“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
So many people are curious and want to know what meditation is. It’s such a wonderful question, so let’s have some fun diving into what meditation is.
Meditation can be likened to having a great love relationship. If you ask 100 couples what makes a great relationship, you may get 100 different answers. Why? Because each person has needs and values that vary from person to person about what contributes to a great relationship.
At the same time, you will find that there are universal answers that will most likely apply and be a foundation for all great relationships.
In this article, I will share the universal principles of mediation, so you can build on and experience great meditations for yourself. At the same time, this article will give you an overview of 8 techniques to allow you to find your unique path - the one that is a perfect fit for you on your journey to discovering what meditation is for you.
So what is meditation?
Meditation is a way to raise your consciousness.
What is consciousness?
Consciousness is a practice of raising awareness and getting a new healthy perspective.
When you allow yourself to observe your thoughts without judgment of them being “right or wrong” or “good or bad,” you sense things just as they are. You literally can free yourself from the ups and downs of emotional turmoil and get a new perspective of what simply is.
Then when things simply are, you sense there is a lot of freedom to be guided and make new choices that serve you.
You let go of your FIXED point of view and allow what is just to be noticed and not judged.
Often this is referred to as an open or FLOW point of view.
When your mind is in flow, your life is in flow.
What Else Is Meditation?
Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention.
Regardless of your chosen style of meditation, what always creates more awareness is you use more of your senses (both your internal and external senses) as you increase your awareness and raise your level of consciousness.
We all have only five senses:
- What we see.
- What we hear.
- What we feel.
- What we smell.
- What we taste.
Most people do not realize that we have both an internal and external world for which we use our senses.
For meditation, the more you allow yourself to see, hear, feel, taste, and even smell with your inner senses, the more connected you are to your “Higher Self” or what some might call “Source” energy or God. This occurs simply because you learn to get out of your way and feel oneness with more than just you.
The Different Meditation Techniques All Using The Same Foundational Principles of Using More of Your Senses To Get Present.
Mindfulness Meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm your mind and body.
It “looks like” the same actions on the outside, but on the inside of you, your inner world is present, taking in the experience and really doing what you are doing when you are doing mindful meditation.
Example: Brushing your teeth.
- SEE yourself in the mirror brushing your teeth.
- HEAR the toothbrush going up and down and the “scrubbing noise” it makes.
- FEEL the brush moving in your mouth.
- TASTE the flavor of the toothpaste.
- SMELL the scent of the toothpaste.
Experience brushing your teeth with all of your senses, and when you use all of your senses, your mind gets present to fully be able to do what you are doing when you are doing it.
A natural start of relaxation comes over you, and you feel good.
Spiritual Meditation is an experience that takes you to the depths of who you are. As your real self, you are stripped of all your perceptions about yourself until that point in your life.
In the process, you experience joy and peace. A feeling of love and light warms up your being.
Example: Dive down into the center of your heart.
- SEE at the core of you, you are light and love.
- HEAR the sound of yourself saying “I love me.”
- FEEL the love growing and moving into your whole body.
- TASTE and SMELL are secondary senses compared to SEE, HEAR, and FEEL. In this scenario, you may not have a taste or a smell.
Again we all have five senses, but our primary senses are what we see, hear, and feel.
Secondary senses are what we taste and smell. As long as we use our three primary senses, we will feel connected to the experience.
This is a different technique, but with the same foundational principles and the same outcome.
A natural state of relaxation comes over you because you are present, and you are more present because you are using more of your senses in the present moment and feel good.
Focused Meditation is focusing on something intently to stay in the present moment and slow down the inner dialogue. During this, you want to focus wholly on one thing.
Example: Focus on a tree or a plant and get close enough to be able to touch it.
- Really look at it and SEE everything you can see about it (the colors, the dimensions, the ridges, and the lines).
- Play with the leaves and HEAR the sound they make, rubbing on your fingers and crunching them up.
- FEEL the leaves, the bark or soil, and notice the textures. 4.With your secondary senses, what can you SMELL?
- If you are bold, maybe TASTE a corner of a leaf. Go all in and experience it.
I did this once and got so connected to a tree I could feel the aliveness and the power of this tree. This may sound strange, but I was “one with the tree.”
Movement Meditation is when you move through various positions at a mindful and slow pace.
Example: Going for a walk.
- Really look at it and SEE everything you can see all around you. Take it all in.
- Then, focus your attention on what you HEAR (the sounds of birds or maybe kids playing in the background, the wind, cars going by).
- FEEL the sun on your face or the coolness of the air.
- With your secondary sense, see if there is anything to SMELL or TASTE. You may find you are walking by someone’s home who’s baking cookies and can smell them baking in the oven.
Years ago, I used to live near the Nabisco Factory. It was one of my favorite places to drive by because you could always smell freshly baked cookies.
The key is to stay out of your thoughts and use your senses to the highest level possible. This allows you to “drop into the moment” and enjoy and experience and be in the present moment with zero judgment or separation from the experience.
Mantra Meditation is a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation. Mantras can be spoken, chanted, whispered, or repeated in the mind.
Focus on a keyword or phrase you want to connect to.
Example: I Am Love.
- SEE everything about you as love. See meeting up with people and seeing them as love.
- HEAR yourself saying I Am Love.
- FEEL the power of love flowing through your whole body and radiating to all.
- You may or may not have secondary senses to activate with this technique. The key is always to use as many senses as possible and experience YOU as being Love.
Relaxation Meditation is guided audio that is created to help you relax your mind and body. Again, use your senses.
Example: Allow yourself to picture what you are guiding yourself to see on the relaxation audio.
- HEAR each word being spoken to you.
- FEEL each body part, blending into what you are sitting or laying on.
Note: you may or may not have secondary senses to activate with this technique. The key is always to use as many senses as you can and experience all of what you are doing.
Meditation is about the present moment. You are moving out of the future or past so you can feel the calm and relaxed energy of the present.
Visualization Meditation requires you to concentrate on imagery or what it is you want to experience or create and see it as already happening the way you would like it to.
Example: Say you want to purchase a new car but do not have the money yet to buy it. Test drive the cars and decide which one you would like to own.
- SEE yourself driving the car you want daily.
- HEAR your favorite music playing in the car as you drive. Hear yourself singing out loud the words.
- FEEL your hands on the steering wheel and how the seat cradles your body.
- SMELL the new car smell and maybe even toast with your friends to a glass of champagne.
The key is to always use as many senses as possible and experience all you want to share before it happens.
Your mind does not know the difference between what is vividly imagined and what is real. Meditation helps your mind to move in the direction you would like it to go and visualize what it is you would like to create.
Transcendental Meditation is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day and involves the use of a silently-used sound called a mantra.
Transcendental Meditation is a form of meditation that requires a certification course to really use and master. It is taught by certified teachers through a standard course of instruction, which costs a fee that varies by country.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created the technique in India in the mid-1950s, and it is still popular today. People have experienced significant benefits with this form of meditation!
Regardless of your chosen style of meditation, remember always what creates more awareness is you use more of your senses, both your internal and external senses.
The more senses you use, the more you increase your awareness and raise your level of consciousness.
The more you allow yourself to see, hear, feel, taste, and even smell with your inner senses during meditation, the more connected you are to your higher Self.
When your attention goes, your energy flows.
Give yourself the gift of meditation, use your senses, and experience more peace, joy, love, and what lights you up.
Remember, consistency matters. Schedule at least 5 or more minutes daily to discover what meditation is. You will be glad you did!