Short answer. Whichever meditation works best for you.
In a nutshell, that’s it, we’re finished with this blog post.
Whichever meditation works best for you is the best meditation for you.
If you go on the internet (duhhhh, you’re already here), and do a search for “meditation”, you will come up with 1000’s of different types.
Breathing meditation. Sound meditation. Chakra meditation. Visualizations. Guided meditation. Mantra meditation. Mandala meditation. Mindfulness meditation. Walking meditation. Each of those types has hundreds of variations.
Everyone has their own particular favorite and will tell you that their method is the best.
But the reason why there are so many types is that each person on the planet is unique. Each mind / ego has been shaped by the many different experiences they’ve encountered.
Some people are very creative and artistic, while others are very analytical and logical. Some egos are very self destructive while others need to judge other people to feel good.
A rich person will have a very different mind from that of a poor person. A tall person different from short etc.
So we are all very different in how we interact with the world, how we view the world and relate to it.
So really, there isn’t a “one size fits all” meditation.
I am a creative person and very visual. So visualizations work well for me. I also found that repetitive sound is incredibly easy for me to focus on. Singing bowls, bells, drums etc.
Sound also helps me integrate my meditation practice into my every day world, because I can be very mindful throughout the day, focusing on the sounds around me.
I can understand the concept of multiple sound sources combining to create a single sound at the ear, and that also helps me go beyond simple relaxation and into enlightenment.
So, sound meditation is an incredibly useful tool for me. But at the same time, I know many people that find sound annoying and distracting. Instead of helping them find the stillness, it makes them agitated.
Why are you meditating?
Another question is, why are you meditating in the first place? I don’t want to turn this post into a debate about meditation goals. After all, there is no goal in meditation.
But are you simply trying to relax at the end of a busy day in the office or are you seriously trying to go further and reach enlightenment?
If you just want to relax, then a guided meditation where somebody leads you down a gentle woodland path through story telling, is a really great and easy way to achieve that.
There’s no complicated process. No trying to remain focused on a single point. Just listening to the narrator and building the scene they describe in your mind.
Voila, you used your mind to listen and build an imaginary world, and by doing so, you stopped your mind thinking about the past or the future. Therefore, relaxation happens, stress disappears, happiness rises, you feel good.
Mission accomplished. That was the right meditation for you.
Chances are though, that your mind will start up again thinking about the past and future almost as soon as you stop your meditation.
If you’re seeking enlightenment, then you need meditations that let you calm the mind and put it to sleep.
Hopefully one day it goes to sleep and stays inactive 24 hours a day until you need it. It becomes a tool again and doesn’t try to be the master.
All methods point to the same thing
All meditations aim to actively use the mind for a single purpose. So focused on the task you gave it, that no other thoughts arise.
It’s like taking your mind to the gym and telling it that we’re only doing bicep curls today. Doesn’t matter how much fun the other machines look. You’re just doing bicep curls.
When your mind wanders over to the leg press machine, you drag it back to bicep curls. When you want to go to the water cooler, you do more bicep curls. When your mind spots somebody cute in the gym, you go back to bicep curls.
It’s as simple as that. All methods work on the same principle. Make your mind focus on one task (puts you in control). Bring it back to the task when it wanders.
I am constantly adding new meditations to this website, so my advice is to try a few and see what styles work for you. Then experiment with different variations. Search the internet, or listen to your gut and create your own meditation. Some sort of focus that speaks to you. You’ll know if it’s working or not.
This is a huge discussion for another day, but I just want to leave you with this thought. Whenever you are using a method, you are using your mind.
So the ultimate goal is to drop all methods and do “no method” with a completely silent mind.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite meditations are.