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There are as many mindfulness practices out there as there are teachers. Knowing which method matches your energy is experiential. You just have to try it to know if it works for you. Finding the right teachers is trial and error. You have to develop trust. Knowing when to change your practice takes instinct. You have to commit to a practice and see where it takes you.
In all of these techniques, the practitioner is required to sit quietly with a straight spine for extended periods of time without fidgeting. These methods are an energetic relaxation in which the practitioner must not fall asleep or feel distracted. It is equally important to maintain control over both the body and the mind to achieve deep stillness. As the practitioner hones their body and mind to each practice, they will develop a deeper intuitive awareness that can transform their inner and outer experiences in every aspect of their life.
#1 Cutting the Ties that Bind
Developed by the late Phyllis Krystal, and outlined in a book of the same name, these methods help a person to break free from limitations that bind us to everything outside of ourselves. These very powerful techniques can be practiced individually, with family, and in groups. Mrs. Krystal authored several transformative books on this topic and began teaching these methods through a training program in 2013 at the age of 99. As a result there are meetups across the globe where individuals can practice the techniques she has outlined in her books. More information about her methods are available on her website.
I personally use more than one of these techniques on a daily basis and have found immediate and amazing shifts in my personal and external relationships over the past 8 years. The only requirement is to make sure you are following the techniques correctly to ensure effectiveness.
#2 Taoist Meditation
Taoist meditation, also referred to as Daoist, is centered in the emotional responses that we need to calm in order to connect to our spiritual-self. It is a difficult practice for beginners since sitting quietly for extended periods is required. It is an exploratory and contemplative practice that requires reflection and wisdom culminated from the teachings of Lao Tzu.
Meditation is a step-by-step process of spiritual transformation that requests the practitioner to let go and allow the practice to guide him. Once you can be compassionate towards yourself, you can observe others with compassion and provide support without the desire to control another. Movement is the best way to introduce yourself to these concepts and develop an intuitively guided practice between stillness and flowing meditation.
#3 Yoga Nidra
Established by Swami Rama also, known as yogic sleep, yoga nidra is the easiest for beginners and advanced yogis to practice. The practitioner begins by rotating their consciousness around the body systematically by following a teachers guided instructions. The goal is to slowly withdraw the senses inward so that the body and mind become fully relaxed.
31-Point and 61-Point meditation technique can be used to guide the practitioners attention from point to point in the body to achieve complete relaxation of the nervous system. Scientifically proven, yoga nidra has been shown to have reversed disease and stimulated self-healing. Through this process, the practitioner can restore the body to a point of total rest and learn to release habits, achieve goals, and balance desires.
#4 Bhuddist Meditation
Vipassana is the oldest Bhuddist meditation practices and is defined as “insight,” the awareness of what is occurring as it occurs. The bhuddist approach of Vipassana meditation cultivates mindfulness through silent observation and inward reflection. It is typically presented at a 10-day retreat in which practitioners must observe complete silence.
Some practitioners may combine Vipassana with yoga to increase concentration and clearing the mind of all distractions to enjoy a deeper yoga practice. Like other forms of meditation, Vipassana systematically flows through energy centers in the body to create balance and increase consciousness.
#5 Mantra Meditation
Mantra is just word or phrase that is repeated during meditation as set number of times. A mantra is sometimes given by a teacher to practice regularly. However, there are some mantras that can be used to extend your personal practice and help you to achieve your goals.
The Gayatri Mantra and Maha Mrityunjaya Mantras are very powerful mantras from traditional yoga that symbolize removing negative forces and illuminating light. Practicing these for a short time or even daily can improve focus and shift your mood.
Gayatri Mantra (Awakening Gratitude) - meditation by Deva Premal
Om bhur, bhuvah, svah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Maha Mrityunjaya (Heal Yourself, Heal the World) - meditation by Deva Premal
Oṃ tryaṃbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā'mṛtāt
The benefits of each of these meditation techniques can have immense effects on our mind, body, and spirit. With a renewed sense of concentration, practitioners can change their energy and shift their experiences in every aspect of life.
See you on the mat!
Writer, Technologist, and Meditation Coach