Main features: This form of meditation enables the individual to watch scrolling thoughts as if watching a movie. It helps empty the mind gently to make way for a clear conscience. It is done with eyes half-closed and by focusing on an imaginary point or an existing object like a candle or a flower.
This technique, known as “zazen”, dates back to the Buddha period and recommends sitting on a cushion, legs crossed with the spine and head very straight. The eyes are half-closed and fixed, as the individual frees the mind of all thoughts. The work is done mainly on deep breathing, expiration, and body position.
This technique is akin to zazen. However, some advocate the use of common mental images of deities from the Tibetan pantheon to center the mind.
The highest form of yogic meditation is the raja yoga, characterized by the well-known position of the lotus (the seated position with each foot brought on the thigh of the opposite leg). This yogic technique, which relies on concentration and the work of breathing (pranayama), focuses the mind on a mantra, that is to say, a repetitive element that is recited aloud or internally to better channel the thoughts.
The Repetitive Meditations
Main feature: allows the individual to calm his mind by focusing his thoughts on a mantra, which may take the form of a sentence of a sacred text, a keyword or a sound, that may be expressed inwardly or aloud.
Founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this technique is done with eyes closed, seated comfortably, reciting a mantra often proposed by the guru. The focus on this phrase gradually becomes the sole object of thought.
This technique offers no specific posture or exercise set (it can be done seated or on the knees). The aim is to concentrate the mind on a specific topic over a long period. The subject is often a passage of scripture or prayer.
Jewish meditation technique focuses on the chanting of sacred texts, prayers or psalms. Some communities rely more on an inner recitation of prayers.
The Meditations of Movement
Main feature: This type of meditation involves movements that help the person to relax and reconnect with his inner-self, using exercises that make use of the whole body to allow greater physical freedom. These techniques are, for the most part, well known in the West.
Better known as tai chi, this technique is the most famous Chinese meditation and has boomed in recent years. Through slow and synchronized movements, the individual is led to better feel the energy of his body and take ownership. This of great sweetness brings calm and lightness.
Draws heavily on breathing exercises accompanied by a wide variety of postures.
Different schools are part of this technique, some of which adopt a softer approach. The individual lies down on the ground and aims to relax the body by focusing successively on different parts of the latter. The second step is to control breathing. Then comes the stage of thought control, or focusing on a particular part of the body, by using visualization, or reciting a phrase (a mantra).
This technique is very popular in recent years, particularly because of the ease with which one can practice it daily, as much as home or during a break at work. Following a Tibetan tradition, walking meditation is to wander, focusing on each step and using the breath to punctuate the walk. It combines both meditation and moderate exercise.