The 7 Most Popular Types of Meditation – Overview (Part 1)

Types of Meditation – a quick overview.


Meditation is a complicated subject. A discussion on the many different types of meditation can be long and confusing. I’ll try to break down the types into understandable categories.

There are two general approaches to meditation: Concentration and Awareness. Each will be discussed below, but in general Concentration deals with training the mind to focus on a specific sound, image or feeling. While Awareness is just the opposite, there is no focus, the mind is trained to encompass all and be aware of the all.

The 7 Most Popular Types of Meditation

Concentration Meditation

As stated in the introduction, Concentration Meditation is a broad category of meditation. The goal of Concentration Meditation is single pointed focus on either sound, breath, image or an object such as a candle flame. This practice is about focusing on a microcosm and the purpose of this is to train the mind to focus.

Why a focused mind? With Concentration Meditation training a practitioner learns to reduce the wandering mind or monkey mind as it is commonly called. This can improve memory, increase fluid intelligence and improve test taking ability.

The more popular styles of Concentration Meditation include:

  • TM
  • Body Rhythm Meditation

Of all the types of meditation, concentration meditation is probable the easiest for the beginner to learn. Just follow the breath or watch a flame and with practice the ability to focus and concentrate ill improve. Also, concentration meditation is a excellent stepping stone to learning more advanced practices that will be discussed below.

Awareness Meditation

Awareness meditation is pretty much the opposite of concentration meditation. The goal of Awareness Meditation is attention to and appreciation of the present moment. This practice is about focusing on the “Eternal Now” and the purpose of this is to understand our place in the universe as well as to spread good will. While this is a simplistic and somewhat incomplete definition, it conveys the general goal of Awareness Meditation.

Of the many types of meditation, Awareness Meditation is gaining in popularity. Some styles include:

  • Vipassana or Insight Meditation
  • Non-Duality Meditation
  • Zazen

Awareness Meditation can be a very difficult for the beginner. Yet it can be quite a rewarding style. While it is usually practiced by more advanced practitioners, the beginner can gain true insight with this practice, but only if they practice it correctly.

Mindfulness Meditation

Of the types of meditation practices that fall into the Awareness category Mindful Meditation is easily the most popular. Mindful Meditation can be a combination of concentration and awareness styles but the emphasis is usually on awareness.

Mindful Meditation usually focuses on breathing while at the same time being mindful of other phenomena such as walking, eating, cleaning dishes.

Like the Awareness Meditation category, Mindful Meditation is gaining in popularity. Also like Awareness Meditation, some styles include:

  • Vipassana or Insight Meditation
  • Non-Duality Meditation
  • Zazen

Any discussion of the types of meditation is bound to be long. With that in mind I have made this a 2 part article with Part 2 to be following in next week. So mark it on your calendar and be sure to read the conclusion to this fascinating discussion on the many types of meditation!

To be continued …


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