Meditation is an invaluable and proven science to optimize health and elevate the quality of one's life. It not only promotes physical health, but also markedly improves emotional balance and psychological wellbeing. There are many types of meditation and in this article we will explore the popular and powerful Concentration Meditation Technique.
Concentration Meditation Techniques:
These are probably the most common and well know of all the meditations and often meditation is defined by these kinds of meditations exclusively. They are closely related to the Insight Meditation Techniques, with the difference being that Insight Meditation Techniques utilize the active application of intelligence and discernment, while the Concentration Meditation techniques use the power of focused attention to a greater degree. To some extent these meditations lay the groundwork for the Insight Meditations which need a high degree of concentration as a prerequisite to being effective.
1. Breath Meditation Technique (Zazen):
The heart of Zen Meditation is Zazen, the meditation of the Buddha. In this meditation, awareness and concentration are brought to the breathing process to help build mastery over the mind and free the system from dualistic thinking.
To practice Zazen one takes a seated posture and then begins to count the flow of one's breath. Counting each inhalation and exhalation starting from one to ten. So, an inhalation is one, the next exhalation is two, and so forth. When one reaches the count of ten, one returns to one and starts counting again. This helps focus the mind and prevents it from drifting endlessly from one thought to another.
As one develops one's ability to count undistracted from one to ten, one starts to count each breath cycle, instead of the inhalation and exhalation separately. So now one counts an inhalation and exhalation as one, the next complete breath as two and so forth till one reaches ten. After reaching ten, one returns to one and repeats the meditation.
In the advanced form of Zazen, one simply becomes the breath. In this form counting is dropped altogether and only keen awareness of the breath is maintained. One should not progress to this level until one has mastered the previous two.
Zazen breath meditation helps develop the power of focused concentration and creates a serene, peaceful mind capable of penetrating the veil of dualistic thinking.
2. Another breath based meditation is Vipassana:
In Vipassana one extends one's awareness from one's breath, to the body and the sensations that rise and fall within it. The objective being to have insight into the workings of the mind through self-observation. This form of meditation is also called Insight Meditation as it helps one develop insight into the true nature of things.
3. Object Concentration Meditation Technique:
There are many meditations that utilize an external object as a focus point for the mind. Zazen and Vipassana belong in this sections as well, but due to their widespread use I mentioned them separately. The objects of focus can be anything from a point on the ceiling, to a flower, to external sounds in the environment. These meditations all develop focus, concentration, self knowledge, calmness and the witnessing consciousness. Their ultimate objective, though, is to have the meditator finally drop the object of concentration and encounter the non-dual nature of Reality directly.
Some examples of these meditations are Sound Awareness Meditation Technique and candle flame gazing (Trataka). Both these meditation utilize the sense modalities to accomplish the goals of concentration meditation.
So you see from above that there are many types of concentration meditation techniques. This allows one to choose a type that is most suitable for their personality and disposition. The best way to discover the enormous benefits of meditation is to jump in and participate. What are you waiting for?
About the Author
Anmol Mehta is a Yoga & Meditation expert. For Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques visit, Free Chakra Meditation & Kundalini Yoga Exercises or Free Guided Meditation, Kundalini Yoga Poses & Zen Blog.