Learn to Meditate: Popular Types of Meditation (for Beginners)

How Do You Meditate? And What Are The Benefits? 
Here is a clear explanation for all the Popular Types of Meditation for Beginners and
12 Guided Meditations that you can practice straight away.

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Meditation has been around for thousands of years and its astounding number of benefits have really stood the test of time. You may be thinking you’d like to try meditation for yourself.

I have been interested in meditation since my teens but for a very long time I didn’t really understand what it meant or how to do it. People just tell you to meditate like it’s obvious and you should know how to do it. But I didn’t!

When I looked into it I found so many explanations – but they were often quite woolly and unclear.

In addition, I found people use so many different techniques, and some seemed contradictory.

Like, are you meant to have no thoughts while meditating, or just be aware and mindful of your thoughts?

Over the years I found out that this is because there are many different types of meditation to suit different kinds of people with different kinds of mental dispositions. And these different types of meditation achieve different kinds of results.

Basically, one size does not fit all.

Here are some of the benefits
that Different meditations offer:

 Meditating can help you
    • relax

    • sleep

    • reduce stress and anxiety 

    • manage pain

    • decrease reactivity, increase mental space 

    • be more present

    • feel happier 

    • be more creative 

    • feel calm and peaceful whenever you want

    • gain more insights about how your mind works 

    • understand reality

    • understand yourself better

    • improve focus, clarity, and concentration 

    • reduce anger, jealousy and other painful emotions 

    • have more love and kindness for yourself and others

    • become a better person  

    • connect to your own inner wisdom, your higher self 

    • help you manifest your goals in life

    • lead a more spiritual life

    • become enlightened 

Yes, meditation can really help you with all of these – but not all at once 😉  

Different types of meditation are designed to do different things. 

Below I will try and clarify.

The Three Main Types of Meditation

The 3 Main Types of Meditation are 

1. Relaxation Meditation

2. Insight Meditation

3. Visualization Meditation

Here is an infographic detailing these 3 main types of meditation, what their benefits are, and the different forms of how to practices in each category.

Let’s look at the 3 Main Types of Meditation and how to practice them in more detail. 
They are:
RELAXATION MEDITATION

How to practice:

1. Breathing Meditation

2. Sleep Meditation

3. Body Scan 

4. Gazing Meditation 

5. Walking Meditation

INSIGHT MEDITATION

How to practice:

6.  Mindfulness Meditation

7. Noting

8. Inner Guidance Meditation

 

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Guided Meditations for Beginners

Relaxation Meditation

What is it?

Meditations that reduce stress and anxiety, make you feel calm and peaceful.

We often think that the whole purpose of meditation is to relax. Meditation can actually do a lot more for us but becoming calm and peaceful is definitely a huge benefit. 

The good news is that all types of meditation will make us feel more relaxed. 

Here are some suggested Meditations for Relaxation.

1. Breathing Meditation

Meditation means focusing on a single thing. In this type of meditation the focus is on the breath. A simple focus on the in and out breath, either at the nose or the chest or belly.

Benefits: A feeling of relaxation and peace. Calms the mind and thoughts. Simple to do, needs no special set up or props, can be done anywhere, any time. 

5 Minutes Guided Breathing Meditation 

Sit with your spine straight, take three deep breaths and relax as you breathe out. Sit up straight but be comfortable.

Become aware of your breath. Breathe naturally, just pay attention to how your breath is right now. Is it fast, slow, deep, or shallow? Is the out-breath as long as the in-breath?

No need to judge or change anything. Just observe what is.

When your mind wanders – as it will – gently bring it back to observing the breath. Just the breath. Nothing but the breath. Let go of everything else. Give yourself permission for a 5 minute time-out.

Focus on the sensations at your nostrils. Feel how the breath enters the nose. Then exits the nose. Is there a difference in temperature? 

Become aware of the gap between the in and the out breath. And between the out and the in breath. Are they the same? 

Change the focus to your chest or your belly as it gently rises and falls with the breath. Do you prefer to observe the breath here or at the nose? 

Know that your mind will get distracted – this is completely normal. Simply bring it back to the breath. You might try counting the breath which can help keep your attention for longer. See if it works for you. 

