One of our most common questions is “how to choose a meditation technique“.
How To Choose A
Eyes open or closed? Focusing on an object or your breathing? Repeating a word or mantra?
Different traditions advocate different methods. Transcendental Meditation suggests 20 minutes of meditating with a mantra in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. I’m familiar with one Buddhist teacher who suggests open-eye meditation. Mindfulness meditation recommends 30 minutes a day focusing on thoughts and feelings. The studies I sited in “Meditation: The New Elixir for All Our Mental Ailments?” used several different techniques. From the studies’ reports, each method was effective in obtaining measurable outcomes.
The list of different methods is long. However, they all have one thing in common: The focus is inward. So how do you decide what’s the best for you?
The question is, “Why are you meditating?” We each have different reasons, and those reasons can change daily. I distinguish between body-focused and mind-focused techniques. When we are feeling uptight physically, in pain or emotionally overwrought, I’ve found the body-focused techniques are particularly helpful. These include:
- Focusing on the breath as you inhale and as you exhale.
- Progressive relaxation (relaxing each body part, starting with the face or feet and continuing the length of the body).
- Focusing on the different energy centers in the body, like the heart, solar plexus or gut (where we tend to feel our emotional stress).
Finding Your Edge:
Guided Mindfulness Meditation
This is a body-centered mindfulness meditation from Susan Morales.
You can do it right now…it’s only 5 minutes long, though the music will play for 10 minutes if you wish to continue longer.
Sit up with good, comfortable posture, listen with headphones or through your computer speakers…. click the play button below, close your eyes, and just follow along.
Most people, when considering how to choose a meditation technique, discover that following ” The Edge Of Your Breath” can be wonderfully expansive and refreshing.
If you would like more mindfulness meditations, please leave a comment below.
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