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08.12.2015
There are many different ways that people meditate, with a variety of practices and different results. In 1958, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Transcendental Meditation (TM) to the Western World, a meditative practice which is used as a method for stress reduction and self-development.
While some types of meditation use visualizations or thought to direct focus, TM utilizes auditory faculties for results. Sometimes people just need to get a better grasp on themselves and the reality around them. The practitioner should perform a specific bow to their place of sitting and to the other people near them, which some believe is an action taken to help reduce the likelihood of spiritual conflict with the environment. Additionally, prayers are typically meant to be said while concentrating on intentions, disregarding other influences, requiring the practitioner to clear their mind and push out negativity.
I'm an automation engineer who started out with just a drafting degree, but didn't want to stop learning. The following meditation timers come in a variety of lengths to assist in your meditation practice.
The first group of free meditation timers below simply signals the beginning and end of your timed meditation session with a bell sound. If you are uncomfortable doing your meditation with your body seated directly on the ground, you may want to get a meditation pillow so you can sit a little more comfortably. Transcendental meditation [TM] involves the use of a sound or mantra and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day.
The TM method was delivered by Maharishi Mahesh yogi between the late 1950s and his death in 2008. Exclusively sitting, a standardised methodology is said to be used by all teachers of the method.
Zen Meditation is perhaps one of the most used words arising out of the meditation practices of India. Some of the acknowledged types of meditation are Transcendental, Mindfulness, different Buddhist Meditations including Zen, and Prayer. A person practicing Transcendental Meditation would sit with their eyes closed for the fifteen minute period of time and either chant, make, or listen to a mantra or sound frequency. There are various sub-types of Mindfulness, and it may seem like another type which doesn’t take much practice to figure out, but really is one of the more difficult to use effectively and really gain control over your actions, emotions, and even thoughts.
It is very common for most people to lose their sense of belonging and connectivity, or lose sight of the wonder of something so simply accepted as living. In order for one to strengthen memory and concentration, as well as clear their mind of negativity and concerns brought by over-thinking, this common type of meditation can be done. Breathe in deeply through your nose, and out through your mouth – do this rhythmically, in a pattern, slowly, and with great patience. I will discuss a type of Zazen which is most common, and used widely as a means of attaining insight into current issues as well as the nature of our existence or meaning of life. Then, they should sit cross-legged with their hands folded immediately in front of their stomach, which is where they will be breathing from as the center of gravity and an important chakra location. But, if you really think about it, Prayer is essentially the same thing as many other types of meditation and other practices with insignificant cultural differences. The act of Praying, when done correctly, pushes significant energy toward the intended goal, having an effect spiritually, subconsciously on the practitioner, and religiously. I strongly encourage further research into the various types of meditation and their potential uses in your life; find one which will help you clear your mind and find your own truths. It’s a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about knowledge, awareness and self-improvement. Utilizing an audio meditation timer is a helpful tool that eliminates the need to check a timer or a watch.
This is very beneficial, especially if you will be doing meditation exercises for a long periods. You look for information online or on a bookstore, and see that there are a LOT of different ways of doing meditation, dozens of meditation techniques, and some conflicting information.
The TM technique and TM movement were introduced in India in the mid-1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is essentially a mantra based method aligned with the vedic philosophy of boundless awareness.
The ultimate aim of TM can be associated with many of the meditation techniques and philosophies, as such it is a very good example of how any meditation doorway can lead to profound realisation.
The benefits are that if the method is adhered to completely, the rational mind will eventually surrender to the indefinable. Each practice may differ in some ways, culturally or otherwise, but they all share a common goal – to calm you and help lighten up your mind.
A lot of meditation styles require concentration, patience, and a significant amount of time, sometimes exceeding an hour a day.
The practitioner should focus on the sound or repetition for the duration of time, and allow their mind to clear of other concerns. So, on a higher level, grounding can be used to redefine a person’s perspective and help rid them of unnecessary thoughts and negativity.
While doing this, whenever a thought enters your mind, calmly push it aside and continue to focus on your breathing alone. Zazen is very similar to the aforementioned Mindfulness meditation, but with far more strict regulations and specified practice requirements. When a person prays, they assume a posture, typically lowering their heads and pressing their palms together, either balled or with fingers extended. Even the idea of group-praying being more effectual lines up with some of the taught beliefs of Zazen in the strength of multiple sources of similar intention. I enjoy expressing myself, whether it's through writing, story telling, singing or playing guitar; I love to teach others, as well as myself.
You wonder which way is best for you.This article will help you navigate the sea of different practices of seated meditation, briefly explaining each of them, and pointing to further resources.


The TM technique has been enormously popular especially in the USA where many high profile celebrities and well known personages have publicised their adherence to the method. What is questionable is whether this indefinable is a definitive source or an approximation of the fundamental essence of all mind and phenomena. Transcendental Meditation, however, only takes 15 minutes twice a day and doesn’t take as much practice to do effectively. The use of Solfeggio Frequencies can be implemented in conjunction with this method of meditation to benefit other aspects of the mind and body.
