Understanding the Types of Meditation – Mindfulness, Transcendental and Vipassana

The evidence of the benefits of meditation for enhancing physical and mental wellbeing is increasing by the day and there are many forms of meditation that a person can derive advantage from:

Mindfulness Meditation or Smriti

Smriti is a Sanskrit word that means awareness of remembering and is considered to be one of the 7 important factors that bring about enlightenment according to the teachings of the Buddha. This type of meditation tries to perceive things as they are and a clear comprehension of reality. It is method of letting go of negative emotions such as hatred, greed and the desire for material or unimportant things.

Types of MeditationIt involves the attempt to maintain a sense of calm awareness at all times in one’s day to day life. Today western psychologist employ this ancient form of meditation to help resolve a range of mental and physical conditions such as drug addiction, obsessive compulsive disorders, depression and so on.

It is also found to be useful in preventing relapse of certain conditions.

Transcendental Meditation

This form of meditation was popularized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (of the Beatles fame) in about the 1950’s and went on to become something of a spiritual movement. This is a form of mantra meditation and is one of the most widely practiced and researched forms of meditation.

This meditation involves thinking rather than speaking a mantra and requires the mind to reach a quieter and less active plane. The mantras may be wordless sounds and may vary from person to person as may suit a particular individual. 15 to 20 minutes of this meditation is ideally supposed to be practiced in the morning and in the evening.

Vipassana Meditation

One of the most ancient methods of meditation, this form is also a Buddhist tradition that seeks to obtain insight into the true nature of reality. A steadfast mind uses introspection and self observation to lead to self transformation in this type of meditation. The focus is on attaining clarity and lucidity of the mind; which helps the mind see and perceive more clearly.

Rather than the release of past trauma this meditation seeks to comprehend the real nature of human suffering. The impermanence of things and the achievement of wisdom are the ultimate aims of this meditation.

The different forms of meditation can all have beneficial impacts of helping to lower stress and help enhance mental and hence physical health.