The Best Forms of Meditation The Top 10 Meditation Techniques

The Ten Best Forms of Meditation — Top 10 Meditation Techniques

What are the main types of meditation and which are the most useful?  We compiled a list of the top 10 meditation techniques.  Everyone needs to add these processes their spiritual tool box.

There are many different types of meditation methods and approaches, but they all come from just 10 main types of meditation.  So, we wanted to provide you with a list of these ten powerful techniques. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned spiritual explorer, or just beginning your journey. Everyone should add these ten tools to their spiritual practice.

The Top 10 Meditation Techniques

What is meditation? Meditation is a process which changes awareness and consciousness.  Some techniques open doors to altered or higher states of consciousness.  These processes have several health benefits for our minds, bodies, and spirit.  Praying and pretending are different things.

We analyzed various meditation methods to find the most effective, then narrowed down to the top 10 meditation techniques or the ten best forms of meditation.  These are the methods you need if you want to build a robust spiritual practice.

This list of meditation techniques which should add to your spiritual practice.

1)   Beginning or Two-Step Meditation Process
2)   The Shamanic Journey
3)   Mindfulness Meditation
4)   Rocket Pranayama
5)   Holotropic Breathing
6)   Mantras and Sutras
7)   Moving Meditation
8)   Alternating Stillness and Motion
9)   Japa or Transcendental Meditation
10) The Siddhis

What Are The Ten Best Forms of Meditation?

The question we get most often is, I want to learn to meditate. Where do I start?

First, We suggest you start with the two-step or beginning meditation because it is a foundation for many other meditation methods.  It is easy to learn and you feel the positive effects immediately. This is clearly one of the top 10 meditation techniques you should learn.

Second, To expand your awareness and give you another one of the main types of meditation, we suggest learning the process for the Shamanic journey.   All you need is a shamanic journey drum track to guide you.  You can find many tracks online from 5 to 45 minutes in duration, and there are also some good books which include a CD with drum tracks.  We like Sandra Ingerman’s book Shamanic Journeying, a Beginner’s Guide.  The Shamanic journey uses rhythm and imagination to create a vivid landscape. Here, you discover the typologies of the subconscious mind.

Third, on the list is mindfulness meditation.  It uses the beginning meditation platform as a starting point.

Once you learn these three methods, you can branch out and pick up the other seven methods in any order.  It all depends upon your own preferences and the availability of instruction.

The List of Meditation Techniques

You will find links to other articles which provide more detail about these tools.  You can learn some of these by reading the steps provided.

1) Two-Step or Beginning Meditation

Does it almost sound like a dance move?  In some ways, it is a dance move.  It’s so simple but powerful that everyone needs it.  Children as young as two or three years can do it.  And it has some immediate health benefits.  It is a tool to calm our hyperactive lives.

Many people overlook this process because they think it is simple; it must not be effective.  However, they would be wrong.  The fact is the most powerful techniques are those that are easy to learn and use.

Some people think of it as their beginning meditation script for health.  What is it?  You observe your body and your breath.  Follow the link to get all the details.  Of all the meditation techniques, this is the easiest to begin.  You don’t need a teacher or a smartphone application.  All you need is one minute where you can sit comfortably.

Some people call it “scan meditation” because you learn to observe what’s going on in the body instead of always thinking. It is one of the main types of meditation because it is the foundation for many other meditation techniques.  If you are just starting your spiritual journey, this is another one of the top10 meditation techniques you should learn.

2) Shamanic Journey

This is a technique found around the world.  Many indigenous cultures have some version of this practice. We find similar forms in South and North American Indian tradition. There are forms of this process in Asia and Europe. In Australia, their form of the Shamanic Journey is known as Aboriginal Dreamtime.

These processes have the same basic mechanics. They use rhythm to regulate heart rate and imagination. This creates a trance or dream state. Here you venture through a vivid landscape. Today, this process has been renamed to make it more marketable. Some call it creative visualization, guided meditation, or vision quest. However, when they do this, they also strip it from its cultural context. This detracts from its effectiveness.

The Shamanic Journey is one of the ten best forms of meditation.    Anyone can use this process using the beat of a drum and your imagination to guide you.  Many good books outline the process and even provide a drum track.  You can use guided scripts to help you get started, but we recommend you develop your way after learning the process.  It’s one of the meditation techniques that provide a springboard for other inner work.

Some cultures use plants which contain hallucinogens.  These are used as part of a spiritual practice to enhance the Shamanic Journey.   A trained Shaman prepares and administers the drink. It is part of a supervised spiritual journey.

The use of these drugs is not for the beginner.  You need to have several years of solid spiritual inner work and grounding before using any of these potent additives.  Above all, you need to find a qualified guide to oversee the process.  It is difficult to control the strength of the prepared formulas, which can significantly affect the duration of the trance state.

3) Mindfulness Meditation

The mindfulness meditation scrips dovetail with the two-step edition process, taking meditation to the next level.  It has two components, a seated version and then a moving version.  It is one of the ten best forms of meditation you can practice while sitting or moving.

If you’ve ever heard of forest bathing or tree grounding exercises?  Mindfulness is the core of these methods, which are part of Japanese mental health curriculum.

4) Rocket Pranayama

Pranayama is a term that relates to breathing exercises.  There are many forms of meditation which use breath as a focal point.  We believe one of these is key to developing control and strengthening the ability to breathe.