Notice how your mind calms down as you focus on the rhythm and simplicity of the breath. Enjoy a few minutes where there’s nothing else to do.

Then slowly start to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, gently open your eyes and come back to the room you’re in. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

2. Sleep Meditation

Consciously quiet the mind, letting go of worry and overthinking, and deeply relax the body, while lying in bed.

Benefits: Falling asleep more quickly, staying asleep throughout the night, having a deeper and more restful sleep.

10-20 Minutes Guided Sleep Meditation

Lay down with your spine straight. Make yourself comfortable. Take a deep breath and as you breathe out let go of any tension in your body. Scan the body from head to toe and let any tension drain out, consciously relaxing each area.

You’ve made it through the day and now the time has come to take a well deserved rest. There is nothing left to do but to relax and let go.

Take another deep breath, breathe out with a sigh, and relax even more. Pay attention to the jaw, the face, the shoulders, any areas that might still hold any tension and let go.

Feel wherever the body is making contact with the bed. Sink down further into the bed

Set your intention: I now let go of the day and drift off into a deep restful sleep. I will stay asleep throughout the night. Tomorrow I will wake up after a long deep sleep feeling well and rested.

Think this to yourself three times. This can really help tell your subconscious mind what you want it to do. 

If your mind is full of worry or busy thoughts do the breathing meditation above or the body scan meditation below. 

If you need further practices to calm the mind then retrace your day, in detail, action-by-action. Start with when you woke up. Remember if you got up straight away or pressed the snooze button on your alarm several times. Remember how you had a shower, got dressed, had breakfast. Keep going through your entire day, remembering all the actions you took.

This is a great way to give your busy mind something to do that will automatically lead it to calm down. If you manage to arrive at the evening activities up to the present moment, do another body scan, relax all of your body, and then start to count the breaths, starting from 100 all the way down to 1. 

End the meditation by falling asleep 🙂 

Further Sleep Resources

I used to suffer from terrible insomnia and I know how demoralising it is. Here are things I’ve tried that have helped me:

I find the sound of rain for example very helpful. YouTube is great for playing calming sounds throughout the night (here is my current favourite). 

However, you have to leave the screen on which drains the battery and gives off some light. It also makes my phone heat up and the speakers aren’t that good.

If you have similar problems then this little gadget might help you:

It has 30 different sounds such as nature, ocean waves, thunderstorm, baby heartbeat and more, which I found very helpful.

Here is  a very affordable kindle, audiobook, or paperback that is actually a Four-Week Guided Program, using mindfulness to combat insomnia. Perfect.

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3. Body Scan

Focusing on different areas of the body one by one and becoming aware of how each body part feels right now

Benefits: Gets you out of your head and into your body. Reduces overthinking and brings the mind and body together in the here and now. Improves a sense of well-being, decreases physical discomfort and pain, and reduces stress levels.

5-15 Minutes Guided Body Scan

You can do this mediation laying down, sitting or even standing Just have your spine straight.

Start by bringing your awareness to your feet. What sensations are there? Hot, cold, tingling?

Can you feel the floor? Your shoes? How does that feel?

Just be present and simply notice the sensations without judgment. 

Then consciously relax your feet. And if you want you can send them gratitude for everything they do for you – they carry you all day long, after all.

Then move on to your legs and see what sensations are present there. Do they touch each other do they touch your clothing? Is there heat or cold or pain? If you can’t feel any sensation, just be aware of the absence of sensation.

Simply become aware of what is. Slowly move up your entire body.

End each section by consciously relaxing that part of the body and sending it gratitude if you want to. 

Whenever your mind gets distracted (as it will – this is normal) simply notice this and gently bring it back to the object of meditation. 

Instead of doing the scan from your feet to the top of your head you can also decide to do it in random order. Or stick to just one area.

You can also include your bones, skin, internal organs, digestion, etc. There are no right or wrong ways of doing this. Just be present, as best you can. 

Whenever the mind gets distracted gently bring it back to the body part you’re scanning. 

When you’ve finished your scan take a note of how you’re feeling in your body and mind. Then slowly start to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, gently open your eyes and come back to the room you’re in. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

4. Gazing Meditation

Gazing at a single object like the flame of a candle.

