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Meditation Techniques


Meditation is believed to have originated more than 50,000 years ago and was originally practiced by shamans and spiritual leaders. The practice eventually grew in popularity and was adopted by a number of different religions, many of which still have prominence today.

Yet, the benefits of meditation were so vast that it eventually came to be integrated into mainstream culture, void of any religious implications. This has made the practice of meditation accessible and beneficial to everyone.

Yet, as the practice progressed it took on several different meanings and techniques. Rather than one technique simply replacing an older version, the various techniques that developed gained prominence alongside their older, more traditional counterparts.

This means that several different approaches and techniques currently exist in regards to how meditation should be viewed and carried out. This following pages and articles shed light on these various meditation techniques so that one can decide for themselves which method provides what they are looking to gain.

Types of Meditation

  • Upward: The goal of upward meditation is to raise consciousness from the body which is viewed as an unsatisfactory venue for such a powerful entity.

  • Downward: The goal of downward meditation is to inject the body with forces that are present outside of it.

  • Mind Centered: Mind centered meditation is considered to be the absence of any collected thought or frame of mind.

  • Emotion Centered: Emotion centered meditation involves the over saturation of emotions in the body.

  • Monastic: In monastic meditation, the mystery of death is explored in order to overcome the fear and uncertainty that is common with dying.

  • In Life: This type of meditation is the exact opposite of monastic. It is meant to heighten ones awareness of their life before death.

  • Observer: This type of meditation involves the spiritual departure from your body in order to obtain an omniscient view of your emotions and thoughts.

  • Fantasy Based: In fantasy based meditation, you pretend that your body is in an entirely different location or you are a completely different being or person.

  • Reality Based: Reality based meditation concerns itself mainly with the enlightenment of what reality means and how it pertains to the participant.

Meditation Techniques


Many approaches to meditation require the person to sit motionless for a long period of time. This is intended to make the person like a statue and enable enlightenment. The primary purpose of this technique is to allow the most self discovery without any discomfort and minimal effort.


This technique allows you to practice using meditation while performing simple movements to achieve an active form of relaxation. In this method, you are sitting for some of the time and then standing for other portions of your meditation.

Reclining Chair

This is an alternative technique to the sitting/standing method for people that are uncomfortable sitting for several hours. Many students may find it distracting to transition continuously from sitting to standing and this technique serves to solve this problem. One of the primary benefits to this technique is the increase of blood flow to the legs and the relief of cramps and numbness that can be associated with long sessions of cross legged sitting.

Self Inquiry

This technique of meditation is often used as a form of chanting to help the mind achieve greater focus and clear it of unnecessary thoughts. The chanting that you perform should be a strategy of questions rather than a repetition of memorized phrases.

Different Approaches to Meditation

While methods and approaches to meditation vary, the goal of meditation remains essentially the same. This goal is to remove one from the instinctive, reflexive ways of thinking that most people adopt throughout their lives and move to a state of deeper relaxation and contemplation. Traditionally, this deeper state of relaxation and contemplation was intended to help one build a closer relationship to a supreme being. It has also developed as a means to provide better understanding of position and purpose in the world around us.

While the overall goal of most methods of meditation seems obvious, the way in which one gets to this state and what one does with this new found clarity is where the vast variation comes into place. Some techniques profess very specific postures and breathing techniques to achieve its goals. Others are more flexible and offer simple guidelines in which the person follows to find their own path to mental clarity and relaxation.


It is important to gain a full understanding of the various techniques often associated with meditation and then adopt the method that coincides with what you are looking to achieve.

The various meditation techniques also vary a great deal into how deeply the practice is incorporated into your lifestyle.

For example, a person who simply seeks relaxation and clarity is likely going to have much less invested than someone who is looking to connect with a supreme being through the practice.

However, you should not underestimate the benefits that even the limited practice of meditation can have on your life.

This section will shed light on all the various levels of meditative practice that currently exist so that you can make an informed decision as to which method is likely to bring you the greatest benefits.