Meditation Types: Different Forms and Techniques For Practice

In today’s fast-paced world, finding moments of peace and clarity is essential for maintaining overall well-being. Meditation, a practice that spans centuries and cultures, offers a pathway to inner tranquility, improved focus, and a heightened sense of self-awareness. Our journey into the “Types of Meditation” will unveil a rich tapestry of contemplative practices, each a nuanced expression of the human quest for inner peace. From ancient traditions rooted in mindfulness to modern adaptations catering to the demands of contemporary life, the world of meditation is both vast and ever-evolving.

Why To Explore Different Meditation Types?

Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all practice; rather, it encompasses a spectrum of techniques, each with its unique approach and benefits. Whether you’re seeking stress relief, emotional balance, or spiritual connection, there’s a meditation style suited just for you. Understanding the various forms of meditation allows you to tailor your practice to your specific needs and preferences. While some may resonate with the simplicity of mindfulness, others might find solace in the structured rituals of transcendental meditation. This diversity ensures that there’s a meditation style that aligns with your individual journey toward a calmer, more centered existence.

Common Elements

Before we explore the diverse landscape of meditation techniques, it’s essential to grasp the common threads that weave through these practices. While each meditation type has its unique approach, they share foundational elements that form the backbone of this ancient art.

Points To Consider
  • Mindful Awareness: At the heart of virtually every meditation technique lies the concept of mindful awareness. This involves cultivating a non-judgmental, present-moment attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Mindfulness serves as the cornerstone, fostering a deep connection with the present and promoting mental clarity.
  • Focus and Concentration: Many meditation practices involve directing and sustaining attention on a specific focal point, be it the breath, a mantra, or a visual object. This focus cultivates concentration, training the mind to resist distractions and fostering a heightened sense of awareness.
  • Breath as a Anchoring Point: The breath is a universal anchor in meditation. Techniques often center around observing the breath, using it as a rhythmic guide to center the mind and induce a state of calm. This simple yet powerful practice promotes relaxation and a sense of inner stillness.
  • Observation without Attachment: Central to meditation is the art of observing thoughts and emotions without attachment or judgment. Practitioners learn to witness the ebb and flow of their inner experiences, fostering a sense of detachment that can lead to emotional resilience and mental equilibrium.
  • Body Awareness: Many meditation styles incorporate a heightened awareness of bodily sensations. This involves scanning the body, paying attention to tension or relaxation, and promoting a holistic connection between the mind and body. Body awareness enhances the overall sense of well-being.
  • Silence and Stillness: Creating a space for silence and stillness is a shared element across meditation practices. Whether through seated meditation, walking meditation, or guided sessions, the aim is to cultivate a peaceful internal environment where the mind can settle and rejuvenate.

Types of Meditation

Here is the list of few popular meditation types. There are many more techniques of meditation that you can practice. Choose any one as per your convenience, but remember one thing – whichever path you choose all roads ends at same terminus that is ecstasy…..union with God….supreme state of happiness. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a curious beginner, this exploration promises insights into the rich heritage and contemporary adaptations of meditation practices. Discover the power of stillness and embark on a journey within yourself, where serenity and self-discovery await.

