It took me years to realise that refusing to meditate (because I do not have the time, the right technique, the discipline or simply the will) was in fact denying myself some well-deserved ME time, that’s why it is called ME-ditation.
It is also called ME-ditation because there isn’t one method that fits all. There are around 9 types of meditation that I have tested and you can use several during your day depending on your personality, your needs, your aspirations but also your surroundings.
This is the easiest type of meditation because you can do it anytime anywhere and while going about your day.
You concentrate on your breathing and observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind without judging them. You let go of your thoughts by letting them move along as if they were clouds pushed by the wind. You reconnect with yourself by paying attention to your breathing.
I enjoy doing it while I slowly make a cup of tea or while I am waiting at the bus stop or in the queue at the shops. In fact, whenever you have an activity during your day that you can do robotically, it is great to use these few minutes to meditate as a way refresh yourself from the tension of the day.
This type of meditation is perfect when you want to achieve specific goals and want to manifest things in your life. You do not need anybody to help you with this one as you are the one in control. You are the one bringing all the details of the desired results into your mind. You need to use all your senses to paint a truly accurate picture of the outcome you want. The more detailed the picture, the more emotions you will have. It is these emotions that you will feel in your body that will attract the desired outcome like a magnet.
I am a visual person, so I truly enjoy this type of meditation that I do every morning to visualise the daily entries from my success journal (read more about it). I also associate it with an NLP practice called anchoring. When I have an extremely clear picture of the positive outcome and that I have strong emotions going through my body I tap my right fist into my left open palm. I do the same gesture during the day to re-focus on my goals and get the push that I need to finish or start a specific activity.
This type of meditation derives from Hindu and Buddhist practices but is no religious. It works by repeating the same sound or sentence continuously to clear the mind and re-energise yourself. Often people use the sound OM as its absence of meaning helps clear the mind. The use of a sentence such as “ I am enough” or “I am loved” is great to send positive energies through your body and mind.
I like to do this type of meditation in my shower. The water cancels out all surrounding noises and I can just concentrate on my mantra and repeat it for the length of my shower.
Doing it during an activity that will take place every single morning without a fail, is the perfect reminder that it is time for my mantra meditation without having to set an alarm.
Practicing yoga is actually a type of meditation because you clear your mind to focus on your movement and breathing. It is what we call an active type of meditation. In the category of active meditation, you will also find forest walk and floating in water.
All these types of meditation are requiring to connect with your body to find peace of mind. While you focus on the activity, your mind stop running riot and you find yourself much more calm.
My favourite active meditation is a walk in a park or along the river which I try to do daily for at least 1 hour. Re-connecting with nature seems to calm my mind and I have ideas popping through my head which appear to be the answer to an issue I have been worrying about for a while without finding an answer. As if the walk was pushing away the noise in my head to let the answers come forward.
Focus on the flame maybe all you have to think about in this kind of meditation. Seems easy enough until you try. Keeping your mind focussed on a simple thing such as a flame is actually extremely difficult especially for meditation beginners. The mind keeps on drifting on other thoughts and you need the discipline to bring back your attention the flame. You can also focus on your breath, the smell of incense, the counting of mala beads or the sound of a Tibetan bowl. Whatever you choose, you will soon realise that it will require extreme discipline.
I use this meditation when I feel procrastination creeping on me or when I feel that my mind is getting agitated by the amount of things I need to achieve, not knowing where to start. I light a candle and focus my mind on the dancing flame. Whenever my mind drifts away, I bring it back to the flame. Suddenly you will feel a sort of click in your mind and you feel at peace, ready to work.
This meditation is the type that gives you a warm feeling inside and makes you want to hug yourself and people around you. During this practice you will focus on the fact that the Universe is full of love that it wants to give you, once you have filled yourself with love, you will then project this eve- growing love towards the entire Universe. This amazing sensation of being simultaneously the taker and giver of this limitless loving energy will transform the way you see your relationship with others.
I practice this type of meditation out of need in general. Whenever, I have had an argument with somebody or when I feel that something or somebody is bothering me, I use this tecnique. It is also a great meditation to do with children that find difficult to forgive their friends or act aggressively.
BODY SCAN MEDITATION
As per its name, this type of meditation is all about re-connecting with your own body. Done in general in the dark, lying down with a blanket over your body to stay warm. As you bring your attention to a part of your body, the idea is to pay attention to the sensation you feel in that particular area. Whether it is lightness or heaviness, discomfort or blood circulation, itching or cramps, hotness or coldness. All sensations are goods, it is all about recognising them without judgement. Most people start from their head and gradually move towards their feet or you can randomly go to particular parts of your body you want to re-connect with.
I use this type of meditation in the morning in my bed before I turn on the light and open my eyes. It helps me to re-connect with my body after 8 hours of sleep (hopefully). Somehow, I find getting out of my warm bed much easier after the body scan. You can also add the colour of the chakras in the areas you are mentally scanning.
Sleeping and meditation are very similar because they both reduce stress and regenerate the body and mind. Using meditation to fall asleep is a good idea to ensure you don’t stay awake all night worrying why you cannot fall asleep. The most effective meditation to fall asleep are the guided ones as you allowing yourself to be led by the guidance and are not thinking too much about technique and what to do next. Choosing the right guide is difficult and you will need to test many before you find somebody who has a nice voice and use the right words to lead you to your stress-free zone.
I find YouTube a great source when you are searching for the right guided meditation, once you have found the right guide, then you might want to invest in their material to avoid using YouTube before bed as it can be a great source for procrastination.
This is supposed to be the ultimate type of meditation for people that are serious about a very structured way of meditating. This type of silent meditation is supposed to allow its practitioners to experience higher states of consciousness. It involves the use of a silently-said sound called a personal mantra. It must be practiced twice daily for 20 minutes and your personal mantra will be given to you by a certified teacher at the end of a teaching retreat.
This technique mas made famous by the filmmaker David Lynch who attribute his amazing creativity to the practice of transcendental meditation.
Now that you know a bit more about the most common types of meditation, I am sure that at least one of them as caught your attention. So give it a go! You just need to find some ME Time to practice it. Maybe just start while boiling the kettle with some mindfulness or while showering with your favourite mantra, then you will be able to personalise which one you need during your day. Whatever you decide to do, remember to be kind to yourself and take advantage to all these amazing tools that are totally free.