What type of meditation is best?


What type of meditation is best?


Meditation is a technique that allows time for heightened awareness and relaxation. There are dozens of forms of meditation, and so there is a type of meditation to suit most people.

Within every type of meditation, there are also several subtypes to discover and practice, and it is fine to blend types or try various approaches – there is no “right” way to meditate.

Here are seven of the best-known ways to meditate:

  1. Loving-kindness meditation

Loving-kindness meditation can also be known as Metta meditation. The goal of this type of meditation is the cultivate love and kindness towards everything, including enemies and sources of stress.

This form of meditation focuses on deep breathing and opening the mind to receiving loving kindness, as well as sending messages of loving kindness outwards – this can be to anyone, or to the world. The message is then repeated many times until the practitioner feels an attitude of loving kindness.

This form of meditation may help those who are affected by anger, resentment, frustration, and interpersonal conflict, and has been linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

  1. Body scan or progressive relaxation

Body scan meditation, also known as progressive relaxation, encourages practitioners to scan their bodies for areas of tension in order to notice the tension and allow it to release.

Practitioners will start to focus on one end of the body, and then work through the whole body from there. Some forms of this meditation require tensing and relaxing muscles, while others focus on visualisation of a wave passing over the body.

This form of meditation can help to promote calmness and relaxation, and may help with chronic pain or sleep.

  1. Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation encourages users to remain aware and present in the moment, rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future.

This form of meditation encourages practitioners to be aware of their surroundings without judgement – for example, rather than being annoyed about a delayed train, a practitioner will simply note the delay without judgement.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment. This can be done almost anywhere by calmly noticing your surroundings, including sights, sounds, and smells.

Mindfulness is involved in most types of meditation, and has been studied thoroughly. Research has discovered that mindfulness can reduce fixation on negative emotions, improve focus and memory, lessen impulsive and emotional reactions, and improve relationship satisfaction. It may also improve physical health – one study found that mindfulness was linked to lower blood pressure in African-American men with chronic kidney disease.

  1. Breath awareness meditation

Breath awareness meditation encourages mindful breathing. Practitioners breathe deeply and slowly, focusing on their breaths, often counting them. The goal is to focus only on breathing and ignore other thoughts.

As breath awareness meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation, it offers many of the same benefits.

  1. Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation which combines movements with deep breathing and mantras. This form of meditation is often taught, but poses and mantras can be learned at home.

Kundalini yoga can improve physical strength and reduce pain, similarly to other forms of yoga. It can also improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. A 2008 study found that yoga reduced pain, increased energy, and improved overall mental health in veterans with chronic lower back pain.

  1. Zen meditation

Zen meditation is sometimes known as Zazen, and can be a part of Buddhist practice. This form of meditation is generally taught as it involves specific steps and postures.

The goal of this form is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing, and mindfully observe thoughts without judgement. It is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires additional discipline and practice. It is often preferred by people who are seeking both relaxation and a new spiritual path.

  1. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a spiritual form of meditation. Practitioners remain seated and breathe slowly, and attempt to transcend or rise above the person’s current state of being.

Throughout a session, practitioners focus on a mantra or a repeated word or phrase. The mantra is generally determined by a teacher, but an alternative form of this meditation allows people to choose their mantra. It is not technically Transcendental Meditation in this case, but appears very similar.

People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness.



To summarise, meditation is a simple way to encourage better health and a happier life, and there is a type of meditation to suit most people. Although it takes time to master, if someone sticks with it and experiments to find methods that suit them, there are various benefits to practicing meditation.



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