Types of Meditation - Choose Best For You
Types of Meditation

37 Different Techniques and Styles

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation, rooted in ancient Buddhist practices, involves cultivating a heightened awareness of the present moment. Practitioners focus on their breath, sensations, or an anchor point, observing thoughts without attachment or judgment. Sit comfortably, bring attention to the breath, and gently redirect the mind if it wanders. Mindfulness can be practiced formally through meditation sessions or informally throughout daily activities.
  2. Transcendental Meditation (TM): This kind of meditation allows person to meditate on a series of syllables or words known collectively as the mantra. This type of meditation also known as mantra meditation. Practitioners repeat a specific mantra silently, allowing the mind to settle into a state of deep restful awareness. Transcendental Meditation produces a deep state of rest and a unique brain functioning. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and repeat the mantra effortlessly. TM is typically practiced for 15-20 minutes, twice a day.
  3. Loving-kindness Meditation (Metta): Loving-kindness meditation, or Metta, is rooted in Buddhist traditions and focuses on cultivating feelings of love and compassion. Practitioners extend feelings of love and good wishes towards themselves and others, including loved ones and even those they may find challenging. Sit comfortably, focus on the breath, and gradually extend feelings of loving-kindness. This practice can be done in a structured meditation session. It is a meditation practice that specifically retrains the mind to overcome all forms of negativity. It brings about positive attitudinal changes by systematically developing the quality of loving-acceptance. It strengthenes emotional resilience, and enhances interpersonal relationships.
  4. Guided Meditation: Guided meditation involves following the verbal guidance of a teacher or recorded audio, leading participants through a series of visualizations or relaxation techniques. Guided imagery helps the mind focus and relax, making it an excellent option for beginners or those seeking specific outcomes. To practice, listen to a guided meditation session, either in person or through various available apps and platforms.
  5. Zazen (Zen) Meditation: Zen meditation is nothing but being totally at this moment at this particular time. Zen system of meditation and teaching uses the koan. Koan means unsolvable problems. We give the mind a problem which has no rational answer. The solution to the koan is not any specifically answer at all. It’s the ability to totally respond in the moment. That’s what whole practice is – being totally in the moment. Practitioners sit in a specific posture, focusing on the breath or a koan (a paradoxical question), cultivating mindfulness and awareness. Sit in a specific posture, focus on the breath, and allow thoughts to come and go without attachment.
  6. Body Scan Meditation: Body scan meditation involves directing focused attention to different parts of the body, promoting relaxation and awareness. Practitioners systematically scan the body, paying attention to sensations without judgment. Lie down or sit comfortably, bringing awareness to each part of the body from head to toe.
  7. Vipassana Meditation: Vipassana is a Pali word that means wisdom or insight. This is why it is also known as Wisdom meditation or Insight meditation. Vipassana is a system of meditation taught by Buddha to free your mind from unwholesome sates and to overcome suffering. To practice, attend a Vipassana retreat, typically ten days long, where participants engage in silent meditation and mindful observation. It is also known as Vipashyana or Insight Meditation
  8. Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a form of guided meditation that induces a state of conscious relaxation between wakefulness and sleep. Practitioners follow a guided script that takes them through a series of body scans, breath awareness, and visualizations, promoting deep relaxation. To practice, lie down in a comfortable position, follow the guidance, and allow the body and mind to enter a state of profound relaxation.
  9. Concentrative (Focused) Meditation: Concentrative meditation involves focusing attention on a single point, such as the breath, a candle flame, or a mantra, to quiet the mind. Practitioners cultivate concentration by continuously bringing the mind back to the chosen point of focus. To practice, sit comfortably and focus on the chosen point, gently redirecting the mind when it wanders. This process eliminate unnecessary distractions and helps you to get a clearer and a better-functioning mind. It is also popular as focused meditation. Focused meditation involves concentrating on a specific object, sound, or thought to enhance concentration and mental clarity.
  10. Mantra Meditation: This meditation uses a mantra as your object of focus. A mantra is a word or phrase. Although mantra is sometimes chanted aloud, in this meditation, you will be repeating the mantra mentally, gently and silently. It involves the repetition of a sacred word or sound (mantra) to still the mind and evoke a particular state of consciousness. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and repeat the chosen mantra with focused intention. Practitioners repeat the mantra either silently or audibly, using it as a focal point to transcend ordinary thought patterns.
  11. Breath Awareness Meditation: Breath awareness meditation centers on mindful observation of the breath, promoting relaxation and presence. Practitioners focus on the natural inhalation and exhalation, cultivating a sense of calm and mindfulness. Sit or lie down comfortably, bring attention to the breath, and observe each inhalation and exhalation.
