top three ways to meditateBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

How do you choose one method, when there are so many ways to meditate? Meditation continues to gain global popularity, as more and more individuals realize there are many ways to meditate and they receive healthy benefits from undertaking such a practice. The following three ways to meditate are among the most practiced in the world today.

1. Walking

Many individuals do not realize that they are actually engaging in a powerful meditation method when they partake in their daily walk. People who regularly walk, frequently report that they have a heightened sense of mental clarity, feel better about life, and enjoy bouts of profound wisdom during, or after, walking. These are all the same benefits that meditation offers.

It is not uncommon to come across a person, who makes walking, their daily ritual, and the benefits are obvious to the casual observer. Walking does not automatically equal a meditative experience for everyone. Those who are impacted in a profound way, naturally draw their attention to their breathing, and the subtle vibrations between one’s feet and the earth, as they touch the ground.

For those resistant to more ritualistic meditation methods, walking can either serve as a bridge into other meditation forms, or it can simply be used as the primary mode of meditation itself. Many different lineages practice walking meditation, including Kundalini Yoga. The forms, styles, and methods used, do not matter very much, as long as your practice leads to mental stillness and a deeper connection to knowing one’s self.

2. Breathing

While some of us may think Yogic breath control (pranayama) is the primary source of this method, there are many non-Yogic meditation lineages that practice meditation on breath. This meditation is extremely simple, but also quite effective. The individual sits quietly and observes his or her breathing. Eventually, this focus drives thought from the mind.

This form of meditation is powerful enough that many people follow the breath their entire lives, without feeling the need to look elsewhere for additional techniques. Dwelling on thoughts of the breath coming in through the nose, entering the lungs, energizing the body, and then leaving through the nose is much easier for most people than trying to make the mind blank. Completely clearing the mind is possible, but typically requires years of meditation practice.

3. Mindfulness

With this form of meditation, the individual uses his or her senses to achieve a state of complete mental silence. This meditation can be done anywhere, without anyone else noticing – making it convenient to do in public places. Becoming completely focused, on every detail of the present moment, allows an individual to see things with a depth of clarity.

Some practitioners never think it is possible to stay present in the moment, when they start meditating. For some, mindfulness meditation can create an “all consuming” focus on seeing into one’s self, which can cause some frustration. However, with proper guidance, mindfulness stills the ego, while it promotes inner peace and tranquility.

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