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What Is Meditation and Meditation Types

What is Meditation ?

In this article, we will talk about what is meditation, which relaxes us both mentally and psychologically. In this article, we will answer questions such as what is meditation, what does meditation mean, how can we do meditation and we will also explain the basic types of meditation.

So what is Meditation? The word meditation comes from the Latin word “meditatio“. This term, which means deep thought in many western languages, can symbolize different types of meditation in different cultures. Although it is seen as a practice of Central Asian origin in different sources, there are many practices whose purpose is meditation in different cultures.

The most basic question of what meditation is and how it is done, that is, the basis of meditation is emptying the mind. By its nature, our mind is either in the past or in the future. If you pay attention to your mind, you can easily detect these comings and goings. For example, you may find yourself thinking about a past event that made you angry. From this thought, you can suddenly jump to thinking about your meeting tomorrow, then back to a detail that caught your attention in past meetings, and back to your future plans. So our mind never stops. It can be constantly in the past or in the future, mostly in the past or in the future. In other words, we think about the past and get sad, or we think about the future and worry. Past sadness and future anxiety also prevent us from living this moment.

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So what is meditation in this sense, what does meditation mean and how does it help us? With meditation, awareness of the mind and the moment is achieved. In this way, when we realize that we are a person independent of our mind, we can learn to quiet our mind. When we silence our mind, that is, when we get rid of a mind wandering in the future or the past, we are now living in that moment. We enjoy the moment and realize that we are truly alive.

We all have a mind that generates different thoughts and swims in the sea of ​​these thoughts. But we are different from this mind. The mind produces these thoughts and tries to give you the illusion that you are made of them. But in reality you are not the mind. While the mind presents you with a biased approach to events that have happened in the past, it tries to make you worry about events that have not happened in the future. But when you reach awareness through meditation, you realize that you are different from these thoughts, that is, the mind. So you are different, your mind is also different. You are not what goes through your mind. Meditating allows you to gain this awareness in the first place.

When starting to meditate, we first focus on our breathing, that is, we start with a kind of breathing meditation. First, we feel our life by becoming aware of our own breathing. With this exercise, we begin to feel our body and embrace our whole body with awareness. We try to feel many points from our feet to our head, and try to stay in the moment with this awareness. A meditation that we start in this way will help us a lot in quieting our thoughts.

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How long should I meditate?

After the question of what meditation is, it is time for meditation time. Meditation is a practice in which continuity is very important. You should devote a certain amount of time to meditation every day and try not to change this time. You should even determine a special place for meditation and do your meditation in this place. So how long should meditation last? Or how long is the meditation period?

Meditation time varies depending on what stage of your work you are at. Since this practice requires sitting still and silent for long periods of time, meditation time should be kept quite short in the beginning. Because you are doing a practice that you are not used to. You may not be ready for this, both mentally and physically. You may get bored of the meditation that you tried to do for a long time in the beginning, jeopardizing its continuity. Likewise, you may be meditating in a way that causes certain pain because you are not used to the body posture.

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To avoid these, you can limit the initial meditation time to 5 minutes per day. If you are just starting to meditate, we can guess how long this period will seem for you. Maybe you will get bored of this long silence and want to give up. But even a long journey begins with a single step, and with this 5-minute meditation, you will have taken this first step. Don’t give up. Remember that in order to achieve something beautiful, it is necessary to make some sacrifices in the beginning.

Once you get used to daily 5-minute meditations, you can gradually increase this duration. For example, you can meditate for 5 minutes in two weeks and increase it to 7 minutes in the third week. In the fourth week, you can meditate for 10 minutes, and at the end of two months, you can increase this time to 20 minutes.

The ideal meditation time is between 20 minutes and 30 minutes. When you reach these times and make them permanent, a clear mind and clear awareness will be waiting for you. Of course, there are people who meditate for longer periods of time, but these people are now devoted to this subject, like Zen monks. Or people who can be described as saints in our country can exceed these periods. But our goal is not to become a dervish and hit the road. Therefore, meditation should not exceed a certain period of time.