  12. Buddhist Meditation: An explanation of the Buddhist path leading to the supreme goal of enlightenment for the welfare of all living beings. A deeper insight into the complex scope of Buddhist thought and practice. Buddhist meditation encompasses various techniques, including mindfulness, loving-kindness (Metta), and Vipassana, rooted in Buddhist principles. Practitioners may focus on breath, cultivate compassion, or engage in contemplative practices that lead to insight and awakening. To practice, methods vary, but common elements include seated meditation, mindful breathing, and awareness of impermanence.
  13. Candle Gazing Meditation (Tratak): This is one of the ancient technique of concentration. Many people find it easy to concentrate with gazing at candle. This involves focusing on a flame to enhance concentration and inner stillness. Maintain steady eye contact with a burning candle, observing the flame without blinking. Close your eyes when needed, visualizing the afterimage.
  14. Color Healing Meditation: Color healing meditation provides cleansing, balancing, and healing at physical as well as mental level. This involves visualization of different color radiant balls, one at a time. Visualize or focus on specific colors associated with healing properties, directing energy to different parts of the body. This gives your mind particular strength associated with that color. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and visualize or immerse yourself in the chosen color, allowing its energy to flow.
  15. Chakra Meditation: Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or “revolving disc”. Chakra meditation involves aligning and balancing the body’s energy centers (chakras) to promote holistic well-being. There are seven main energy centers serve as transformers to receive and distribute the vital energy required for the body’s systems to function. These are located along the midline of the astral body, known as the astral spine. Practitioners focus on each chakra, visualizing energy flowing freely, and may incorporate breathwork or mantras. To practice, sit or lie down comfortably, bring attention to each chakra, and visualize a balanced, vibrant energy flow.
  16. Dhyana: Dhyana and Dharana are two stages of the same process. They are like the flower and the fruit. According to Patanjali, dhyana is “the uninterrupted flow of the mind towards the object of dharana”. Dhyana is simply success at dharana. What most of us practice today is not dhyana but rather dharana (concentration). Dhyana, a Sanskrit term, translates to “meditation” and is an integral part of the yogic tradition, emphasizing a profound state of contemplation. Practitioners move beyond concentration to a state of effortless awareness, transcending the dualities of self and object. It is deep tranquility, heightened self-awareness, and a sense of interconnectedness state of mind.
  17. Empty Bowl Meditation: In empty bowl meditation your mind is symbolically working as a bowl. Make your mind empty from desire, anger, ambition, failure and other thoughts and accept the love poured by the God in the bowl undoubtedly.
  18. Energy Healing Meditation: Energy healing meditation helps you to concentrate your positive energy on an afflicted area and alleviate any adverse symptoms and feelings that are being manifested through the physical pain. Practice energy healing meditation particularly to remove negative thoughts….
  19. Hong Sau Meditation: This meditation involves watching naturally occurring spaces between the breaths, in which the mind becomes very still. By uniting mind with the breath in this way, the mind will start to stay focused in the present moment. Hong Sau meditation is a yogic practice that involves repeating the mantra “Hong Sau” to still the mind and turn inward. Use the mantra to withdraw attention from external stimuli and focus on the breath. Repeat the mantra internally, and synchronize it with the breath.
  20. Lotus Flower Meditation: This method involves visualization of lotus flower blooming in the center of heart. As the lotus is the symbol of perfection and purity, it helps to connect with cosmic consciousness and divine light. Lotus is also symbol of enlightenment and spiritual growth. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and visualize the lotus flower in your mind’s eye.
  21. Movement (Moving) Meditation: Movement meditation encourages you to focus and meditate on your own movements rather than thoughts and other things. There are so many ways on how to do movement meditation. Some of them are walking, dancing, palming, yoga or it could be Tai Chi.
  22. Namaha Meditation: Namaha is the Sanskrit word which means “Not Me”, or “Not About Me”. When you are confused, don’t know which direction to go or don’t know what plan to follow, then simply follow the trust that all is as it should be. Namaha meditation involves repeating the mantra “Namaha,” expressing reverence and surrender. Practitioners use the mantra to cultivate humility, letting go of ego, and opening themselves to higher guidance. Sit comfortably, repeat “Namaha” with sincerity, and allow a sense of surrender to permeate your being.
  23. Ocean Meditation: Visualizing ocean and letting your all problems washing away with the waves in main idea behind the ocean meditation. Our thoughts are just like water waves. They keep coming and going. Eventually along with water waves let your worries gets drain at imaginary horizon. Ocean meditation uses the metaphor of the ocean to symbolize vastness, tranquility, and the interconnectedness of all things. Practitioners visualize the mind as an expansive ocean, observing thoughts as waves that come and go. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and imagine the rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean.
  24. Om Meditation: Repeating the sound of Om is the main concept in Om meditation. You need to break the om sound in 3 parts – ah….oh…mmm….and then deep silence. This is very effective for heightened spiritual connection, inner peace and to release the tension. Repeat the sound “Om” to harmonize with the cosmic energy and attain a state of profound meditation. Sit comfortably, chant “Om” audibly or internally, and allow the vibration to resonate within.