Benefits: Stills the mind as you still the eyes. Relaxing and calming. Improves focus, attention span, memory. Helps learn visualization skills.

5 Minutes Guided Gazing Meditation

Put a candle at about an arm’s length in front of you at eye level (e.g. on a table; not on the floor or lower than you). The room should be dim and draft free so that the flame is still. 

Sit with your spine straight, take three deep breaths and relax as you breathe out. Sit up straight but be comfortable.

Now gaze at the flame. Relax your eyes. Try not to blink and not let your eyes move from the center of the flame, just above the wick.

When your mind wanders or thoughts come just notice this, let them go, and gently bring your awareness back to the flame.

When your eyes are tired close them and gaze at the afterimage of the flame in your mind if you can see it.

When you’re ready open your eyes and go for another round.

After about 5 minutes end the meditation by slowly starting to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, maybe sway your body side to side, and come back to the whole room you’re in. Notice how you feel. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

Further Resources: More details of the benefits and how to do gazing meditation here and here

5. Walking Meditation

Walking consciously with full awareness of your movements and your body. 

Benefits: Syncing the mind and the body, being fully in the present moment. Can be incorporated into any walk so you don’t need to make extra time to meditate.

10 Minutes Guided Walking Meditation

Walk normally but perhaps more slowly than usual.

Bring your awareness to your feet and really become conscious of what it feels like to walk. The lifting of the leg. What sensations are in the foot as you place it on the ground?

Does the foot turn in or out? When does the weight shift from one leg to the other? Is there a different quality to each step?

Bring your awareness to your arms. Are both of them hanging or swinging in equal measures alongside your body? Does one feel freer than the other? 

Expand your awareness to the whole of your body. Are you holding tension in the shoulders? Clenching your jaw? Tilting your head? 

Do you feel warm or cold? Which parts?

Just notice how the body is, right here and now, without judgements. 

Expand your awareness further to incorporate your environment. Become aware of what there is to see around you. Trees, cars, passing people. The sky. What sounds there are to hear. What smells. 

There’s no need to think about or dwell on any of these. Just acknowledge what is there and then let go. Whenever your mind wanders to the past or the future bring it back to be where your body is right now. 

To finish off, notice three things on your walk that make you happy. Maybe birdsong, or a child’s laugh, the fresh air or the architecture, or two lovers strolling ahead of you, hand in hand. Become aware of these and let them lift your spirits.

Bonus: So what is Samatha? 

You may have heard the term Samatha. Or the idea that all meditation techniques fall into one of only two types, Samatha and Vipassana. This is a Buddhist concept and Samatha is a Sanskrit word that means “calm abiding”. It refers to all meditation techniques that bring calm and tranquility to the mind by staying on a single object. The purpose is not so much to relax but to increase the ability to focus. This is done so that the other form of meditation, Vipassana or Insight meditation, can be done more successfully. So traditionally, the real purpose of meditation was to gain deeper insights (and eventually enlightenment), and calming the mind by focusing on a single object was a gateway to this.


Insight Meditation

What is it?

These types of meditations help us gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world.

6. Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation means focusing on a single thing. In mindfulness meditation we focus on the present moment. Specifically our experiences (like our emotions, thoughts, and sensations), whatever makes up the present moment.

Benefits: Mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere by consciously focusing on any of our actions (or our environment). It greatly enhances the experience of that action, lets us be fully present in our environment and trains us to sustain attention. No special time or set up or posture needed so mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere, any time.

10 Minutes Guided Mindfulness Meditation 

You’ll find my practical Step by Step Guide that I’ve written on how to practice mindfulness meditation in my post How to Meditate for Beginners.

Further Mindfulness Resources

Some of the greatest teachers of our time have taught mindfulness, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and world renowned  Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

7. Noting

We calmly notice and name what we are experiencing, particularly where the mind goes when we are distracted.

Benefits: Helps us recognize our mental habits and tendencies, our patterns and conditioning. Noting acknowledges and incorporates the fact that our mind wanders off when we meditate. Rather than distractions being unwanted we make use of them. 

