How To Meditate: 10 Techniques

   reading time: 14 min



 
Please note that there is a separate blog post all about the basics of how & why to meditate, where I talk about the health benefits of meditating, how to find the right posture, how often and for how long you should meditate etc., so make sure to check that out first!

Below you will find a list of 10 different meditation practices including their key benefits and how to do them. They are especially great for beginners, with a couple of more advanced exercises as well.


DISCLAIMER:

I am not a physician, and the information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


How To Meditate: 10 Techniques


1. Guided Meditation

 
One of the most common forms of meditation – thanks to apps like Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer, and also meditation teachers like Deepak Chopra – is the guided meditation. This is especially great for beginners who have difficulties sitting still and doing nothing because the voice of the speaker will kind of "keep you busy" and will help you gradually immerse yourself in the practice of meditation, while preventing you from getting lost in the process.

key benefits:
- interactive experience 
- support of a person experienced in the art
- helps you to stop the endless thinking
- helps you to relax and let go
- guides your focus
- deepens the connection to your subconscious mind
- great for beginners

directions:
Choose your audio-guided meditation. If you like, put on a good-quality set of headphones to block out any unwanted noise. Sit or lie down comfortably. Listen to your guided meditation. I suggest closing your eyes or softening your gaze during this.

My favourite guided meditations are the ones by Davidji, but I also love Deepak Chopra's 21 Days of Abundance meditation program as well as this Guided Meditation For Physical Healing by Marisa Peer. Yoga With Adriene has also done a couple of meditations on her channel, which are great for beginners, such as her
15-Minute Stillness For Stress Relief meditation or her meditation for anxiety or her meditation for inner peace. There are also a bunch of great theme-based guided meditations out there on Youtube, such as chakra-based meditations.
 


2. Five Senses Meditation

If you feel comfortable to meditate without narration, but don't like the concept of sitting in complete silence, a great alternative is this mindfulness exercise that incorporates all five senses. That way you focus on your environment instead of your racing thoughts. This practice is great to do outside in nature as well.

key benefits:
- immersive sensory experience
- sharpens your senses
- reconnects you with your body
- brings you back into the present
- enhances awareness and gratitude for the present moment
- great for beginners

directions:
Find a comfortable seat, spine straight, shoulders relaxed. Take a few deep breaths, in and out. Leaving your eyes open at first, observe your current environment, and notice:

5 things that you can see
4 things that you can feel
3 things that you can hear
2 things that you can smell
1 thing that you can taste


With each sensation you notice, pause to take them in completely. Rest in attention for a few deep breaths before moving on to the next one. When you are finished, breathe full and deep. Acknowledge and thank your remarkable body that allows you to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

You can also use this practice to warm up for a longer silent meditation, if you like.


3. Counting Down (Silva Method)

This is yet another meditation practice to calm down your "monkey mind" by anchoring your attention in something specific. In this case, you slowly count down to 1, and with every number you will relax deeper until you finally reach the alpha level (read more about the "alpha state of mind" in my recent article on The Key to Successful Manifesting).

key benefits:
- provides anchor through countdown
- deepens relaxation through visualization
- slows down brain wave activity
- puts your body in a state of conductive healing
- strengthens right hemisphere (creativity, memory, imagination, intuition etc.)

directions:
Find a comfortable seat, spine comfortably erect, with your eyes closed. If you like, point your eyes upwards by 20 degrees from eye level (eyes closed). Take a few deep breaths. Slowly count backward from 100 to 1. If it helps, you can visualize a green neon sign with the numbers counting down. This exercise slows down your brain wave activity to between 7 and 14 hertz, the so-called alpha state, making this meditation ideal for manifesting via visualization.

The best time to practice this is in the morning right after waking up, when you are still sleepy, or at night, when you are ready to retire, or at noon after lunch when your body is busy with digesting your food.

Over time you can reduce the counting down: after a week of counting downward from 100 to 1, switch to counting from 50 to 1, then after another week from 25 to 1, then from 10 to 1, to eventually from 5 to 1.



4. Breathing Meditation

This is probably the most common type of the mindfulness meditation. By mentally following the rhythm of your own breathing, you synch yourself up to the present moment, which is ultimately the goal of any meditation practice. As with the previous meditation exercises, this one also uses an anchor (the breath) to guide you back when your mind wanders.

key benefits:
- increases self-awareness
- reconnects you with your own body
- cultivates being in the present moment
- deepens and improves breathing
- balances the nervous system
- increases focus
- can be done anywhere and anytime

directions:
Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, with your head, neck and spine aligned. If you want, set a timer, e. g. for 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 1 hour. Take a few relaxed breaths, in and out. Close your eyes, if you feel comfortable. Now gently focus your attention on the breath, as it ebbs and flows through you, like ocean waves. Try not to change your breathing in any way (although it will feel kind of forced and controlled at first, that's normal). If it helps think to yourself "breathing in" as you inhale, and "breathing out" as you exhale. Similarly, when thoughts arise (and they will!), simply notice in your mind "thinking", or "another thought", and return your attention to the breath. Again and again.

End your silent breathing meditation whenever you are ready, or when your timer goes off.

