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.
The Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners
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.
Your Meditation Space – Benefits of Outdoor Meditation for Beginners
According to a study published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology,
“We know the outer world of sensations and actions, but our inner world of thoughts and feelings we know very little. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of and familiar with our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness.”
Having an outdoor meditation space can help you mentally and physically. For hundreds of years, people in both the Western and Eastern cultures have found meditation gardens to be a place where they can go to relax, meditate and even learn.
Advantages of an Outdoor Meditation Space
Studies indicate that nature can help you to feel better. At Texas A&M, researchers held a study where participants were shown either natural scenes/elements or urban scenes.
When the participants looked at the natural scenes, they felt more positive overall and they were attentive to what they were looking at. In addition, they were less likely to feel stress.
However, when the participants were shown urban scenes, their alpha rates went down.
These alpha rates have to do with being wakefully relaxed. Studies like these are the reason that people often gift plants to friends or family members that are sick; the plants help them to feel better.
How to Create an Outdoor Meditation Space
If you are creating a meditation garden for your outdoor space, you need to choose the right type of plants. For example, lavender, chamomile and aloe are all considered medicinal plants and they are great for the garden.
In addition, plant flowers in a variety of colors. You also want flowers that smell great, so they will be pleasing to your senses.
Water is also a very calming addition to a garden and a large outdoor fountain can add this aspect.
Furthermore, if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of activity, plant trees that will grow tall and give you some measure of solitude while you are in your garden. Finally, consider how much of a green thumb you have.
If you are not used to caring for plants, choose species that don’t take a lot of work.
While plants are a crucial part of any garden, there are other elements to consider as well. Think about making a path out of stone that takes you to an area where you can meditate.
Add a bench or a yoga mat so you have a place to sit. Other decorative pieces are nice as well; outdoor art will give you something beautiful to look at and candle lanterns allow you to use the space in the evenings.
You can easily find your own meditation area by going outdoors and camping! There will be plenty of options for you once you get out there!
It doesn’t take much to set up a meditation garden; you can do as much or as little as you would like. When you are done, you will have your own special retreat.
Meditation is one of the most over-looked activities you can do for your health. Although meditation does not burn a large amount of calories, it is one of the best things you can do to lose weight and get an aesthetic physique.
However, you need to have a proper place to meditate. If you are fortunate enough to have a relaxing room inside your house or apartment without any distractions, that is a great mediation area. However, an even better option is to meditate outdoors where nature can soothe your soul even more.
If you use these tips, I am confident you will see that an outdoor meditation space is easy to create and can make a significant impact on how much benefit you get from your daily meditation!
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!