Today, I want to talk to you about my three favorite ways of meditation. To me, a good way of meditation has to be simple. Meditation is not about doing something that is extremely complicated and then you will suddenly have some amazing result. That’s not meditation. That’s some people misbelief about meditation. That kind of misbelief may be due to the increasingly popular trend of meditation and mindfulness. There is no question that meditation is great for you. Great things that are good for you are usually not magical. Think swimming and jogging. Remember, all you are doing with meditating is to clear your mind so that you can think more clearly and rationally. Now, let’s take a look at the three ways that can help me clear my mind. I will go from my number one favorite way to my number three favorite way.
Mantra Meditation (Without Breath Syncing)
The method of meditation that most easily make me fall in the half-asleep state is mantra meditation. All I am doing is that I am repeatedly saying a two-syllable mantra in my mind and have my eyes closed during the process. I like to sit on my chair or my sofa with my hands gently put on my thighs. I would repeat a meaningless mantra like “so-hum” and I say it in my mind in a pace that is not too fast or not too slow. All I am doing is to assign a part time job to my mind so that it gets a chance to rest. Since it is close to impossible to shut down your mind completely, having your mind doing a “part time job” like repeating a simple mantra is the closest thing to entirely resting. Some people like to synchronize syllable one and syllable two of the mantra with your action of breathing and out. That doesn’t work as well for me and I will touch on that a little later in this blog post.
Another way of meditation that works pretty well for me, but not as well as mantra meditation, is the breath meditation. It is probably one of the most popular and easy type of meditation that you can do. To do that, you will need to have your eye closed. I like to sit on my chair or my sofa and have my hands on my lap. Some people prefer to have their legs crossed and sit on the floor. Anyway, instead of reading a mantra with your mind, your “part time job” this time is to observe the “breathing in” and “breathing out” of your body. You definitely don’t want to change your breath. In other words, notice your breath without actually changing it. It is probably the most talked about way of meditation and it is like the “default” way of meditation. For me, I found it sometimes difficult to not to change my breath when I observe my breath carefully. The only I change my breath, the more difficult for me to get into the half-asleep state that helps clear my mind.
Mantra Meditation with Breath Synchronizing
There are two main types of mantra meditation. One is my favorite one that I have just talked about which is to not having to synchronize the speed of the mantra reading with the speed of breathing. The other one is to synchronize them. You can almost view it as the combination of breath meditation and mantra meditation. To be more specific, let’s assume that I am using “so-hum” as my mantra, which is a pretty common mantra to use. With my eyes close and with me sitting in a relaxed way, I say in my mind “so” when I breath in and then I say “hum” when I breath out. I am not sure whether more people prefer the synced way or the non-synced way of mantra meditation more. For me, the syncing part is a little too much way for my mind to do and it doesn’t put me into the half-asleep state as easily.
Do I Stick to My Favorite Way of Meditation?
What I usually do is that I stick to the favorite way of meditation which is the mantra meditation with no breath syncing. I usually only do it in the morning for around 10 minutes, although I know a more popular default suggestion would be to do twice a day, 20 minutes each. If I happen to have time for an extra meditation session in the afternoon or if I feel the need of meditation, I would pick one of the three ways of meditation that I have just mentioned above. That just add a little bit of randomness and fun factor to my occassional afternoon meditation.
Why I Only Meditate in the Morning
While I know that being about to meditate twice a day, 20 minutes each can make me feel good, I find it more practical to set the bar lower and make sure that I can accomplish my less difficult goal everyday. If I set my goal of doing two 20-minute meditation session a day, I would probably not meditate at all since it is hard to fit that into my daily schedule. Usually, I find that my mind is usually in a pretty clear state and all I need is the 10 minutes of meditation before I confirm my to-do list in the morning. In the afternoon, even if my mind isn’t in the clearest state, I can simply look at the to-do list that is confirmed by a clear mind and stick to my design.
Bonus Way: Long Walk
To me, long walk is arguably my favorite way of meditation. I just can’t do it regularly enough to make it my daily routine. Having a more-than-45-minute walk can give me a very similar effect to my 10-minute mantra meditation session. Remember that a long walk is good for both your mind and your body.
In conclusion, my three best ways to meditate is the mantra meditation, the breath meditation and the mantra meditation with breath syncing. If possible, I actually want to do more long walks to replace some of my mantra or breath meditation sessions.