  25. Palming Meditation: Palming meditation is a relaxation technique involving covering the eyes with the palms to soothe the mind and promote restfulness. Practitioners gently cup their hands over closed eyes, creating a darkened space to relax and rejuvenate. To practice, sit comfortably, rub your hands together to generate warmth, and place them over closed eyes without applying pressure.
  26. Qigong Meditation: It can be pronounced as chee-gong meditation and roughly translates to “the animating life force”. It is ancient Chinese moving meditation. In qigong, slow and rhythmic movements flow with the breath. Qi help to maintain balance, strength, flexibility, and agility into old age. “Parting The Clouds” is very popular Qigong exercise for mental relaxation. To practice, follow Qigong routines, emphasizing slow, deliberate movements, and mindful breathing.
  27. Relaxation Meditation: Allowing the eyes to rest in a soft downward gaze has an instant, automatic relaxing effect. Relaxation meditation provides a great deal of stress reduction and can be used as a quick 2 minute relax and refresh break almost anywhere. Sit or lie down comfortably, bring awareness to different body parts, and intentionally release tension.
  28. Samadhi: Also known as ecstasy which is union with God. Samadhi is state of very extreme happiness. Patanjali explains that “when there is consciousness of the object of dhyana and not of the mind itself, is Samadhi”. Thus Concentration, Dhyana and Samadhi are simply three stages of the same process. Samadhi is a state of profound concentration and meditative absorption, often considered the ultimate goal in certain contemplative traditions. Practitioners enter a state of deep absorption, transcending the dualities of subject and object. Advanced practitioners may achieve Samadhi through dedicated meditation and spiritual practice.
  29. Samatha (Serenity Meditation): The word samatha by itself means tranquility. Samatha meditation is indeed useful to develop concentration. It develops one-pointedness of mind, as we hold the mind to it’s object for long periods to give it strength, to serve its purpose. One-pointed clear awareness is called Samatha.
  30. Shikantaza Meditation: This is the simplest form of meditation. Shikantaza is a Japanese term which literally means just sitting. Yes it is that simple. But though it sounds simple, it is not that simple to just sit, calm our mind and follow the breath. This technique is useful to find some stability. Practitioners cultivate a state of non-distracted awareness, allowing thoughts and sensations to arise and pass.
  31. Smiling Meditation: Researchers in psychoneuroimmunology have discovered that when we smile our bodies produce and release large quantities of endorphins. These are natural painkillers, and they enhance our bodies’ ability to fight disease. When we smile we relax hundreds of muscles in our body. Smile sends positive message to our body, we feel more calmer, happier and peaceful. Smile, and assume that our spiritual journey should be filled with joy and celebration.
  32. So-Hum Meditation: As the name suggest, in this meditation involves the two sounds – “So” and “Hum”. You really don’t have to chant it loudly but sit quietly and observe the breathing movement and experience the vibration of cosmic sound. Practitioners synchronize the mantra with the breath, recognizing the unity of the individual with the cosmos. Sit comfortably, inhale with the mental sound “So” and exhale with “Hum,” aligning breath and mantra.
  33. Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that incorporates slow, flowing movements, often referred to as a moving meditation. Practitioners engage in a series of graceful, mindful movements, promoting balance, flexibility, and inner calm. To practice, follow a Tai Chi routine, focusing on the smooth transitions between postures with mindful attention.
  34. Tranquility Meditation: Tranquility meditation is generally the concentration of the tranquil and peaceful mind. Make your mind completely still by holding the mind to an object. Tranquility of mind is very essential to look within without which you can not enjoy peace or serenity.
  35. Tummo Meditation: In Tibet, it is also called heat meditation. In this type of meditation, yogis use the power of their mind to control their body heat. Surprisingly meditating in sub zero conditions for months, wearing only a cotton shawl. Tummo meditation, rooted in Tibetan Buddhist traditions, focuses on generating inner heat through breath and visualization practices. Practitioners use specific breath techniques and visualizations to awaken the inner fire. Advanced practice involves specific breathwork and visualizations under the guidance of a qualified teacher.
  36. Walking Meditation: Walking meditation involves mindful walking, bringing attention to each step and the sensations associated with movement. You need to observe each step so closely and carefully that your mind must get attached to the gradual forward movement of foot. After continuous observation for many days, you will notice that whenever you desires to lift the foot, foot starts to lift. The desire arises first to cause the physical behavior to happen. To practice, choose a quiet path, walk at a slow pace, and pay attention to the sensations of lifting and placing each foot.
  37. Yoga Meditation: Yoga is a system of techniques, which help us to closer to meditation more efficiently. The first step in preparing for any type of meditation is to establish the proper conditions in the body. And this is the time where Yoga helps you. Yoga meditation combines yogic postures (asanas) with breath control (pranayama) and meditation to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Practitioners integrate meditation into their yoga practice, fostering a holistic approach to health.

