Different Styles of Meditation
Nothing is impervious to change and so is not meditation. While the fundamental focus of meditation has not shifted from what it had started with, there have been several other changes that have led to different styles being followed at different places of the earth over different periods. It helps to know what styles are in practice today so that you can make an informed choice when you plan to undertake meditation yourself.
Watching Your Breathing
One of the very basic forms of meditation is to just control the way you breathe. All you are supposed to do is to sit in an upright position, close your eyes and just concentrate on the way you breathe. While this sounds pretty simple and is actually not that hard to practice, it can make a world of difference. During our day-to-day life we hardly have the time to settle down for a few minutes. That means irregular breathing. Allowing our body some time to actually stay calm and carry on the processes quietly can make a significant difference to how our body performs. With more fresh air in our lungs the heart performs at its best and our body feels rejuvenated.
Watching Your Thoughts
This is one of the tougher practices of meditation. Though physically not that demanding, it is an emotional challenge. The idea is to clear your mind of any thoughts and just let it be. You can sit in the normal upright posture and with your legs crossed. But the trick is to let go of your mind, because, at least initially, the more you will try this, the harder will it get.
One of the more innovative versions of meditation, this not only helps you at the level of the mind but you also get some exercise as you pace up and down. You can practice this in a room or outdoors, as long as there are no distractions. Don't try it in a room where the television is on or in a park with children playing. Again the process is to maintain a relatively brisk pace as you focus on your breathing and walking. Concentrate only on these two things and let go of your other concerns. Staying focused here is the real challenge.
Meditating While Chanting
This is a good style of meditation for the beginners. It has often been a problem for the ones who are starting off on meditation to actually stay focused and not let thoughts wander into their heads. Chanting a mantra can be of much help for them. This helps to keep away other thoughts and lets you focus more. The chant should be chosen carefully so that it is easy for you to remember and say. You need not say it aloud and can just repeat it in your head. As long as you are able to stay focused you know it is working right for you.