Meditation Types

1. Just Breathe: Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation. Pay attention to how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again. That’s all. Just give all of your attention to your breath and all of the sensations of breathing.

2. Contemplate Your Center: You can begin by paying attention to your breath. Then, gently, let the breath carry you deeper and deeper inside yourself. The deeper you go, the less external stimuli will disturb you. Little by little you will come to a place deep inside yourself where you can rest.

3. Contemplate an External Object: Prepare for this ahead of time by choosing some natural object. Perhaps a piece of driftwood, a feather or stone draws your attention next time you’re out walking. Bring it home and use it for this meditation. You could also use a lighted candle. Place your chosen item where you can see it easily from where you are sitting and where it is not surrounded by distracting clutter.

You could also hold the object in your hands. Observe every detail: color, pattern, personality. Imagine that you love this object. Imagine your heart reaching out to embrace it, to caress it. Imagine that it is actually inside your heart, at the core of your being. Imagine it loves you back. You may find that your eyes lose their sharp focus after a while and want to close. That’s fine. Just continue to hold the image of the object in your mind’s eye.

4. Mindfulness: The aim of this meditation is to be always present in this moment, right now, without the intrusion of emotions surrounding events from the past or anticipation of future emotion. Embark upon a chore, like cooking, or cleaning, or checking the spark plugs. The trick is to think about each dish or spark plug individually and pay attention to every step in the completion of the task without thinking ahead to the next chore on the list, or back to the concert last Saturday. 

This moment is precious. This meditation helps you experience it fully.

5. Music: Play soothing, beautiful music that speaks to you. Sit quietly and give all of your attention to the music. Be aware of the way your inner self responds to the music.

6. Movement & Music: Play soothing, beautiful music that speaks to you in a space with some room for movement. Sit or stand in the middle of the space and close your eyes while you listen. Don’t feel obligated to move, just listen until you feel some part of your body want to move. Perhaps you will begin to sway gently, or a hand might lift in a graceful arc. Your body wants to be graceful and move joyfully to the music. Be sure to open your eyes once the feet get involved.

7. Expanding Sensual Awareness: Find an isolated but beautiful place to sit and be still. I particularly like to be in nature for this. Begin by paying attention to the breath until you feel centered and at peace. Expand your awareness to include the sounds your breath makes, the sounds around you. Be aware of every sound you hear, but don’t let your attention focus on any one sound. Allow them all to be equally important whether you hear the crackle of a worm dislodging a dry leaf, or the scolding of a squirrel in the tree above your head. One at a time, expand your awareness further to include the other senses (touch, sight, smell and, even, taste) until you are maintaining awareness of all of them at once.

8. Breath Walk: In this meditation you link the rhythm of your breath to the rhythm of your walk. After getting centered using the breathing meditation, rise and begin walking slowly. Make your inhalation last four steps and make your exhalation last four steps (or two or three). This meditation concentrates the mind amazingly.

9. Nada Yoga (Toning): As the physicists have proven, all existence is vibration. Each of us has at our core our own unique vibration. The trick to a fulfilling life is to bring that vibration out. We can literally change the world this way. Get centered using the breathing meditation, and then begin listening, or feeling, for your unique vibration. 

Call it up from deep within you and begin to hum it (if you’re not sure, fake it). As it grows stronger begin to sing it using a vowel sound like, “ahhhhh,” or “eeeeeeeeee,” “ohhhh,” “oooooo,” or … whatever moves in you. When you feel like it, fall silent and pay attention to the way you now feel the vibration in your body.

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