10 Minutes Guided Noting Meditation

Sit with your spine straight, take three deep breaths and relax as you breathe out. Sit up straight but be comfortable. You might want to close your eyes if this helps you to feel calm and focused. Or leave them open, as you prefer. 

Breathe naturally and become aware of your breath. Feel the in breath at the tip of the nose.

Notice when the in breath turns into the out breath. Feel the out breath exiting the nose. Is there a difference in temperature to the in breath? How long is the pause between the out and the in breath? Is your breath deep or shallow? 

Just observe your natural breath as it is, here and now. 

At some point the mind will wander away from the breath. It might go to an external sound or a painful sensation in your body. Most likely you will engage in thoughts. This is normal.

The moment you realise that your awareness got carried away briefly make a mental note of what this was and give it a general name. It could be ‘planning’, ‘worrying’, ‘fantasising’, ‘remembering’, ‘wanting’, ‘resisting’, ‘judging’…

If there was a strong emotion notice this and label it. ‘Happiness’, ‘sadness’, ‘excitement’, ‘fear’, ‘jealousy’, ‘anger’, ‘anxiety’, ‘worry’…

Then let the thought go, or let that feeling go, and return to the breath. 

Labelling the distraction will create some space in the mind and will help with letting go. 

It also lets us become aware of where our mind goes when we’re not paying attention. It can help us realise what is actually going on in the mind and acknowledge how we’re really feeling. 

Noting helps us be mindful by recognising our experiences in the here and now without judgement. 

Noting also lets us recognise our own subconscious habits and tendencies. We might be surprised at how many times ‘feeling anxious’ or ‘fantasising’ or ‘judging’ comes up in the mind.

These areas are often where our subconscious mind “lives”. These thoughts and emotions run our attitudes which in turn determine our actions. Becoming aware of where our mind goes when we’re distracted is the first step to consciously deciding where we want to direct our mind. 

After 5-10 minutes end the meditation by slowly starting to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, maybe sway your body side to side, gently open your eyes and come back to the room you’re in. Notice how you feel. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

Further resources: a transcript of a meditation showcasing the “noting” technique in action 

8. Inner Guidance Meditation

Connecting with your higher self, your intuition, the divine, or your guides to gain insights and advice.

Benefits: Helps us to access our own inner wisdom, gain clarity and receive the answers and advice we need. Realigns our soul to our path.

15 Minutes Inner Guidance Meditation

Sit or lay down. Be comfortable with your spine straight. Take three deep breaths and consciously relax as you breathe out, letting any tension drain away. Close your eyes.

Think about a question or a problem you would like help with. Where are you stuck, what do you need? It can be anything at all. There’s no judgement, no “should” or “ shouldn’t”. No ask is too big or small. No ask is off limits. 

Now move your attention to your energetic heart center in the middle of your chest. Imagine a ball of beautiful golden light. The light is warm and inviting. Feel the glow and the warmth. 

Now the ball of light slowly and steadily opens. Light spills out, flowing towards you as if opening its arms, inviting you inside. 

You happily enter and find yourself inside the beautiful sphere filled with golden light. It feels warm, and safe. Wondrous and also familiar. This is simply a deep, calm space inside yourself.   

Right at the centre you see a flower mandala, a circle filled with flowers in beautiful patterns and colours.

At the head of the circle sits a being. An energy radiate from them.

It could be your Higher Self. 

If this doesn’t feel right at this moment, here are some more suggestions. See which one you can see sitting there. 

A Healer  A Sage A Monk A Shaman A native Indian chief  The archetype of the King The Warrior  The archetype of the Mother The Wise Woman Archangel Michael

Your guardian spirit Jesus Mary Magdalene  Buddha The Dalai Lama  Source The Universe 

All these always avail themselves on an energetic level to guide us and give advice whenever we seek it. All we need is ask. 

Leave all judgements and doubts behind and settle on one you feel drawn to. 

Go with your instinct and gut feeling. Any choice you make is allowed. Any choice you make is the right one for here and now.  

Who can you see sitting in the sphere of light at your heart? 