Meditation Preparation Steps

We answered questions such as what is meditation and what does meditation mean, and we also determined our meditation duration. The most basic thing you need to meditate is a quiet place where just you will be. You can create this place even at home in the simplest sense. You can sit in a comfortable chair in a room where no one is around, in separate light and half darkness. This chair can be your meditation chair.

You can light a candle or incense during meditation and get support from them in focusing on meditation. Different incense scents can be very beneficial to you in this sense. You can also add a different ambiance to the environment with these scents.

You should make sure that you wear comfortable clothes while meditating. It is a good idea to choose loose-fitting clothes, as the more comfortable you are, the more relaxed you will be after meditation.

You can also take a warm shower before meditation. It’s up to your choice. An activity that will make you more relaxed during meditation is showering. But it is not a requirement for meditation.

Silence from meditation is very important. That’s why you should attach great importance to the quietness of your location. Some people can concentrate more by listening to various meditation music during meditation. If you believe that this meditation music will increase your concentration and put you in this ambiance, you can also benefit from meditation music.

How to Meditate?

After the question of what is meditation, one of the most frequently asked questions is how to meditate. There are different techniques for meditating. We will talk about a general meditation technique here.

First of all, you must be in a comfortable, quiet and suitable environment for meditation. Once you have this environment, you should close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is very important at this point. If you know how to breathe from the diaphragm, you can breathe this way. You should feel your life by being aware of your breath as you inhale and exhale. At this point, you should continue to practice this, as breathing from your diaphragm for a long time can make you dizzy.

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After breath awareness, you must become aware of your body. For this, you should scan your whole body, starting from your feet to your head. During this scanning process, you should stay at each point for a certain period of time and feel your feet, legs, hands and neck. While doing these, you should be careful not to think about anything else.

We concentrated on our breathing and scanned our bodies. Now it’s time to watch our thoughts. At the beginning of meditation, many thoughts rush into your mind because you are new to it. Past, future, works, projects, promises and more. In the beginning, all you have to do is watch these thoughts come and go. You will witness them come and go by watching them without judgment. Imagine your mind as the sky and these thoughts as clouds moving across the sky. Observe each cloud as it passes silently. After a certain meditation experience, you will find that these thoughts no longer occupy your mind. But for this, you must first do this observation without judging the thoughts.

After observing the mind, it is now time to surrender to the silence of the moment. With your eyes closed again, listen to the silence. Observe how small sounds exist even in silence. Try to distinguish the sounds you can hear. The sound of the refrigerator or the boiler or a faint sound coming from outside. Concentrate on the sounds.

Benefits of meditation

We answered the question of what is meditation question. We also learned how to meditate. Now it’s time for the benefits of meditation. The benefits of regular meditation are endless. We will mention a few of them for you here. So what are the benefits of meditation? Here are the benefits of meditation, respectively.

First of all, meditating gives you a clear mind as you will make it a habit to silence your mind. With a mindset in which you do not constantly worry about the future or replay past events over and over again, the quality of your thoughts also changes. You no longer go to the future for worry, but simply to review your plans. Or you are in the past to remember a beautiful memory, not to relive an event that you are stuck in transition.

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With meditation, you become aware of the moment as you manage to silence past and future projections. You are now aware that you are truly alive. You exist not in the future or the past, but in the present moment. You may have experienced the pleasure of staying in the moment from time to time. Even though you may not realize it, your connection with life is literally perfect in these moments. Meditation allows you to notice these moments and prolong them. So meditating increases the joy of life.

Awareness is one of the most basic things we need to be successful in life and live a beautiful life. In other words, being conscious. Although we say that we are conscious, the awareness levels of people whose awareness level has not increased as a result of a major event or who have not reached these levels as a result of certain meditation stages are quite low. In other words, the level of awareness in society is quite low. If you are a person who has reached this awareness after experiencing a major event, you are lucky. If you are not, you have a long way to go through awareness. Meditation is one of the most basic practices that will achieve this.

