Meditation is an approach to train the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to train the body. But many meditation techniques exist and different meditation practices require different mental skills. It is extremely difficult for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or have an “empty mind.” But in general, the easiest way to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath.
Concentration Technique in Meditation
Concentration in meditation involves focusing on a single point. This could entail following the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong or counting beads on a Mala. Since focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner might meditate for only a few minutes and then work up to longer durations. Through this process, the ability to concentrate improves.
Mindfulness Technique in Meditation
Mindfulness in meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental note as it arises.
Through mindfulness meditation, one can see how his/her thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. Over time, one can become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops.
Breathing Technique in Meditation
Meditation exercises help in increasing focus and awareness. The most powerful way to meditate and achieve the goals is by focusing on the breathing. There are some common breathing techniques that are incorporated in meditation.
Other Techniques in Meditation
There are various other meditation techniques. For example, a daily meditation practice among Buddhist monks focuses directly on the cultivation of compassion. This involves envisioning negative events and recasting them in a positive light by transforming them through compassion. There are also moving meditation techniques, such as Tai Chi, Qigong and Walking Meditation.