Choosing the Right Meditation for You

Finding the right meditation practice for you involves understanding your preferences, goals, and individual needs. With the plethora of meditation techniques available, the key is to discover the one that resonates most with your unique personality and aspirations. Embrace the diversity of meditation, and enjoy the journey of self-discovery and inner exploration.

A guide to help you navigate the diverse landscape of meditation styles:
  • Reflect on Your Goals: Before diving into a specific meditation practice, take a moment to reflect on your goals. Are you seeking stress relief, increased focus, spiritual growth, or a combination of these? Different meditation techniques cater to various objectives, so clarifying your intentions will guide you towards a suitable path.
  • Consider Your Personality: Each person is unique, and meditation styles vary to accommodate different personality types. If you thrive in structured environments, techniques like Transcendental Meditation or guided meditation might be appealing. For those who prefer flexibility, mindfulness meditation or moving meditations like Tai Chi could be ideal.
  • Explore Different Techniques: Don’t hesitate to explore various meditation techniques before settling on one. Attend workshops, try different guided sessions, and experiment with both seated and movement-based practices. This exploration can help you uncover what resonates most with your preferences and aligns with your comfort level.
  • Assess Your Comfort Level: Consider your physical comfort and lifestyle when choosing a meditation style. If you’re comfortable sitting for extended periods, seated meditation might suit you. If movement is more your style, explore practices like yoga or walking meditation. Your comfort is essential for establishing a sustainable meditation routine.
  • Be Open to Adaptations: Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all practice, and flexibility is key. Be open to adapting techniques to suit your needs. You might find that a combination of practices or a personalized approach works best for you. The goal is to create a meditation routine that seamlessly integrates into your life.
  • Listen to Your Intuition: As you explore various meditation techniques, pay attention to your intuition. Notice how your body and mind respond to different practices. If a particular meditation resonates with you on a deeper level or consistently brings a sense of peace, it may be a sign that you’ve found the right fit.
  • Seek Guidance: If you’re unsure where to start, seeking guidance can be immensely beneficial. Attend classes, workshops, or work with a meditation teacher who can provide insights and help tailor a practice to your specific needs. Learning from experienced practitioners can offer valuable guidance and support.
  • Establish Consistency: Consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of meditation. Once you’ve identified a practice that aligns with your goals and preferences, commit to incorporating it into your routine regularly. Consistency allows you to deepen your practice and experience its transformative effects over time.
  • Be Patient and Kind to Yourself: Remember that meditation is a journey, and progress takes time. Be patient with yourself as you navigate the process of finding the right technique. Embrace the learning curve, and allow your meditation practice to evolve organically.
  • Stay Open-Minded: The world of meditation is vast and ever-expanding. Stay open-minded to new techniques, approaches, and insights. As you grow on your meditation journey, your needs and preferences may evolve, leading you to explore different practices.


