personal trainer and social media consultant. Through her platform STRONG BODY STRONG SOUL she hopes to impart spiritual strength and connection through meditation workshops, physical strength through personal training sessions and career strength by encouraging people to use the power of technology to connect and help others across the globe awaken. She is the host of the STRONG BODY STRONG SOUL podcast. Interviews, philosophical/spiritual discussions, inspiring stories and sometimes hilarious shares are on the menu. You can find more about Maria on her website at http://www.strongbodystrongsoul.com