They are themselves but they are also a version of yourself. It’s just that in them your wisdom, peace and calm, your power and clarity is no longer buried but right at the centre of your being. 

They smile at you and radiate a feeling of welcome, so happy to see you. 

Notice what they night look like. 

If you get an image become aware of some of the details, like their hair or their clothes or the colour of light they might be radiating.

If you don’t get any images that is fine. Trust they are there because these beings always show up whenever we call them, whether we can see them or not. Maybe you can feel a general sense of their presence.

They beckon you to go to them now and if it feels right imagine they embrace you in an all encompassing hug. Just let go and allow yourself to be completely held. A deep peace comes over you. 

Or if you prefer you can simply bathe in their light which flows all around and fills the sphere, filling you with peace.

You feel a deep sense of acceptance, of being known and loved. 

When the time feels right you may both sit down. You may sit next to each other, looking in each other’s eyes. Or there is a simply a feeling of closeness and trust.

Tell them that you would like their help and ask them your question. 

They understand. 

You breathe and feel your heart open wider to receive. 

You listen to their advice.

This might come to you in the form of a word or a sentence, or an image or a feeling. 

Pay attention to anything that may come up in your mind, however small or illogical or seemingly insignificant. There is no judgment. You may both still be learning how to communicate with each other.  

Take your time and keep asking your question. Let it clarify. 

They might speak to you or take you somewhere in your mind. They may show you something you have been avoiding or overlooking. Or something they want you to remember. Something that it is time to let go of. 

You can ask them what they want you to know. 

You both breathe in unison and you feel clarity coming to you. 

It may not be the answer that you expected. It may not be an easy piece of advice. But there will be a sense of knowing that this is the right thing to do. The right next step. For now. 

You acknowledge that you have heard them. There is an understanding between you. 

Even if their advice is difficult to hear you know they will support you in implementing it. 

Thank them for seeing you and being there.

They are so happy that you have come to them for advice. They want the best possible life for you but because you have free will you need to ask for their help. If you ask they will look out for you, protect you, help you grow and fulfil your life’s purpose. 

You both know that it is time to leave now. You might hug or bow or wave. In your mind, offer them gratitude. 

They tell you that you can come back here any time for more love, acceptance, wisdom and advice. You are always welcome here. 

The sphere of light at your heart now opens and you step out, feeling well and happy. 

Take a deep breath. Come back to your body and to the room you’re in. Maybe have a little stretch and slowly open your eyes.

You might want to journal about your experience and the advice you’ve received. Also know that further insights can still come to you for some time after the meditation. 

Know that you can call upon your inner guidance any time and ask for their support in implementing the advice you have received. 

Bonus: So what is Chakra Meditation? 

Chakras are centers of energy embedded in the physical as well as the subtle body, creating a mind-body connection. The literal meaning of chakra is “wheel”  and their function is to spin and draw in energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance

Although there are hundreds of these energy points in the body chakra meditation typically focuses on the 7 main ones which run along the spine from the base to the crown of the head. Each chakra is associated with a colour, a one-word mantra, and specific functions of the physical and spiritual body. It can bring balance, healing, and enhance your spiritual practice. It should be done under a qualified teacher’s instruction or at least following written guidance.


Visualization Meditation

What is it?

Types of meditations that use intentional thought and mental imagery to bring about the outcome that we desire.

There is scientific research that shows that the brain cannot distinguish well between images that we vividly imagine and “real” external images that are visually perceived.

This fact is widely exploited in sports. It is also practiced by successful businessmen, actors (before he was ever offered any acting work, Jim Carrey visualised having movie directors interested in him and famously wrote himself a 10 million dollar check), and advocated by Oprah and life coach Tony Robbins: “Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.”

9. Meditation on a Word

Focusing on a single word or short phrase that encompasses a quality you desire.

Benefits: Very simple and easy to do. Can be done in short gaps throughout the day, for example while waiting for a lift or in line, at a traffic light, or on the phone.

1 Minute Guided Meditation on a Word

This can be done “formally” while sitting down, for longer periods – as long as feels good.

But this meditation can also be done as a “pattern interruptor”, a quick ‘ping’ throughout the day to return to a quality you want to cultivate.