You can practice mindful breathing throughout the day as well: when you brush your teeth, stand in line at the grocery shop, drive to work, etc.

In the Buddhas words: "Being sensitive to the whole body, the yogi breathes in; being sensitive to the whole body, the yogi breathes out." (Yes, breathing is a Yogic practice, along with meditation! Actually, the physical movements of Yoga as well as breathwork are the preperatory steps for meditation.)
 

5. Visualization Meditation

A visualization meditation (which is often part of guided meditations) combines the practice of meditation with the technique of visualization. When people first use this method, they often find it difficult to stay focused for very long, so perhaps only do this when you are already used to meditating. This method can be combined with the counting down method or a sound meditation.

key benefits:
- increases energy and motivation
- promotes positive thinking and combats negative thought patterns
- provides emotional stability
- helps you have a clear vision of your life goals
- helps develop the habit of problem-solving
- helps you move toward success
- increases creativity

directions:
Find a comfortable seat, spine comfortably erect. Take a few deep breaths. If you like, count yourself downward to get into the alpha state of mind. I recommend closing your eyes for this one. Envision one aspect – e. g. an object, a person or a circumstance – that you want to manifest into your life. For example, you might focus on your relationship, your financial situation, a safe home, or the job you would like to do. In addition to picturing a mental image of your desired outcome, the important thing here is to immerse yourself in the feeling of having already accomplished or obtained this thing in your life (again, check out my blog post on the key to successful manifesting for tips). Visualize your desired outcome as clearly, distinctly and as detailed as possible. Don't worry about how you will get there. Spend as long as you'd like on this, or set a timer.

Instead of a life goal, you can also visualize your seven chakras (energy centers) radiating from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. To further support this practice, you can place seven crystals that correspond with the chakras on your body, for example
carnelian (root chakra), red jasper (sacral chakra), citrine (solar plexus chakra), green tourmaline (heart chakra), lapis lazuli (throat chakra), purple fluorite (third eye chakra), and clear quartz (crown chakra), as seen in the picture below. Or simply hold a crystal in your hand while meditating.

❤️๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿค

Another wonderful visualization meditation is the Buddhist Metta meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, where you visualize feelings of love and inner peace radiating out from your heart like a shining sun or a bright star. In addition, you can extend this rippling flow of loving kindness to
people you love, and ultimately the entire planet around you. While visualizing the emanating love and light, you might want to repeat the following phrases in your mind:

“May I/you/everyone be happy.”
“May
I/you/everyone be peaceful.”
“May
I/you/everyone be free from pain.”
“May
I/you/everyone be healthy and strong.”


 
6. Sound Meditation

A sound meditation combines the practice of meditation with the healing power of sound, often featuring instruments like Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, harps, wind chimes, pan flutes, hand pans, and more. Their soothing tones create a therapeutic "sound bath" where vibrations and frequencies can tap into certain brain waves that are responsible for regeneration and cell repair, or even induce a deep trance-like relaxation. This form of meditation is especially great for healing, and can be combined with a healing visualization.

key benefits:
- uses sound and rhythm to synchronize the brain activity to the sound frequency
- calms your body and mind
- helps relief stress, reduce anxiety, and promote restful sleep 
- is said to help people suffering from PTSD
- promotes an overall sense of well-being
- great for beginners

directions:
Choose your sound meditation. If you like, put on a good-quality set of headphones to block out any unwanted noise. Find a comfortable position, seated or lying down. I personally prefer lying for this one. Take a few deep breaths, in and out. Listen to your sound meditation, for example binaural beats that are said to slow down brain activity. I suggest closing your eyes or softening your gaze during this. Again, feel free to place healing crystals on your body for this meditation.

Some of my favourite sound meditations are this 1 hour healing reiki music, this 1 hour heart chakra opening vibrations sound bath, the 60 min Osho Dynamic Meditation which requires moving to the music, various of the singing bowl sound baths by Healing Vibrations such as this 1 hour Chakra Tuning for Self-Expression and
the 3 hour 888hz Abundance Gate sound bath. When I'm sick, I always listen to this 30 min deep healing music for the body & soul. At the beginning of this year I experienced a lot of heart turbulence, palpitations, chest pains, trouble breathing etc. (which where all psychosomatic – I had my heart and lungs checked by doctors), and during that time I listened to this 1 hour heart repair and treatment sound therapy daily, which soothed my pain immediately.
 

7.
Noting

This exercise is similar to the Five Senses Meditation, with the difference that instead of noticing what's around you (sights, smells, sound etc.), you observe what is going on in your mind and in your body. This can also include a body scan, noting what you are feeling and thinking in that very moment, noting any physical sensations, and so on.

key benefits:
- increases self-awareness
- reconnects you with your own body
- cultivates being in the present moment 
- increases focus 
- identifies and balances emotions
- can be done anywhere and anytime
 
directions:
Find a comfortable way of being seated, standing or lying down. Take a few deep breaths, and soften your gaze or close your eyes. Notice your breath expanding and contracting your lungs. Start to become aware of any emotion, feeling, or thought, any sensations in your body. How do you feel? Without trying to change anything or label it good or bad, simply notice, and hold space for yourself. Use your body's sensations as a comeback when your thoughts start to wander. Do this as long as you wish. End this practice by deeply inhaling and exhaling again.



