2 Main Types of Meditation

Different types of meditation have been used for healing benefits for many years and have been a part of religious practices and cultural traditions.

Meditation is a safe and effective form of alternative therapy.  It helps you to strike a healthy balance between your external environment and your inner self so that you are better able to cope with stress from your daily life.

For this article, the 2 main types of meditation are classified as :

  • Concentrative
  • Non-Concentrative

Concentrative Types of Meditation

Some people find it easier to meditate if they focus on something specific. You can focus on your breath, an image or a sound (mantra) so that the mind can become calm and there is more awareness and clarity.

types of meditation

photo courtesy of Denise Cross

Mantra Meditation

A word or phrase is repeated as you sit in meditation.

You can repeat the word or phrase of your choice aloud or in your head. It is said that this meditation technique helps your mind from straying.

Breath Watching

Simply relax and close your eyes and breathe long slow steady breaths through your nostril and exhale out your mouth. Count the exhales from 1 to 10 and repeat for the entire session.  If you become distracted by your thoughts just refocus.

Non-Concentrative Types of Meditation

The meditation practitioner focuses on what is going on in his mind without becoming distracted by the thoughts, images, memories or worries that he witnesses.  She simply observes and not judge or try to analyze what she sees.

Mindfulness Meditation Technique

Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.

You don’t have to close your eyes. You can look down on the floor without concentrating on anything. Breathe naturally. You are aware of your thoughts and feelings but don’t try to understand or put meaning to them. Simply observe them.

Receptive Meditation Technique

This is where you empty all your thoughts out of your head and sit in tranquility.

Some persons visualize a jug with water being poured out of it. The jug represents their mind and the water, their thoughts. When you feel your mind completely free of thoughts then you wait quietly and become receptive of any experience that follows. This experience can also be a spiritual one where some persons hear that small inner voice.

There are various types of meditation and the meditation techniques tend to overlap.  Not just simply concentrative or non-concentrative  but a combination of both.

Whichever of the types of meditation used, what is constant is:

  • You have to quiet your mind to benefit from the experience.  It is not as simple with all the stress that we go through each day whether you work away from home or stay at home -each day has its own share of challenges.  However you have to do your best to quiet your thoughts and focus during the meditation session.

  • You have to be present in the moment.  Be in the now - not focusing on the past or future.  This takes practice too because we tend to constantly worry about the future and re-live past events and mistakes over and over in our head.  No wonder we have so much stress.

  • You will in time experience a higher state of consciousness.   Not asleep but not fully awake.  Your body is relaxed but your mind is alert.

  • You experience the benefits of meditation
    You come away from the meditation session feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, wiser, happier or more aware of your emotions and sensations.

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