Choose a go-to word you use on a regular basis. This could be Love, or I am love, or I am loved. 

It could be Joy, Free, Yes, All Is Well, Calm, Peace, Focus, Awareness, Courage, Healing, Light, Abundance, Ease, Let Go, OM or any other short phrase or single word that speaks to you. 

Whenever you remember throughout the day, say the word to yourself on an in breath, and on the out breath let it sink into your body. Do this three times. 

Choose a positive word or short phrase and make sure there aren’t any words like “not” or “no” or similar in it (e.g. don’t use “I no longer feel pain” or “I have nothing to worry about”. Instead, phrase them positively: I am healed. I am safe.)

10. Loving Kindness Meditation

Developing an unconditional, inclusive love for ourself and others.

Benefits: Can help with reducing anger, jealousy and other painful emotions, conflicts at work or in relationships, having more love and kindness for ourself and others, becoming a better person

10 Minutes Guided Loving Kindness Meditation

You’ll find my practical Step by Step Guide that I’ve written on how to meditate on Loving Kindness in my post How to Meditate for Beginners.

Further Loving Kindness Resources

Practicing loving kindness has helped me develop a love for all (of) life, made me calmer and more joyous
If you want to go deeper with these teachings then here is a video series with two of the biggest names in this field, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. It’s free in exchange for your email address.

Bonus: So what is Metta Meditation?

Metta is the Pali word for loving kindness and a well known form of meditation, as outlined above. 

11. Mantra Meditation

Repeating a mantra (usually sacred Sanskrit words), mostly by quiet chanting/singing but can also be done mentally.

Benefits: Calming and elevating at the same time. Over time activates and strengthens the quality expressed in the mantra in us, e.g. compassion, purification, or union with the divine. Works with the fact that sound, rhythm, and speech have profound effects on our body, thoughts, and emotions. Also gives the mind “more to do” so you might get less distracted.

10 Minutes Guided Mantra Meditation

Choose a mantra that speaks to you or calls you. It’s fine if you don’t know the reason why, be guided by your intuition. 

Here is a basic selection for beginners. (Sanskrit words have very deeply layered meanings so an accurate translation in English is not possible but I have tried to indicate the overall sentiment or fundamental meaning in brackets.)

Om (all encompassing, the essence of ultimate reality, unifying with the divine self)

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (Peace)

Om Mani Peme Hum (Compassion)

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha (the female principle, libration, enlightened action)

Sat Nam (“I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”)

Do a quick search to find the ideal melody that is suggested for your mantra. Because mantras work with sound and vibration it’s important to get the melody and the pronunciation right.  

Sit comfortably with your spine straight, either on the floor on a cushion, or on a chair is perfectly fine too. Take three deep breaths and consciously relax as you breathe out, letting any tension drain away. 

Close your eyes. Begin to chant/sing the mantra quietly and calmly to yourself. Put your complete attention on it. 

Vary the speed so that the mind doesn’t wander off but can (mostly) keep focusing on the mantra. (When the mind does wander off just notice this and gently bring it back to the mantra.) 

Experiment synchronising the mantra with the in and out breath which can further help to keep the mind on the object of meditation.

If your mind is very busy and keeps being distracted chanting a bit more loudly can also help. 

After chanting the mantra for about 5-10 minutes stop and take a moment to just observe how you’re feeling in your body and mind. 

Then slowly end the meditation by starting to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, maybe sway your body side to side, gently open your eyes and come back to the room you’re in. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

If you’re not sure which mantra to choose try one for a few days, then perhaps try another until you find one that gives you the kind of energy and feeling you’re looking for. Then stick with practicing this mantra for a longer period of time. 

Instead of chanting by yourself you can also chant along with a recording. 

Further resources: Very comprehensive article on Mantra Meditation

Bonus: So what is Transcendental meditation®?

Transcendental meditation® or TM® for short (a registered trademark) is a type of mantra meditation. It was originally introduced by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (made famous in the West at first by the Beatles). 

The only way to learn it is to find an instructor who will give you a manta to practice and teach you how to use it in a one-on-one course over three consecutive days of about 2 hours each day. This course will also include how to deal with distractions and other common problems experienced in meditation. 