When you meditate, you will notice that your stress level decreases considerably, if you are depressed, your depression level decreases and you even start to live a serene life. Especially if you are depressed or have anxiety issues, you should start meditating, even if it may be difficult at first. Because meditation will help you solve these problems in a short time.

Types of Meditation

After clarifying what meditation is, let’s now focus on the types of meditation. There are various meditation methods. Although we touched on some of them above, here we will touch on the details of the meditation types we mentioned above and different meditation methods. So, what are these meditation methods applied from different parts of the world?

Awareness Meditation (Mindfullness)

Mindfulness is one of the most popular meditation methods of recent years. Although the term covers a wider area, we will discuss the term mindfullness here only in terms of meditation. So what is mindfulness? How to do Awareness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is done by observing our mood, our thoughts and our surroundings with conscious awareness. In other words, it requires looking at yourself from a third perspective, rather than being the person involved in the events. As you consciously observe yourself and your surroundings, your consciousness increases and this leads to incredible changes in your life.

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You will become aware of your thoughts and feelings, which you would not be able to notice under normal conditions, through various mindfulness exercises and awareness meditation. You can comprehend every thought that passes through your mind with full consciousness and thus discover the reasons for your thoughts and emotions.

With mindfulness meditation, you not only become aware of yourself, but also your surroundings. You can notice many points such as what kind of relationships you have, who you are in contact with in what kind of environment, and how people behave towards you. Once you reach this awareness, you will be surprised at how low the awareness levels of the people around you are.

Although there are many techniques for mindfulness meditation, the most commonly used are breath awareness, body awareness, awareness of sounds and awareness of what we eat.

We will talk about breathing and body awareness below. In summary, mindfulness meditations include two types of meditation that aim to notice our breath and body.

In the sound awareness method, when you are anywhere, you need to focus on the sounds there and become aware of all sounds, from the smallest sound to the loudest. As you focus on the sounds here, you will realize how many sounds are intertwined with us. For example, if you imagine that you are doing this exercise in a forest, the sounds of various birds in the forest, the sounds of the leaves of the trees, the sound of the wind, human or animal sounds coming from afar and more. When you focus on all these sounds, you will realize how enjoyable it is to live in the moment and how truly living life is.

In the food awareness method, we need to focus on anything we eat. In this meditation, let’s imagine that we are eating an apple, for example. The skin of the apple, the texture of the peel, the inside, the texture of the inside, the smell, the taste, the feeling it leaves in your mouth, the feelings it leaves on you, what you feel on your tongue when you bite the apple, what your teeth are like, how you swallow while chewing and swallowing, and more. A method where you can observe many details like this is the awareness of what we eat.

There are many methods like these in mindfulness meditation. Besides these methods, you can also find your own methods for awareness. Because the aim of mindfulness meditation is to be more aware of yourself and your surroundings. To further increase the level of awareness, which is very low under normal conditions, through various exercises. Because we do dozens of things we do almost every day on autopilot and live life without realizing it. Mindfulness meditation brings us back to life. It focuses on living in the moment rather than living in the past or future.

Breath Meditation

Breathing meditation is generally used at the beginning of meditations and helps you first become aware of your breathing. Especially by taking diaphragmatic breathing, you can make it a habit to breathe correctly and use this breathing in meditation. You can do breathing meditation, which is also frequently used in mindfulness meditation, almost anywhere.

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To do breathing meditation, you can sit in a comfortable place at home, or you can do this meditation while in the car, in traffic, or on public transportation such as the subway or bus. All you have to do is breathe from your diaphragm, notice the deep breath you are taking, and exhale slowly.

