There are many different methods of meditation that we can use to bring ourselves back to the present moment and be in a state of thoughtlessness and pure awareness.
As a beginner, you can easily get confused and overwhelmed with all of the different styles and techniques of meditation. Unless you attend a high-quality yoga or meditation class such as Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, it is difficult to fully understand the entire variety of types of mediation.
From my years of practicing meditation, I consider there to be three top meditation techniques that can be practiced pretty much anywhere, no matter what you’re doing.
These three are, in my mind, the most important meditation techniques which helped me the most because you can do them in many different variations and places.
Choosing a meditation technique with this level of versatility will enable both beginners and experienced meditators to establish a regular meditation habit successfully. These meditation techniques three spread across all of those categories and give us a more distinct chance to grow and evolve.
1) Mala Bead Meditation
The first meditation technique for stress you should understand is a very common one- Mala Bead meditation or Japa Bead meditation.
Mala bead meditation involves chanting names, hymns, little prayers, recitals, or affirmations upon the beads you wear around your neck, wrist or that you carry around in a little Japa bag to help you stay mindful.
You can do Mala or Japa Bead meditation sitting down or walking around.
If you’re in the supermarket walking around for fun, this is a great time to have the mindful ability to pass these beads through your fingers.
This practice is very simple, but you will need a set of meditation mantra beads with you. If you are sitting, find a comfortable seat and slowly breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth a couple of deep breaths for about five to 10 seconds.
After you have controlled your breathing initially, then restrict your breathing in through the nose, fill up the stomach with air, and then exhale out through the nose.
Once we relax into this cycle of breathing, you will take your beads.
You want to sit comfortably, hold them in your right hand, and as you pass them with each breath, you say your mantra.
For example, if I breathe in, in my mind, I am saying a mantra such as “Om Shanti” or “Om Mani Padme Hum.” Then, while I am breathing out, I would pass the next bead and say it again in my mind as I breathe in, then breathe out and passing to the next bead.
You can do this silently in your head, or you can do it out loud.
When you get this mantra process in your head and continue reciting it, it becomes simple to get ingrained in the pure essence of being through these names or chants as you enter a state of pure thoughtlessness of formlessness.
2) Vipassana Meditation
The second best meditation technique for managing chronic stress is vipassana meditation (or insight meditation).
Vipassana meditation is a simple meditation that focuses on your breathing.
To start vipassana meditation simply sit down and close or soften your eyes. Bring your focus to your breath, and breathe in through the nose and out of the mouth a couple of times.
After a few minutes, switch to directly breathing in and out through the nose for about three to four minutes.
Breathe fully in and fully out to get into a state of rhythmic breathing.
After a few more minutes, pick a spot on the end of your nose and bring all your focus to the feeling of air rushing in your nose and falling out slowly.
You can also bring your awareness to your diaphragm at this moment as well, as we allow our awareness to stay on the rising and falling.
When we lose focus on the breath with our thoughts, try to not associate with them and bring your attention back to the breathing. Don’t chastise yourself for feeling thoughts or getting out of the synchronicity or the synchronous state.
Simply go- okay, I’m in thought. Let’s return to breathing.
If you experience an emotion outside of meditation, gently return to the rising and falling of the breath. As you continue to do this over time, the chatter in your brain starts to slowly, slowly, slowly fade away until you are only with the rising and falling of your breath.
As you become fully absorbed in the breath, you then start to associate with everything around you, including everything you can hear outside and everything we can ingrain ourselves with.
You can become the rising and falling of existence, and that is vipassana meditation.
3) Sound Meditation or Nada Yoga
This last technique is sound meditation (or nada yoga).
Sound meditation is very simple, very easy, and it is great because of how accessible and versatile it is. You can choose to do Sound meditation sitting down, or you can do it out in the world when you are doing different activities.
Sound meditation has many different variations.
You can practice Sound meditation sitting or standing, and you start just like others: deep breathing into the nose and out through the mouth. Spend a few minutes breathing into the nose and out through the nose, letting your diaphragm fill and empty; being with it all.
After you have done this, put on earphones or speakers at a very low volume to play some binaural beats music, Buddhist chanting, or natural sounds music.
Once you get into a breathing pattern and you have the noise going through headphones or speakers, allow yourself to focus on the purity of the sound and every little aspect of the noise.
When you hear all of it, you are ingraining the full focus of your attention into the noises, being with the sound, imagining yourself as this sound, and very quickly you’ll see you start to lose the sense of self.
You don’t have thoughts; you don’t have ideas, you don’t have a sense of who you are.
You are merely this rhythmic occurrence- this noise filling all of you and all of your being and you become this sound.
Sitting with the music for hours is common.
Singing bowls or Tibetan singing bowls are a great tool for meditation because they allow us to become the sound and synchronize with the sound meditation to come back to a pure state.
Once you have some experience with doing the sound meditation to recorded music you can sit or walk outside and listen to nature itself. You can also be in the city and allow the noise of the city to flow around us.
Sound meditation is very accessible and versatile, and you can practice it whenever and wherever you are.
Concluding Thoughts| Meditation Practices for Beginners
These three meditation methods are pivotal for spiritual growth, personal development of mindfulness, and finding peace in every day.
You can do each of these meditation techniques in a different way, and they are all beautiful in their own right.
If you practice mindfulness or meditation, even as a beginner, it can change your life!