4 Meditation routines you want to try

woman meditating

Meditation is an ancient practice that’s enjoying something of a renaissance these days. Scientific evidence supports its relaxing effects, supporting its relaxing effects can, but it can hard to find an entry point into this practice. Here are four approaches to meditation to consider.

1) Focused attention meditation. A basic meditation technique, focused attention meditation requires that you focus all of your attention one thing for the entirety of the session. This object need not be external; it can be as simple as your breath, or a repeated mantra. As time passes, your focus on this object will grow stronger, distractions will cease, and a steady feeling will form.

2) Zazen meditation. With roots in Chinese Zen Buddhism, this form of focused attention meditation is performed by sitting on the floor with crossed legs, usually on a mat or cushion. Keeping your back straight, ensure your mouth is closed and eyes are lowered, but not fully closed. While positioned like this, practitioners are encouraged to focus on their breathing, which should come in and out of the nose.  Alternatively, you can just sit, which is known as shikantaza. Doing this leaves you open to being present in the moment, observing your thoughts and surroundings without judgement, or spending too much time on any one thought.

3) Walking meditation. If you feel like getting a little extra physical activity in during your day, this small variation on meditation might be just the thing you need. For this technique, simply walk at a calm pace, bringing attention to your feet. During your walk, try to really feel each and every movement your foot makes, as well as the sensations in your body. If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to each step. This is perfect for people who are on the go, as it is one meditation that does not require you to be still while practicing it. You can do this on a walking trail through nature or as you run errands in the city.

4) Gratitude exercises. While the other three techniques are good for feeling centered via self-awareness, this one turns your attention outward. Close your eyes and think of someone you are grateful to have in your life. Picture his or her happy face, think of everything you love about them, and acknowledge your thankfulness for them. Repeat this with four other people you are thankful for, living or deceased. It is a good way to remember all of the wonderful people you’ve met in your life and can help you be more present throughout the day. Gratitude exercises can also be focused around your health, your job, your home or anything that you’re happy to have in your life.

3 Meditation Techniques For Beginners [Huffington Post]

Types of Meditation –  An Overview of 23 Meditation Techniques [Live and Dare]

  • March 22nd, 2017
  • Posted in: Avalon