Body scanning meditation is also a type of meditation that you can do in different places. Body scanning meditation, which is also a type of meditation done within mindfulness meditation, is a type of meditation that you can do separately.

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For body scanning meditation, you must first sit or lie down in a comfortable place. Then, you should focus on each area of ​​your body from your feet to your head, scanning them one by one and feeling that area. By making this meditation a habit before going to bed, you can relax your body, so you can sleep more comfortably. You can also do this meditation while standing, and relax with this meditation while waiting for anything, anywhere.

Mind Meditation

Mind meditation is a meditation technique that can be done by observing the mind. Especially in the modern world, the human mind is constantly busy. Our mind, which is exposed to many stimuli, is also bombarded by both the past and the future. The person who thinks that he is equal to the mind is also crushed under these thoughts. However, the mind is not human; it constantly replays events that have happened and may happen. People think these are real and react accordingly.

But man is independent of his mind. Events in the mind are just projections or memories. Instead of getting rid of these thoughts, observing them gives people the role of observer and shows people that they are not just the mind. So when you observe your mind with mind meditation, you will encounter a mind wandering between the past and the future. When you do this exercise often, you will learn to no longer judge these thoughts and just watch them pass through your mind. In this way, you will now be more conscious of any worry that comes to your mind and you will see that this worry is unfounded. Again, you will experience that there is nothing you can do about past events, and the inefficiency of constantly thinking about an event that has already happened.

One of the best answers to the question of what meditation is is mind meditation. And when you do this meditation regularly, you will be amazed at how relieved you are from the thoughts in your mind.

Kundalini Yoga Meditation

Kundalini yoga meditation provides many answers to the question of what meditation is. Kundalini Yoga meditation is a comprehensive meditation technique that includes different yoga phoses. It includes both meditation steps and different movements, sounds, and various unblocking techniques.

In Kundalini Yoga meditation, the following techniques are mainly used:

  • Breathing (Pranayama)
  • Movement (Asana)
  • Mantra (Sound Vibration)
  • Meditation bandhas
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Here, kundalini yoga exercises begin with correct breathing exercises and continue with various yoga movements, bandhas and mantras. And the meditation part is one of the most important parts for kundalini yoga. This method, which greatly increases the person’s level of awareness, is one of the most basic steps of kundalini yoga, which combines different techniques.

Zen Meditation

Zen meditation is a type of meditation focused on breathing. Zen meditation, which is similar to Vipassana meditation in this respect, is based on abdominal movements. In Vipassana this is done through the nose.

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So how to do Zen meditation? For Zen meditation, it is essential to sit straight. Then the hands are placed on the abdomen. Focus on breathing and watch the thoughts in your mind. They are observed to pass through the mind freely. The main purpose here is to purify the mind from thoughts.

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana means seeing things as they are. Vipassana Meditation, discovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago, is one of India’s most established meditation techniques. In fact, this is conveyed as an art of living rather than a meditation. Essentially, Vipassana is a way to observe and transform oneself.

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Vipassana Meditation courses are given free of charge in India. These Vipassana courses last approximately 10 days and at the end of this training, you reach a certain level of awareness. But these courses are quite challenging. These courses, which include meditations and concentrations for long periods of time, aim to train the mind. If you want to experience these courses, which include 9-10 hours of meditation practice a day, India is waiting for you.

Meditation with Sounds

Sound meditation is a meditation done in silence. For this meditation, you must first provide a quiet environment. Then you have to concentrate and concentrate on the sounds in the environment. It may be more beneficial if you do this meditation in an open area such as a forest or park. In such environments, the sounds of birds and insects, the movement of trees and leaves, the voices of people coming from afar, the howling of the wind and more. In sound meditation, where you will concentrate on distinguishing many sounds from each other, you will also become very proficient in hearing the details.