Being taught one-on-one means that you will have a person to answer your questions or discuss your problems. 

One drawback is that the course can be quite expensive and will not offer anything substantially different from the advise that you can find free online. The mantra given will most likely not be unique to you but be a Sanskrit mantra, perhaps one that involves the names of deities. But Sanskrit is a blessed spiritual language – Sanskrit mantras are very old and time has shown them to be powerful and effective. 

Plus, having made a substantial investment can sometimes make us invest more time and effort along with our money and will therefore give us a much better result. 

Transcendental meditation® is certainly one of the most popular forms of meditation, in part possibly due to their extensive marketing efforts and celebrity endorsements. 

12. Visualization Meditation

Using visualizations to heal, achieve goals, personal growth, connect to the divine.

Benefits: Helps us heal, manifest our goals, lead a more spiritual life, fulfil our potential, even become enlightened.

15 Minutes Guided Visual Meditation

Visualization meditations can all be quite different depending on the end goal (and the teacher).  As just one example, I will guide you on a journey to healing your body and mind. 

Sit or lay down. Rest comfortably, with your spine straight. Take three deep breaths and consciously relax as you breathe out, letting any tension drain away. Close your eyes.

Imagine in the distance a globe of pure light, glinting and dazzling.

You sense the immense energy within this light. It is a universal light of beautiful calming healing energy. An energy that can create and restore, purify and uplift with its pure love. You feel very drawn to it and travel towards it.

As you come closer the energy and splendour of this universal light makes your own light inside your heart centre come alive. Deep within the calm sacred soul space inside yourself, your own inner light now starts to dance. See what colour it is. Is it bright and dazzling? Is it a warm glow?

The closer you travel towards the globe of pure universal light the brighter your own light becomes. It is as if you are both stretching out your arms and suddenly you are inside the globe of pure light and the pure light is inside of you. 

The pure light swirls inside of you and you realise you have the power to direct it wherever you need it in your body.

Guide it to a specific area that needs healing. Feel it flow all around it, caressing it, nurturing it, taking the pain away.

What colour is the light? Is it softly warming or gently cooling?

Guide it from area to area and feel it cleanse, repair, restore, giving your body what it needs to breathe and come back to health. 

Stay engaged in the work that the light is doing in each cell of your body.

Now the light transforms into pure spirit, pure energy. It gently caresses your mind and spirit, and flows all through your energy body.

Is there anything you’re holding onto that no longer serves you? Check for tension, diss-ease, doubts, resistance, unhealthy beliefs. Hand them over now. Let go. 

Let the energy pour through you, purify and heal you. And then lift and infuse you with immense joy. 

Stay here for as long as you like. You feel a transcendent peace. Rejuvenated, at one with the universe and your true self. 

When you’re ready, the pure energy transforms back into pure light, and then gently separates from your own light at your heart centre. Thank it, feeling gratitude.

You step out of the globe of universal light but know that you’re taking some of the universal energy with you in your calm sacred soul space.

Take a deep breath. 

Then slowly start to move your fingers, wriggle your toes, maybe sway your body side to side, gently open your eyes and come back to the room you’re in. Tell yourself “Well done” for doing the meditation. Journal if you feel like it.

I hope this has given you a solid first idea and bit of a “taste” of the different types of meditation and what they are for.

As a last word of advice, I would like to ask you not to get lost in technique. Meditation isn’t about theory or a mechanical application. It’s about practice and experience. Tune in and follow what feels right to you. Trust your intuition.

If you find a practice you like I’d suggest reading more about it and maybe find a practice group in your area to go deeper.

You might even like to go on a meditation vacation where you can get the support of both a teacher and a group of fellow students. I love doing this and can highly recommend it.

Maybe have a read of the 3 Blissful Yoga and Meditation Retreats I review here.

Leave a comment below and let me know what your own experience with meditation is.

Do you practice a particular type of meditation?

And have you tried any of the guided meditations I outlined above? If you have any feedback for me please let me know, I’d love to hear it.

And if you’ve found this article helpful please share it to help others. 

2 thoughts on “Popular Types of Meditation (for Beginners)”

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