Finding the right meditation technique is like shopping for the right pair of jeans. There are different cuts and styles to choose from, but you’ll never know which one fits perfectly unless you try them on and see how they look and feel on your body.
The same goes for meditation. It’s also about finding the technique that works for you. The key is patience. If one method fails, there are plenty of others left to try. There’s no reason for you to quit.
1. The Simplest Meditation Technique
Find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down undisturbed for fifteen minutes or more. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe normally but pay attention to how your lungs and stomach expand and deflate as you inhale and exhale respectively. Feel the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe.
If your mind strays, shift your focus back to your breathing. Don’t let thoughts distract you from being present in the moment.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is similar to the first technique, but this time you have to regulate your breathing by inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.
Moreover, instead of keeping your mind “empty”, let thoughts, positive and negative, float in and out of your head. Acknowledge each one and simply take note of them. Whether the thoughts are pleasant or not, don’t react or judge. The goal is just to be aware. So always keep your cool.
3. Concentration Meditation
Concentration meditation is perfect if you find it difficult to keep still and just focus on breathing. In this technique, a simple activity is involved so that your mind will have something on which to concentrate.
During meditation, you can choose to concentrate on a candle flame, listen to a repeating and monotonous beat, hold on and count prayer beads such as the rosary or japa mala beads, or chant a mantra.
Instead of your breathing, you will use the activity you’ve chosen as your anchor whenever your mind drifts off.
4. Walking Meditation
As the name suggests, you’ll walk, of course. But instead of letting the scenes and sounds of your surroundings distract you, you focus on your feet, watching as one foot moves in front of the other and taking note of all the sensations—the feel of the pavement, the pressure on your heel, the way your skin rubs on your footwear.
You can do this alone or with a group, surrounded by nature or in the heart of the city. Regardless of where you are or who is with you, always take your time and stay silent.