According to a story told on this subject;

One day, some of the Native American chiefs are invited to one of the major American cities. One of the chiefs who came to the city says he heard the sound of a cicada. People around are surprised. They say it’s impossible. But the chief insists, and the other chiefs confirm him. The chief follows the sound and sees a cicada singing in a park. Here he says. When people around him asked how he heard this, the chief responded with a simple experiment. He takes out a coin and throws it on the street. Everyone on the street keeps looking around wondering if it was me. That’s what you hear, he says, whatever you focus on.

Sound meditation will allow you to notice sounds that you have not heard before or even if you heard them, you did not notice them. You will now look at nature with a different eye and hear it with a different ear. Maybe you will realize that you have never listened to nature before.

Mantra Meditation

One answer to the question of what is meditation is manta meditation. Mantra meditation is meditation done by repeating certain words and sentences. Such repetition focuses your awareness on the moment and removes thoughts that distract you from the moment.

The most well-known mantra meditation is done with the sound “ommm”. In addition, there are different mantra words in yoga. You can do mantra meditation with the help of these words.

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There are meditations done this way in different cultures. Again, in Sufism, mantra meditation can be done in the form of one of the names of Allah or a different dhikr. In this regard, using types of dhikr that are believed to be good for certain things will also provide you with an additional benefit in that regard. Because belief is also involved here. When you do something with faith, the benefit you will get from it will increase many times.

Manadala Meditation

Manadala is the name given to compositions believed to represent the universe in Buddhism and Hinduism. Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. More precisely, manadalas are drawings containing complex, different shapes and these shapes are believed to contain some secrets of the universe.

Manadala meditation is a type of meditation that can be done by focusing on these drawings in different shapes and without thinking about anything else. In this meditation, the focus is on the shape and just looking at the shape, trying to stay there in the moment. The aim here is to stay in the moment and observe without any judgment.

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Mandala meditation can also be done by painting various mandala shapes, accompanied by different music. Coloring these detailed drawings here is actually a very important exercise in staying in the moment, as the mandala painting meditation will keep you in the moment. It is a different and fun way to ask what meditation is.

Tonglen meditation

Tong len means giving and receiving in Tibetan. Tonglen meditation basically aims to accept the painful things that people avoid and adapt to them without running away from these pains. As you run away from something, those things come to you. But if you accept and surrender, you will gradually slow down its effect. Tonglen meditation is done for exactly this purpose.

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So, how to do Tonglen meditation? For Tonglen meditation, you must first be in a comfortable place. First, you should relax yourself by breathing deeply and then address a problem you are experiencing. You should accept that this problem challenges you and think about the existence of other people who have this problem with you. Every time you breathe, you should feel that you are the solution to your own problems along with these people. Imagine that your breaths bring happiness to you and them. One of the critical points here is this: You should also consider this towards people who cause you difficulties. Because this thought does not mean that you approve of them. It just shows that you reject their negative influence and respond with love. This will be very good for you.

Transandantal Meditation

Transcendental Meditation technique is a type of meditation developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is a type of meditation that aims to relax people both physically and psychologically during the busy and stressful days of daily life.

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In this meditation technique, you first choose a mantra and repeat it. This can be a word or a sentence, or it can be a sound. By doing these repetitions, you also remove the thoughts about the past and future that come to your mind. Since it takes time to master this technique, you may not be successful at it at first. So don’t worry. This applies to everyone. You just have to learn to watch the thoughts. This is also the case in Transcendental Meditation. When you master this subject, you will see that your level of awareness increases after a certain period of time. Your mind will become clearer and you will be able to think more clearly. The chaos of daily life will no longer affect you like before.

In this article, we tried to answer questions such as what is meditation and what does meditation mean. After the question of what meditation is, we talked about what kind of preparations we need to make for meditation and in what environments we can meditate. After explaining basically how we can do meditation, we explained the benefits of meditation one by one. In addition to this information, we also explained various meditation techniques. You can use one or more of these meditation methods and increase your body, mind and physical awareness. By meditating, you can increase your consciousness and live a more aware life.

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