There are numerous types of meditation, and for each the practice will vary depending on what is comfortable for each individual. There are basic procedures you will follow for most meditations such as finding a place where you can sit comfortably without interruptions, for at least ten minutes.

Although complete silence isn’t necessary, the room should be free of obtrusive noises such as music or television. However, background noises such as the sound of traffic, or the ocean should not be considered interruptions.

Place your hands gently in your lap in a way so they are loose and unencumbered. Focus your mind with the rising and falling of your abdomen and breathing. You can choose one meditation or use several throughout your practice. Listed are a few simple, tried and true forms of meditation to get you started.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness or Vipassana means to see things as they really are- is a Buddhist practice. Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment happening around you; the sounds and activities, the thoughts which flow through your mind, without focusing on a specific thing. There is no attempt to change your thoughts or respond to background noise, but to practice detachment and acceptance.

2.  Concentration Meditation

Concentration Meditation or focused visualization involves concentration upon an image or imaginary environment, focus on a sound or object. The purpose of this is to focus on something calming and stay committed to that one thought or object. This is a good practice for people who find themselves stressed by silence, because you can use relaxation music or a guided recording. The strength of concentration meditation is to build the capacity to overcome distraction and to sustain mental clarity.

3. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a version of Vedanta, a tradition within Hinduism. In this technique you will sit straight backed in the lotus or half lotus position and use a sound, mantra or sacred word you will repeat to focus your attention. By doing this, the ordinary thinking process is transcended and replaced by a state of pure consciousness. This state promotes relaxed awareness, stillness, stability and the absence of mental boundaries.

4. Heart-Centered Meditation

Heart-Centered Meditation focuses on the breath and heartbeat to awaken kindness and compassion. Make the breath deep and rhythmic, and draw attention to the heart as the center of an energetic system. Learning to direct your breath and enhance your awareness of circulation promotes an elevated sense of energy.

All meditation techniques are interrelated, some drawing on forms of others which set them in several categories, but listed here are some effective basics. These types of meditation all draw on the principals of quieting ourselves and focusing energy for enhanced spiritual consciousness.

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