question and answer

Types of meditation

This evening we sat for 30min as usual and afterwards a Q&A talking about different ways of meditating and about Insight Timer.

In the book I keep referring to as my favourite intro to Buddhism The Road Home, Ethan Nichtern describe different types of meditation from page 65 onwards.

Mindfulness meditation
The basic starting point of mediation where you focus on your breathing to anchor yourself in the here and now. This is not about emptying your mind but focusing you mind by following your breathing.

Contemplative meditation
Direction your thoughts to a certain areas you wish to gain insight into. It could be everyday conundrums like which career to pursue or the state of your relationship, and could also be about the big questions such as coming to peace with impermanence or death.

Compassion mediation
This meditation is to practice compassion for ourselves and others and we did compassion mediation in sitting 9 when we talked about the difference between empathy and compassion. This meditation is preparing us for coping better with ourselves and in our relationships.

Mantra meditation
This a common Tibetan mediation where you visualise a perfect human, a arhat, and try to feel into their wisdom and compassion to awaken more of those qualities in yourself.

Vipassana meditation
One of the most famous types of meditation, also called insight meditation, where you are looking at the connection between what’s happening in your mind and what is happening in your body, and possible also around you. By practising this you can notice and explore habitual reactions and the possibility of changing your reactions.

And there are more types like koan meditation which is central to Rinzai Zen Buddhism, body scan meditation popular in the Mindfulness movement, walking mediations popular in Soto Zen, and more.

If you want more inspiration for meditation or tap into many different teachers’ guided meditations, courses and more, or just keep a log of your meditation sessions, you may want to check out InsightTimer

Lots of stuff available for free and if you become a premium member you get access to their many courses as well.

Here are three courses on InsightTimer I really like:

– The Schools of Buddhism with Silas Day
– Unlock Your Human Potential with Ken Wilber
– Coming Home To Yourself with Sarah Blondin


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