This question often arises: which is the best type of meditation method?
The question should be, “What type of meditation method should I use FOR ME? With which one am I likely to get results?”
There are many types of meditation methods which uses different methods but they all achive the common set goal : mental peace and ultimately spiritual enlightenment
Because each individual is gifted with a different mental make-up and psychology, the best type of meditation for each individual is a highly individualistic affair. What works for one person will not work for another. Therefore, you usually have to try several different methods to see which one suits you best.
I always advise people to pick one try to do at least 45 minutes each time and stick to it. That’s the key. It is not easy but remember the time when you have to watch your favorite TV serial. When the time comes you are ready, you set aside the schedule and you don’t want to be disturbed. The reason, you want to enjoy the serial without any disturbance. Same principal applies here.
What does meditation do?
Simply put meditation creates space on an otherwise constantly busy mind. The number of meditation methods is increasing day by day but the ultimate goal is to slowly pacify the mind to become devoid of thoughts, thereby creating space. Meditation is a practice of mental resting with open awareness wherein you learn how to detach from thoughts — and see them as an independent third person observer would — so that you can ultimately detach from their impelling grip on you. That freedom of detachment from thoughts — and the refusal to bolster them with energy — in time causes them to lose strength and pass away.
It’s just a fact – it’s a scientific result. It just happens.
If an individual practices meditation to detach from thoughts while maintaining a clarity of continued clear knowing, then in time thoughts will naturally die down. This lowering of the “volume control” for the internal dialogue of the head will gradually result in a state of mental peace, calm, stillness, quiet or “emptiness” that is the purpose of meditation.
Let me discuss some of the meditation methods:
Meditation that requires concentration:
The one that requires your to focus on something (for example a light, candle, or mandala). You focus on one point so that your mind does not waver.
In this method a continuous recital of a word (commonly OM) or any matra (japa) silenes the mind through continuous listening but after that mental silence appears, the awareness of that empty silence remains. With meditation you learn not only how to produce that silence but how to stay in that state of peaceful open awareness.
In this method you are focusing yourself on the breathing but also be aware of the thoughts that you slowly let go. The focus remains on the breathing (prana) which will take you to a thought-free state to calm the body and mind. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
A modified method of Vipasana meditation where during the breathing process, once the mind wavers , as it usually does, one becomes mindful of it. The meditation identifies that mind is being influenced by external factors (vasana’s) thereby instead of embracing or chasing after that thought, remains in the presence. In time, the continued watching without following the thoughts and giving them energy will cause them to die down. Eventually a silent mental gap between thoughts will be noticed that, with further cultivation, can expand and ultimately burst to reveal the true empty nature of the mind.
Obviously I could go on and on about all other methods out there (transcendal, Kundalini, guided meditation, Awareness meditation etc , etc. ) but the point is to show you that all these methods have the same target — an empty state of mind we call stopping, cessation, samadhi, no more wandering thoughts, concentration, freedom from thought, emptiness, peacefulness and so forth. Secondly, they rely on different principles to help you access mental peace because everyone has a different avenue of access that works best. The big secret is that there are a variety of ways to get there, a variety of ways to calm the incessant wandering thoughts of the mind, and they work on different principle patterns. So don’t get confused about it. There’s nothing ultimately holy about the methods or techniques. You use what’s virtuous, and you use what works.
Your only job is to find a method that suits you and then to practice it correctly and regularly with consistency.