Madonna Gauding has a new book out called The Meditation Experience. In this excerpt we look at her description of four basic meditation techniques.
These four basic meditation techniques have been practiced around the world for many centuries.
Four Basic Meditation Techniques
Using a focus
The first technique involves learning to focus and concentrate. By training the mind to focus on an object – such as a candle, on the breath, or on a movement such as walking – you become aware of your normal uncontrolled thinking patterns and eventually learn to relax and quiet your mind.
It is a good beginning practice and important as a basis for mindfulness meditation.
The second technique involves learning about yourself and the world around you. You become aware of the content of your mind and the subtle feelings in your body. Then you begin to observe the mental habits and patterns that may be holding you back in life.
Through mindfulness you learn to be mentally present – aware of what you are doing and thinking, and aware also of the world around you – while maintaining a non-judgmental and compassionate attitude.
Using a topic
The third way to meditate is to contemplate a topic. The early Christians for example meditated on passages of The New Testament, while Tibetan Buddhists meditate on topics such as compassion.
Often spiritual adepts of all traditions East and West meditate on death to help recognise the fleeting quality and precious nature of human life.
Using the senses
The fourth type of meditation engages the senses. For instance using your sense of hearing and your voice you can practise chanting and mantra recitation and listen to music and the sounds of nature.
Do you have a favourite from these four basic meditation techniques? Please leave a comment below as to which is the meditation technique that use most often.
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