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Popular Meditation Techniques

Part of the Meditation For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Meditation techniques, like meditation itself, tend to be relatively simple. Following is a brief list of ten of the most commonly practiced ones. You can use one exclusively, experiment with several, or try one for a few months and then switch to a different technique.

  • Repeating a meaningful word or phrase, known as a mantra

  • Following or counting your breaths

  • Paying attention to the sensations in your body

  • Cultivating love, compassion, forgiveness, and other healing emotions

  • Concentrating on a geometric shape or other simple visual object

  • Visualizing a peaceful place or a healing energy or light

  • Reflecting upon inspirational or sacred writings

  • Gazing at a picture of a holy being or saint

  • Contemplating the beauty to be found in nature, art, or music

  • Bringing mindful awareness to the present moment

Be aware that changing techniques frequently makes it hard to reap the full range of benefits you can realize by using a consistent technique for a period of time — a few weeks to a month at least.

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