3 Types of Meditation for Beginners
What is meditation?
Meditation is practice designed to help you work with your mind. It is a mental exercise to help you develop greater self-awareness. Working with your mind through meditation leads to an improved sense of presence, calm, attentiveness, and an increase in empathy, compassion (for self & others) and patience.
According to Trinlay Rinpoche, a highly regarded meditation master and philosopher -- our happiness doesn’t stem from external factors or material pursuits. Rather, the main source of our happiness comes from within.
When we practice meditation, our mind learns how to access the wealth of qualities that already exist within us. And when we are able to access our most essential qualities of goodness and compassion, we naturally give them expression in the world around us.
What are the types?
There are many types of meditations. I'm going to share three types that I've found to be most accessible as you begin your meditation journey.
These meditations are not religious, it’s not a philosophy, there’s nothing to believe in. You can also be skeptical and the benefits are just as profound as you believing it will work.
3 types of meditation
Vispassana (Mindfulness Meditation)
Transcendental Meditation (™) (Mantra Meditation)
Loving-Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice:
- Improved sleep
- Lowers stress levels
- Decreases loneliness
- Banishes temporary negative feelings
- Improves attention
- Prevents depression relapse
Transcendental Meditation (M)
Transcendental meditation is a simple, natural, effortless practice.
Ideally practiced 20 minutes (maybe twice per day) sitting down.
Though TM is not a mantra-based meditation in the sense that its main core and direction is oriented towards transcending, it does involve use of mantras.
By using this mantra, the practitioner experiences the thought of that sound and starts minimizing that thought to experience the finer states of that thought – until the source of thought is fathomed and the conscious mind reaches the transcendental area of being.”
Benefits of TM:
- Increases your heart health
- Strengthens your telomirs
- Decreases stress
- Decreases anxiety
- Improves brain function + memory
- Improves sleep
- Decrease blood pressure
- Increases physical energy
Research shows that with 20 minutes of transcendental meditation, cortisol levels drop 30%.
A Loving-Kindness meditation is a meditation on unconditional love without any expectations of receiving anything in return. A Loving-Kindness meditation is a direction of thoughts of care, concern, and love towards oneself and others.
Research shows that Loving-Kindness Meditation has tremendous benefits from greater well-being to providing relief from illness and improving emotional intelligence.
Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation:
- Increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions
- Decreases migraines & chronic pain
- Activates empathy and emotional processing in the brain
- Increases gray matter volume in the brain related to emotion regulation
- Slows biological aging
- Increases compassion & empathy
- Curbs self-criticism
I always suggest trying one form of meditation to start. It will help you to build new routines and healthy habits for yourself. If you're wondering how to actually get started, check out my article here.