This is because the meditation’s effectiveness is more prominent when considering energy flow, requiring specific breathing, posture, and comfort level.
Prayers can be said internally or voiced and shared with others, much like other mantra-based practices.
The same principal applies as what can be found in theories of thought-forms or Tulpa, which I’ve discussed in a previous article. My strongest drive is the interest in learning everything I can know, and speculating on topics that I can't. I know many people will react with the question, "an engineer with an open mind!?" Yes, I find it hard to disbelieve the things which we can see - since I am able to see energy, I am able to consider other potentials which are also deemed "non-scientific". If the indefinable to which we surrender is still tangible and subject to investigation it does not provide the same level of complete efficiency. So, prescripted prayers which have been culturally inherited have the same influence as these other mantra based meditations.
This object may be the breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, external object, etc. As the practitioner advances, his ability to keep the flow of attention in the chosen object gets stronger, and distractions become less common and short-lived. It is the process of non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment, without going into them. Most of the meditation quotes you find 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”.In some techniques, this is the only focus, from the beginning. It has its roots in the Chinese Zen Buddhism (Ch’an) tradition, tracing back to Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century CE).
In the West, its most popular forms comes from Dogen Zenji (1200~1253), the founder of Soto Zen movement in Japan.
Each time you inhale you count one number, starting with 10, and then moving backward to 9, 8, 7, etc. When you arrive in 1, you resume from 10 again. It is a traditional Buddhist practice, dating back to 6th century BC. Vipassana-meditation, as taught in the last few decades, comes from the Theravada Buddhist tradition, and was popularized by  S. This is typically done through breathing awareness.Focus all your attention, from moment to moment, on the movement of your breath.
Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
If a secondary object hooks your attention and pulls it away, or if it causes desire or aversion to appear, you should focus on the secondary object for a moment or two, labeling it with a mental note, like “thinking”,  “memory”, “hearing”, “desiring”.
One observes the objects of awareness without attachment, letting thoughts and sensations arise and pass away of their own accord. You can find plenty of teachers, websites, and books about it, as well as 3~10 days retreats (donation based). Do like this for the length of your meditation practice, constantly redirecting the attention to the breath.
Whenever that happens, gently recognize that you have been distracted, and bring the attention back to the breathing, or to the objective noticing of that thought or sensation. If you are speaking, that means paying attention to the words you speak, how you speak them, and to listen with presence and attention. If you are walking, that means being more aware of your body movements, your feet touching the ground, the sounds you are hearing, etc.Your effort in seated practice supports your daily life practice, and vice-versa. It is beneficial both for selfless and self-centered people, and it will help increase your general level of happiness.
It is not an affirmation used to convince yourself of something.Some meditation teachers insist that both the choice of word, and its correct pronunciation, is very important, due to the “vibration” associated to the sound and meaning, and that for this reason an initiation into it is essential. Others say that the mantra itself is only a tool to focus the mind, and the chosen word is completely irrelevant.Mantras are used in Hindu traditions, Buddhist traditions (especially Tibetan and “Pure Land” Buddhism), as well as in Jainism, Sikhism and Daoism (Taoism). The practitioner then repeats the mantra in his mind, silently, over and over again during the whole session.Sometimes this practice is coupled with being aware of the breathing or coordinating with it. In other exercises, the mantra is actually whispered very lightly and softly, as an aid to concentration.As you repeat the mantra, it creates a mental vibration that allows the mind to experience deeper levels of awareness.
As you meditate, the mantra becomes increasingly abstract and indistinct, until you’re finally led into the field of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose. Repetition of the mantra helps you disconnect from the thoughts filling your mind so that perhaps you may slip into the gap between thoughts. Mantras can be viewed as ancient power words with subtle intentions that help us connect to spirit, the source of everything in the universe. Because a mantra is a word, and thoughts are usually perceived as words, it can be easier to keep the focus on a mantra rather than on the breathing.
It is useful especially when the mind is racing with many thoughts, since it mantra meditation demands constant attention.Meditating with a mantra can also make it simpler to  integrate your meditative state into your daily life. In whatever activity you find yourself into, it can be as simple as repeating the mantra in your mind.
There are over 600 scientific papers, many of them peer-reviewed, and I have used part of their research when composing my benefits of meditation page.
However, there are also critics of the Maharishi and his organization, and some accusation of cultish behavior and doubtful research practices.


To know more, check out this answer I wrote in Quora.If you wish to try something similar, for a fraction of the cost or for free, have a look at NSR (above), or Mantra Meditation.