Q. What are the most popular types of meditation?

The most popular types of meditation include mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, loving-kindness meditation, Zen meditation, and guided meditation, among others. Each type has unique techniques and focuses, catering to different preferences and goals.

Q. How do I choose the right meditation type for me?

Choosing the right meditation type involves considering your goals, personality, and preferences. Experiment with different techniques, attend classes or workshops, and be open to exploring until you find a practice that resonates with you.

Q. Can you mix different meditation types in one session?

Yes, you can mix elements from various meditation practices in one session. Some practitioners find combining techniques enhances their meditation experience, providing a more personalized and enriching session.

Q. What is the difference between mindfulness and transcendental meditation?

Mindfulness meditation involves cultivating awareness of the present moment, while transcendental meditation uses a silent mantra to achieve a state of deep relaxation and transcendence. The main difference lies in the approach and focus of each practice.

Q. Are movement-based meditations as effective as seated practices?

Yes, movement-based meditations, like yoga or walking meditation, can be as effective as seated practices. They offer a different approach to cultivating mindfulness, combining physical movement with meditative awareness.

Q. How long should a meditation session typically last?

The duration of a meditation session varies based on personal preferences and schedules. Beginners may start with shorter sessions (5-10 minutes) and gradually increase to 20-30 minutes as they become more comfortable with the practice.

Q. Is it okay to meditate lying down, or is sitting the best posture?

Both sitting and lying down are acceptable meditation postures. However, sitting is often recommended to maintain alertness and prevent falling asleep. Choose a posture that allows you to stay comfortable and focused.

Q. Can I meditate if I have a busy mind with lots of thoughts?

Yes, meditation is beneficial even if you have a busy mind. Acknowledge the thoughts without judgment, gently bring your focus back to the chosen point (e.g., breath), and over time, you’ll notice an increased ability to maintain focus.

Q. What is the purpose of chanting in meditation, and how does it work?

Chanting serves various purposes in meditation, such as promoting focus, creating vibrations, and cultivating a meditative atmosphere. It can also have a calming effect on the mind and is often used as a form of mindfulness practice.

Q. How can I incorporate meditation into my daily routine?

To incorporate meditation into your daily routine, choose a consistent time and create a designated space for practice. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration. Consistency is key for establishing a successful meditation routine.

Q. What is the difference between guided meditation and self-guided meditation?

Guided meditation involves following instructions from a teacher or recording, while self-guided meditation allows you to practice independently. Guided sessions are helpful for beginners, providing structure and guidance.

Q. Are there specific meditation types better suited for stress reduction?

Mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and body scan meditation are often recommended for stress reduction. These practices help bring awareness to the present moment, cultivate compassion, and promote relaxation.

Q. How long does it take to see benefits from meditation?

The time to see benefits from meditation varies among individuals. Some may experience immediate effects, such as reduced stress, while others may notice gradual improvements in focus, emotional well-being, and overall mindfulness over weeks or months.

Q. Can children practice meditation, and if so, which types are suitable for them?

Yes, children can practice meditation. Mindfulness exercises, simple breathing techniques, and visualization practices are suitable for children. Tailor the practice to their age and interests to make it enjoyable and accessible.

Q. What is the significance of incorporating breathwork into meditation?

Breathwork is a central element in many meditation practices as it serves to anchor the mind to the present moment, promote relaxation, and enhance mindfulness. Focusing on the breath is a powerful technique for cultivating a calm and centered state of being.