8. Movement
Meditation

Mindful walking, Tai Chi, yoga, dancing, even mindful eating, all fall under the category of movement meditation, which is in turn similar to the Five Senses Meditation and the Noting. In contrast to the breathing meditation, this type of meditation focuses on the movements you do. For example, when walking place your attention on the sensation of your foot touching the ground with each step, how does the ground feel like, how does the warmth of the sun feel on your skin, how does your foot's arch feel like when your weight rolls from the back of your heel towards the front, etc.

key benefits:
- engages the senses
- increases self-awareness
- reconnects you with your own body
- cultivates being in the present moment
- helps slow down during everyday activities
- sensitizes you to your environment 
- helps you be more patient, steady and calm
- can be done anywhere and anytime

directions:
Whether it's Qi-gong, a self-massage, brushing your teeth, sipping tea, a short chair yoga break at your desk, an early morning walk, eating a piece of your favourite chocolate, or sitting on the sofa and talking to your best friend – do everything slowly and with mindfulness, noticing your body and all sensations that occur. Be aware of the environment around you. Make it a full-body experience! You can also bring conscious breathing into this meditation, synchronizing your movements to your breath.


9. Resting Awareness


In the other meditational practices we direct our attention to some aspect of our experience such as our breath, or our movements, or a visualization. However, this technique involves letting the mind truly rest without focussing on anything but on awareness itself. This is probably the most challenging meditation practice.

key benefits:
- allows you to detach from any identifications and reactions
- cultivates an awareness of the essence of who you are
- helps you separate from the ego, the body-centered "I" and move into a more expanded, universal "I"
- provides clarity, lucidity and knowing
- requires and trains mind control

directions:
Find a comfortable seat, spine comfortably erect. Take a deep breath, in and out. I personally like to place my hands in a mudra, such as placing the tip of my index finger lightly against the tip of my thumb, allowing the remaining fingers to be gently extended. Breath through your nose. Do your best to detach from any thoughts or emotions. Let them simply drift away, like clouds in the sky. Empty yourself, just observe from the "outside" – bring your attention to this sense of just being aware. Not being aware of something, just being aware. It's hard. It's an endless process of coming back to the present moment, to this formless and boundless awareness, again and again. Do it, again and again, that's why it's called "practice".


“What we are looking for is what is looking.”
– St Francis of Assisi


 
10.
Quiet Reflection & Contemplation

This last technique is not your typical "no thoughts" meditation, but is perhaps more similar to the visualization technique. It is useful if you have a question or some sort of problem that you would like to ask your inner wisdom for help. You can also combine this method with a cacao ceremony.

key benefits:
- reconnects you with your inner knowing
- helps you to find solutions
- helps develop the habit of problem-solving
- can help with making grounded decisions
- increases creativity
- strengthens intuition and self-reflection
- can help to connect you to your spiritual purpose/direction

directions:
Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, with your head, neck and spine aligned. If you want, set a timer, e. g. for 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 1 hour. Take a few relaxed breaths, in and out. Close your eyes, and turn your "gaze" inward. You can either reflect on a more general matter such as "What am I grateful for?" or contemplate a specific question such as "What do I really want to accomplish in my life?" or even "Who am I?". Sit in silence with that question, asking yourself again and again without forcing an answer. Note whatever comes up.




BONUS:

The LAP Meditation (Love, Abundance, Peace)
 
Lastly, I want to share with you what I call the "LAP" meditation, short for Love, Abundance, and Peace. The technique itself is my own creation, but essentially it's a mixture of visualisation (especially the loving-kindness meditation) and breathing meditation.

key benefits:
- provides anchor through breathwork
- increases self-awareness
and self-love
- reconnects you with your own body
- deepens and improves breathing
- increases positive energy and feelings of love, abundance and peace
- provides emotional stability
- great for beginners

directions:
Find a comfortable seat, spine comfortably erect. Connect to your breath.
Breathe into your chest / heart center and imagine inhaling feelings of love and compassion. As you exhale, release any pain, grief or disappointment from your heart center. Do this a couple of times.

Now inhale again and breathe into your belly, inhaling feelings of abundance and prosperity. With your exhale, let go of any feeling of lack, green or fear. Repeat a couple of times.

Deeply
inhale again, this time as far down as into your womb (or lap), filling yourself up with feelings of peace and tranquillity. When you exhale, flush out any feelings of hate, anger or resentment. Repeat couple of times.

Keep breathing in this slow rhythm, from chest to belly to womb / lap, in your own pace, until you feel a deep upwelling of love, abundance and peace.

To end this practice, place your palms over your heart center. Feel that light, that beacon inside of you. Breathe into your heart. Say an affirmation if you like, such as: "I am love." or "I am strong." or "I am a light in dark times." Or whatever feels right for you in that moment.


Sending love to you all.

Let's make this world a little better, one breath at a time.


 


Maisy
 




0 Comments