Of the different types of meditation, there are two primary types of meditation practices that are essential for a serious seeker – Concentrative Meditation and Contemplative Meditation. The post below highlights some of their key aspects and highlights how great meditation is possible with the mastery of these practices.
Primarily there are two types of meditation:
One is called concentrative meditation, also referred to as fixed attentiveness, and the other one is called contemplative meditation, also known as analytical investigation.
A good meditator is skilled at both types of meditation. It is the meditator’s ability of staying on one thought for as long as he wants that determines the quality of his meditation. An important point to remember is that meditation is a skill, it is an art. It can be learned by the determined and mastered by the persistent.
There is only one way to learn this skill, that is: practice, careful practice at that. And, there is only one way to master this art, that is: intense practice, persistent intense practice at that. Guided practice increases your chances of success multifold provided such guidance comes from a practical source, from an experienced teacher and not just a preacher, from an expert doer and not a smooth talker.
If your guide cannot sit with perfect stillness, he may offer you a wealth of bookish knowledge but will remain incapable of guiding you from a practical standpoint, much less impart any wisdom on the subtleties of meditation.
In this post, I am going to briefly explain the difference between the two types of meditation:
Types of Meditation – Concentrative Meditation
In this type of meditation, the meditator stills his thought and settles his mind on an object of concentration. Refer to the previous posts on many exercises on concentration. If you want to read in detail about the practice of concentration meditation, you can read here.
This method is specifically designed to help the practitioner achieve the stillness of the body and mind. Until you are able to achieve perfect stillness, you will not be able to lose body-consciousness, that is, you will continue to have distracting awareness of your body during your sessions of meditation.
And till such time that you are able to completely rise above your body, you are not going to experience any cosmic oneness. Until you are able to achieve perfect stillness, all your experiences are mere intellectual fabrication.
They have no intrinsic value and remain mostly meaningless. Such experiences are not replicable. They do not purify, cleanse, guide, or strengthen you. This is the harsh truth. An intense practice of concentration stills the ten vital energies in your body helping you gain complete control in sitting still like a rock with ease.
Concentrative meditation is the first step. If you are unable to concentrate on the desired object for as long as you want, you are not ready for any contemplation or analytical investigation. Predominantly because the mind is still restless it means.
A restless mind is incapable of carrying out penetrating analysis with discerning wisdom. Once you master concentration, supranormal awareness and super-consciousness emerges naturally. My goal is to share with you the methods, obstacles, ways to clear them, deviations, aberrations, and various stages of this practice.
If you are truly serious about becoming a great meditator, I strongly recommend that you reread all posts under Mental Transformation so far. Do not rush; take your time.
This is the foundation. Even if you are sure that you have the messaging figured out, read them still. Once done, read the ones on concentration one more time. Unless you grasp the importance of those practices, you will find it hard to champion anyone even in different types of meditation, specifically the concentrative meditation.
Types of Meditation – Contemplative Meditation
After you have attained the ease of body and ability to settle your mind, anytime at will, anytime at your discretion, for however long you want, are you ready for contemplative meditation?
How different types of meditation practice affect your brain?
When practicing meditation, you will automatically gain remarkable insight into the true nature of things, the realities of different planes of existence, and into many things beyond words. Super knowledge will sprout. There is a term used in meditation texts called acala vipashayana, insight devoid of mental activity.
Art of Meditation
Learn the Yogic Technique of Meditation. Just in 4 days (and master it over a lifetime)
Monier Williams Sanskrit dictionary defines vipashaya as unfettering, or without a trace. And that is the key: when no trace of conditioned mind is left, when you gain an insight rising above your intellect, above all calculations, above logic, that is transcendental knowledge, true insight. It has come from within. It is not the product of some conditioning, agitation, or deliberation. This is the output of contemplative meditation. That’s just one of the different types of meditation. Let me tell you this is an advanced practice. I will shed some light on it in due course.
If I want to attain the supreme state, which is the best type of meditation to follow?
How should I meditate? Which method is best for me? My mind doesn’t stay still when I meditate; how do I stop it from wandering off? When it comes to meditation, these are the three most common questions I get asked. So, what is the best system of meditation since there seem to be many?
No doubt, there are myriad different ways of meditating, different types of meditation that all promise marvellous results. This method, that method, this way, that way, this system, that system and so on and so forth, the types of meditation practices that promise to make a real difference. What’s noteworthy though is that most of these methods are actually good methods. They work but like any other system, they only work for those who persist. The problem is not with the method per se, it is with the practitioner. My advice? Read more here.
Which are the ten vital energies that are stilled through Concentrative Meditation?
The ten vital energies control all voluntary and involuntary physical actions, reactions, and habits. How can we control our life with control over vital energies? Are there certain types of meditation that help with this?
The vital energies, in turn, can be controlled by asana siddhi, mastery of the yogic posture, regulation of the breath, and concentrative meditation. The Sanskrit term is vāyu. It means fluid, subtle energy. It is a term frequently used to mean wind as well. The ten vital energies are divided into five primary and five secondary energies. Their functions are as follows. Read more here.