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Types of Meditation

Meditation is much more than relaxing technique

Today, the term meditation is considered many things, and this generally leads to confusion. Meditation is a form of “stillness” and for every other technique, there should be another suitable name. There are various relaxation techniques, which many people call meditation, but in fact, it is about relaxation techniques, mental techniques, breathing techniques, or even exercises. Therefore, I decided to briefly explain the essential differences:

  • Meditation – is the process of calming mental activity. It is a form of “stillness”, so some call it “silent meditation”. The most popular is the TM (transcendental meditation), then some others have developed some like IM (Integral meditation – by A.P. Kezele in Croatia), Dr. Chopra’s Primordial sound meditation, and the like. Silent meditation is a simple technique that creates a permanent sense of inner fulfillment, happiness, and joy. The purpose of meditation is not mystical or astral experience during meditation, but its effects in everyday life. Even mind-calming is not the main goal of meditation, but a natural result of its correct practice. Through regular practice, awareness expands and we begin to experience higher states of consciousness. This form of meditation requires daily practice – twice a day for 20 minutes. The technique is unique and involves the use of special sound or vibration (which is individual and has no meaning), by which we the transcendent source of thought and “enter” into the state of being without thought, without feeling, without mental activities. In the state of transcendence, our brain is in a deeply relaxed state, in the delta brain waves (0-4 Hertz).
  • Planetary meditation – refers to the recitation of the root sounds (bija mantras in ancient Sanskrit), which is performed and repeated in a certain way. Each of these sounds corresponds to a particular planet, which is why this technique is associated with Jyotish. Vedic wisdom tells us that the world is made of sound and that everything that exists can be expressed in a vibration. Modern science has also described it as a “unified field” that is vibrating. These sounds are healing and their main function is to create a balance.
  • Guided meditation – is a combination of creative visualization and suggestions. Subconscious react strongly to the picturesque messages combined with the suggestion, therefore, this method is useful for relaxation, the release of phobia, or achieving certain goals. However, this practice involves the active participation of the mind, and therefore it is not meditation, regardless of the name.
  • Creative visualization – is a reverie, usually with the help of gentle music. This method develops creativity, imagination, the ability to create, the ability to improve memory, etc. So, it’s not meditation, coz this practice also involves the active participation of the mind.
  • Chanting – is a repetition of certain words or mantras. These repetitions are usually doing in 108 or 1008 times, once to several times a day. Such repetition can sometimes result in some trance. Because this method requires the active participation of the mind, it is also not about meditation.
  • Contemplation – is consciously thinking about something. Some question is asked and then in peace and stillness, with eyes closed, we are thinking about the answer. Because this method requires an active awareness, it is not meditation.
  • Concentration – is focusing attention – on some part of the body, or the candle, or to a certain point, the universe, the chakras, and the like. Because this method also requires an active awareness, it is not meditation.
  • Autogenic training– is, in some way, a combination of concentration (focusing on the part of the body) and contemplation (some suggestions on which we think). So, we’re not talking about meditation.
  • Hypnosis – is the state of narrowed consciousness susceptible to suggestions. The brain is in a relaxed state, ranging from alpha to theta brainwaves. In-person who is under hypnosis happens only muscular changes, while metabolism stays at the same level. In transcendental meditation metabolism changes significantly – a person enters the hypometabolic state.
  • Bioenergy & Healing – giving and/or channeling energy is definitely not meditation. In meditation there is no laying hands, healing, removing energy blockages, working with chakras, communication with spiritual beings, the use of symbols, and the like. Meditation is a deep relaxation, which eliminates the stress and accumulated fatigue, strengthens the immune system, and thus the body is revitalized on its own and health becomes more stable (about it has been done numerous scientific studies, which are confirmed). While healing is different – there are a variety of contacts with “cosmic energy.” The problem can be in it, that a person who is channeling cosmic energy to his/her client also gives part of his/her personal energy. In any case, meditation is not about healing or the exchange of cosmic energy.
  • Prayer – is also not meditation. It is an active mind activity in which we give request or thanksgiving to God. It can be also a repetition of certain sentences or words that may sound like chanting and therefore the act is relaxing. Prayer can be done “from the heart of the person to the heart of God,” but prayer is not meditation.
  • Breathing exercises – are part of yoga and called pranayama. They can be done before meditation, but they are not part of meditation. Pranayama helps to equalize blood circulation and nerve currents in different parts of the body. Diaphragm and abdominal muscles with controlled movements and contraction/relaxation can be good exercise. The heart, lungs, digestive organs, kidneys, endocrine system and the nervous structures such as the brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves, and sympathetic nerves, all get a mild massage and rejuvenating exercise through pranayama.

Yoga – has to do with meditation. It is an ancient science of natural living. The word yoga means union. It consists of 8 limbs (ashtangas):

  • Yama – are certain rules of proper behavior. These include Ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (honesty), brahmacharya (control of sexuality), apigraha (detachment).
  • Niyama – the more personal principles associated with yama.
  • Asana – the postures – this is what most people mean by yoga! Asanas describe the postures of the body and point out the connection of mind and body.
  • Pranayama – breathing exercises, which may have different effects on certain body positions.
  • Pratyahara– withdrawal of the senses. Their senses are not related to the object of observations, but the subject.
  • Dharana – means focus (concentration).
  • Dhyana – indicates the flow of the mind and thoughts (contemplation).
  • Samadhi– a state of pure consciousness. This state we reach through good silent meditation. It is a state of being rather than acting.

Sva prava pridržana Conny Petö Đeneš 2006 - 2022