The “Rocket Pranayama” technique (not its original name) is a preparatory practice.  You can use it before for any spiritual practice.  It’s a subtle but important technique.  This tool teaches us how to engage an essential internal muscle group — the diaphragm.  It only takes 15 seconds to feel its effects.  The results are an immediate clearing of negativity.  It works because you are focusing your attention on the practice.  Here’s how to do it.

Sit comfortably, place your thumb and your first or second finger on your nose.  Use your finger to close one nostril, breath in and out as you simultaneously use your finger to open and close one nostril.  It creates a “fluttering” of the diaphragm as you are rapidly open and close each nostril.

Once you learn how to flutter the diaphragm and create the cycle of fast-breathing with your fingers, you try doing it without using your hand.  This is one way to pump oxygen to the brain and distract the active mind.  The aftereffect is immediate, both energetic and peaceful.

5) Holotropic Breathing

Holotropic Breathing is the next step up in breathing exercises from the “rocket pranayama technique.  It is not for the beginning spiritual explorer.  This exercise produces an altered state that can bring up emotions and even hallucinations. It is an inner work tool used to help with emotional healing and personal growth. The process involves taking long deep breaths, inhaling, and exhaling slowly while seated or laying down.

After several minutes of practice, it causes hyperventilation, which induces a trance-like state.  This type of exercise is intense, both physically and mentally.  If you have any health or mental condition, consult your physician before attempting. For example, if you have cardiovascular issues, it is best to avoid this kind of breathing exercise.

Someone qualified to assist and supervise this process is critical.  Don’t practice alone unless you are familiar with the process.  Emotional reactions are often extreme.  Your coach or partner should be communicating throughout the process to avoid any adverse outcomes. It’s possible to lose consciousness or thrash around and harm yourself.  So, make sure you have a coach.

6) Mantra or Sutras

Mantras and Sutras are the tools of consciousness that open doors of awareness.  There are many kinds of mantras.  They are energy-based formulas that only have an approximate meaning.  Mantras and sutras are the heart of many top 10 meditation techniques.

Indian tradition uses these formulas in various ways, depending on the goal. Groups of 108 are a common practice.  Using them throughout the day is also a good practice.  Find one that resonates with your need, then chant it aloud or silently as you go through your daily tasks.

Using mantras and sutras is an excellent way to help break the chain of negative habitual thought patterns.  There are excellent meditation tracks and CDs which explain and then show how to use them.   Thomas Ashley-Farrand made several audio books which are perfect for learning and understanding the use of mantras.  Start with Mantra — Sacred Words of Power and Healing Mantras.  Mantras are one of the main types of meditation, which are often incorporated in other types, such as Japa and the Siddhis.

7) Moving Meditation

Moving meditation is a movement that expands awareness to observe both internal and external aspects.  Pretty cool.  We’ve already alluded to one of the moving meditation techniques, moving mindfulness.  There are many kinds of moving meditation, from dancing to Tai Chi and everything in between.  You can learn to create your moving meditation by combining some of the other spiritual technologies.

8) Alternating Stillness and Motion

Alternating between silence and activity helps to focus the power of both the analytical and intuitive mind.  It involves alternating activities of concentration, self-discipline, and observation with the creative and intuitive side.

Balance and symmetry are essential aspects of our lives.  When we are balanced, we make better decisions. We get the most out of life, no matter the situation.  We’ve already mentioned the key to this—alternating silence and activity.

The modern doesn’t support this kind of thinking. Instead, it wants us constantly to be engaging our analytical thinking to get work done.  But even in our busy lives, there are ways to incorporate the power of silence that helps us engage our intuition.

Everyone has a mix that works best.  Here’s the best practice for this exercise:

Start with one analytical process that interests you, say, Comparative Analysis (a structured form of comparative religious study), the Enneagram Profile, or one or more observational skills exercises.  Use the analytical mind for 30 to 45 minutes, then shift gears.

Next, engage the intuitive side through Japa or Transcendental Meditation, Holotropic breathing, or some form of moving meditation.  Use the intuitive mind for approximately 30 minutes.

Be sure to include time to rest and normalize.  Engage in some form of leisurely self-care.  You should feel great.  You’ve completed a “well-rounded” spiritual practice that will solidify your learning.

9) Transcendental Meditation or Japa Meditation

This “Cadillac” meditation technique from the East opens our consciousness to awareness of the 4th state.  Japa and Transcendental Meditation (TM) are the same technique.  TM is more readily available, although it can be expensive.  Both versions enable you to transcend thought and reach what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi calls bliss consciousness.

Bliss consciousness or pure consciousness is a separate state of awareness.  When you are in this state, you exhibit unique physiological signs which can be measured.

These signs prove it differs from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.  It is the building block for more advanced forms of meditation, like the Siddhis.

10) The Siddhis

The term Siddhis means extraordinary powers.  A Siddha is a person who practices the use of the Sutras, which are the basis of the technique.  One must be grounded in the 4th state to use these Sutras.  So, it requires at least one year of practicing Japa or TM to use these formulas correctly.

The Main Types of Meditation

We hope this list is helpful.  Many of our newer travelers use it as a benchmark of tools to add to their spiritual tool belt.  Some experienced spiritual explorers use it to round out their list of meditation techniques.

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