Tradition goes as far as 1700 B.C, and has as its highest goal spiritual purification and Self-Knowledge. The most common and universal one is the “third eye meditation”.Third Eye Meditation — focusing the attention on the “spot between the eyebrows” (called by some “the third eye” or “ajna chakra”). Most commonly it is done on the heart chackra, third eye, and crown chackra.Gazing Meditation (Trataka) — fixing the gaze on an external object, typically a candle, image or a symbol (yantras). It is done with eyes open, and then with eyes closed, to train both the concentration and visualization powers of the mind.
After closing the eyes, you should still keep the image of the object in your “mind’s eye”.Kundalini Meditation — this is a very complex system of practice. The goal is the awakening of the “kundalini energy” which lies dormant on the base of the spine, the development of several psychic centers in the body, and, finally, enlightenment. There are several dangers associated with this practice, and it should not be attempted without the guidance of a qualified yogi.Kriya Yoga — is a set of energization, breathing, and meditation exercises taught by Paramahamsa Yogananda. This is more suited for those who have a devotional temperament, and are seeking the spiritual aspects of meditation.
To learn it, you can apply to receive the Self-Realization lessons, free of charge.Sound Meditation (Nada Yoga) — focusing on sound. Starts with meditation on “external sounds”, such as calming ambient music (like Native American flute music), whereby the student focuses all his attention on just hearing, as a help to quieten and collect the mind. By time the practice evolves to hearing the “internal sounds” of the body and mind. The ultimate goal is to hear the “Ultimate Sound” (para nada), which is a sound without vibration, and that manifests as “OM”.Tantra — unlike the popular view in the West, most Tantra practices have nothing to do with ritualized sex (this was practiced by a minority of lineages.
It is not exactly meditation, but an excellent practice to calm the mind and prepare it for meditation. There are several different types of Pranayama, but the simplest and most commonly taught one is the 4-4-4-4. This means breathing in counting up to 4, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, and holding empty for 4 seconds. This regulation of breathing balances the moods and pacifies the body, and can be done anywhere.Yoga is a very rich tradition, with different lineages, so there are many other techniques.
Kundalini and Chakra meditation should only be attempted with a teacher.Probably the simplest one to try is the “third eye meditation”, which is simple and yields results fairly quickly.
For the other types you would probably need more instruction, either of a teacher or a good book (see references above). It means to “investigate” our true nature, to find the answer to the “Who am I?” question, which culminates with the intimate knowledge of our true Self, our true being. When explaining it, however, it may sound very abstract.Your sense of “I” (or “ego”) is the center of your universe. It is there, in some form or another, behind all your thoughts, emotions, memories, and perceptions.
It’s the biggest mystery in our lives.With Self-Enquiry, the question “Who I am?” is asked within yourself.
You must reject any verbal answers that may come, and use this question simply as a tool to fix your attention in the subjective feeling of “I” or “I am”. This will then reveal your true “I”, your real self as pure consciousness, beyond all limitation.
It is not an intellectual pursuit, but a question to bring the attention to the core element of your perception and experience: the “I”. This is not your personality, but a pure, subjective, feeling of existing – without any images or concepts attached to it. From then you ask “Who am I?”, to bring the attention back to the subjective feeling of self, of presence. It is pure existence, objectless and choice-less awareness.Another way of explaining this practice is to just focus the mind on your feeling of being, the non-verbal “I am” that shines inside of you.
Keep it pure, without association with anything you perceive.On all other types of meditation, the “I” (yourself) is focusing on some object, internal or external, physical or mental. It emphasizes living in harmony with Nature, or Tao, and it’s main text is the Tao Te Ching, dating back to 6th century B.C.
The purpose is to quieten the body and mind, unify body and spirit, find inner peace, and harmonize with the Tao. Here is a brief overview:Emptiness meditation — to sit quietly and empty oneself of all mental images (thoughts, feelings, and so on), to “forget about everything”, in order to experience inner quiet and emptiness. In this state, vital force and “spirit” is collected and replenished. This is similar to the Confucius discipline of “heart-mind fasting”, and it is regarded as “the natural way”.
One simply allows all thoughts and sensations arise and fall by themselves, without engaging with or “following” any of them.
If this is found to be too hard and “uninteresting”, the student is instructed with other types of meditation, such as visualization and QigongBreathing meditation (Zhuanqi) — to focus on the breath, or “unite mind and qi”.
There are particular instructions for following this practice, and a good book or a teacher is required.These meditations are done seated cross-legged on the floor, with spine erect. Traditionally it was practiced and taught in secrecy in the Chinese Buddhist, Taoist and Confucianist traditions. Qigong can be practiced in a static position (seated or standing), or through a dynamic set of movements – which is what you typically see in YouTube videos and on DVDs. The exercises that are done as a meditation, however, are normally done sitting down, and without movement.To understand more about Qigong and learn how to do it, I’d recommend getting a book or DVD set from Dr.



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