Types of meditation
Types of meditation
There are hundreds of meditation techniques given by different schools of spirituality but all the techniques can be classified into two simple types.
- Active Meditation and
- Passive Meditation
“21-century people need 21-century meditation methods, to begin with.” – Osho
Osho is right because all classic meditation methods can be challenging for today’s people.
In the 6th century BC, Buddha proposed methods like;
- Vipassana ( Conscious Witnessing ),
- Anapanasati ( Mindful Breathing ), and
- Satipatthana (Establishment of awareness on observation )
The people’s minds have become a thousand times more chaotic and body a hundred times more rigid since the Buddha’s time. So, these methods can be difficult for beginners.
Patanjali yoga sutra designed in the 2nd century BCE demands practices like;
- Brahmacharya (sexual restraint) and
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness )
These practices can be impractical in today’s lifestyle and environment. The traditional approach of the Buddha, Patanjali and other ancient masters are useful and practical but only if beginner meditators begin with a new system that is dynamic in nature.
Active Meditation first for beginners?
A Zen story can be helpful to understand the reason.
Tokusan, a scholar asked Ryutan, a Zen Master to speak on Cosmic law and Universal truth.
As the master gracefully spoke on the topic, he also gently served tea in a cup and kept on pouring.
The tea started to overflow and spill on the table.
The scholar shouted, “Stop, can’t you see the cup is full?”
The master said, “This is you. How can I make you understand what the law and the truth are until you first don’t empty your cup?”
The modern mind is the cup and is full of suppressed emotions and pre-occupied with judgmental thoughts. A meditative state cannot be attained unless the cup of the mind is emptied by Active Meditation or else the silence and bliss that come with meditation will overflow.
Let’s take a contemporary example.
New songs on a cell phone cannot be stored in the phone memory is already full of old songs. Only when the phone memory is empty and has space, new programs can be downloaded. In the same way, to be ready to practice the traditional meditation techniques, first the body and then the mind must be unconditioned using Active Meditation Techniques.
The modern mind has lots of suppressed emotions like;
- Disgust and many more
These negative emotions drag the vital energy down and hinder the spiritual journey. Active Meditation gives the suppressed negative emotions in an outlet. This is the first step in learning how to meditate.
Let’s take an example of framers. Before the framers sow the seeds in the field, they uproot and throw away the weeds from the field. For the beginner meditators, the suppressed emotions are the weeds and the consciousness is the field. The Active Meditation uproots and throws away the weeds and the Passive Meditation is the inner cultivation and the Ultimate Awakening is the flower.
Here is a list of few powerful Active Meditation;
- Dynamic Meditation
- Chakra Breathing
- Kundalini Shaking Meditation
- Mystic Rose
- Stop Dance Mediation
- Natraj Meditation