We all know that meditation has dozens of benefits, and everybody is into it. One just has to look online or in our bookstore to see that there are a LOT of different ways of doing meditation, dozens of meditation techniques, and some conflicting information. One may wonder which techniques is the best for you. If you are a beginner, you may also enjoy the blog on meditation tips and meditation for beginners – how to build the habit.
Focused Attention Meditation
This meditation is based on focusing the attention on a single object during the whole meditation session. This object may be the breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, external object, etc. As the practitioner advances, his or her ability to keep the flow of attention in the chosen object gets stronger, and distractions become less common and short-lived. Both the depth and steadiness of his attention are developed.
Examples of these are: Chakra Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Sound Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Pranayama, some forms of Qigong and many others.
Open Monitoring Meditation
In this form of meditation, instead of focusing the attention on any one object, we keep it open, monitoring all aspects of our experience, without judgment or attachment. All perceptions, be them internal (thoughts, feelings, memory, etc.) or external (sound, smell, etc.), are recognized and seen for what they are. It is the process of non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment, without going into them.
Common examples are: Mindfulness meditation and Vipassana.
It’s the state where the attention is not focused on anything in particular, but reposes on itself – quiet, empty, steady, and introverted. We can also call it “Choiceless Awareness” or “Pure Being”. Most of the meditation quotes one comes across speak of this state. This is actually the true purpose behind all kinds of meditation, and not a meditation type in itself. All traditional techniques of meditation recognize that the object of focus, and even the process of monitoring, is just a means to train the mind, so that effortless inner silence and deeper states of consciousness can be discovered. Eventually both the object of focus and the process itself is left behind, and there is only left the true self of the practitioner, as “pure presence”.
At The Sanctuary...
Here at your sanctuary, meditation is not only part of our classes but we have great events that encompass techniques for meditation such as Pranayama, Sound Bowl Healing, Mindfulness Meditation, Mantra (OM) Meditation .