In the noise and distraction of our modern lives, we need space to breathe.
Meditation gives us space. I’m Georgie Browne, and I’d like to share with you some of the many forms of meditation. I hope you explore the ones which resonate with you.
Meditation’s Contemporary Landscape
Meditation has a vast array of techniques and styles, each with its own unique elements.
At Sonas meditation, we see meditation as mental fitness training—a workout for the mind that requires consistent practice to yield its benefits.
Now, let’s look at some types of meditation.
Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. in the 1950s. This practice involves the silent repetition of a personal mantra to transcend ordinary thoughts and attain heightened awareness. The practice invites you to sit twice daily for 20 minutes each.
For information, visit the official website of the Transcendental Meditation organisation: TM.org.
Rooted in the age-old Vedic traditions of India, Vedic Meditation journeys into the subconsciousness. Vedic meditation offers a personalised mantra to each student, given by their teacher. Akin to the tradition of sages.
The founder of TM, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, was influenced by Vedic traditions and adapted Vedic meditation principles to create the TM technique. Transcendental Meditation was simplified and structured to make it more accessible and easier to learn for a Western audience.
The difference between the two is that Vedic Meditation brings a more approach, with a mantra chosen specifically for each individual by a trained teacher based on the student’s personal characteristics. This mantra is not to be revealed to others.
For more, visit the Vedic Meditation organisation: VedicMeditation.com.
For those who seek self-discovery, Vipassana might be your guiding star. Attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, this ancient technique encourages us to explore the inner workings of our minds by observing thoughts and sensations without attachment to them.
To learn more about Vipassana Meditation, go to Dhamma.org.
Kundalini Meditation is a spiritual adventure that awakens dormant energy at the base of your spine, often depicted as a serpent. With a scientific blend of postures, mantras, and breath control, it offers a transformative journey.
For insights, see the 3HO Foundation, which provides information about Kundalini Yoga and Meditation: 3HO.org.
Mindfulness, the darling of modern meditation, invites us to savour the present moment. American professor Jon Kabat-Zinn popularised this practice. It teaches us to be fully aware of our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.
For a reputable source on Mindfulness Meditation, check out the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School: UMassMedicalSchool.edu.
Getting Started with Meditation
If you are ready to start a meditation practice at home, here are a few tips to help support you.
Create Your Meditation Space: It’s a place at home where you can sit without too many distractions. Whether it’s a dedicated place you keep just for meditation or your favourite corner that you go to each time you want to meditate. Choose a supportive cushion, stool, block or chair. Set the lighting to suit the time of day and create a calm atmosphere.
Establish a Routine: Just as you wouldn’t plan to miss a workout session when you are getting fit, allocate a specific time daily for meditation and stick to it. Consistency is key.
Begin with Guided Meditation: If you’re new to meditation, consider starting with guided sessions. These can be found online. You can find my free mediations here on the Insight Timer app.
Choose Your Style: Take some time trying different styles and different teachers and figure out which you like.
Patience and Persistence: Keep in mind that meditation is a journey, not a destination. Each session, no matter how brief, contributes.
Explore and Adapt: Your preferences may change and evolve over time; explore new things and keep an open mind.
Seek Guidance: Consider the support of a trained meditation teacher, especially when venturing into more complex practices. Join my mailing list to learn about online and offline events and classes.
Keep a Meditation Journal: Record your progress, insights, and the inner transformations you experience will be invaluable.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your path with this is as unique as you are. With time, dedication, and a willingness to explore, meditation can transform your life.
At Sonas, I teach weekly meditation in person in Kinsale, Ireland.