There are three types of meditation (but probably more too). I call them Concentration, Visualization, and Pure Awareness. Each has their own unique benefit and affect on consciousness.
When most people first learn about meditation, they are generally taught with guided meditation through a form of this first type: Concentration. The entire purpose is to actively develop your attention muscle.
Generally, a Concentration practice involves you and an object of attention. This object could be the breath, the body, or even a mantra. Many traditional Indian schools of meditation involve some form of very concentrated practice.
This type of practice is also manipulative in nature. Your goal is to control the mind and bend it to your will. The practice of this type of meditation will definitely create patterns of focus and stillness in the mind and also develop the powers of the subconscious mind to help you along your life. That’s why so many yogi’s emphasize a mantra and/or watching the breath for many hours. When the mind becomes distracted from the practice, you gently bring it back to the object.
I practiced this type of meditation for many years and it certainly changed the wiring of my brain. Over time I nurtured an incredible capacity of focus and awareness. Concentration can also cause the stilling of the mind process or thoughts.
When this happens you can easily see the inner workings of the mind. This is beneficial in revealing your true nature as Beingness. Beingness becomes obvious when you reach a state of zero thought (read more about my experience of Thoughtlessness here).
Once you develop the ability to concentrate and focus, let’s jump into using that powerful skill towards your manifestational goals!
Now comes the fun part! Once you can easily focus your attention towards a fixed subject, you can then move to an unfixed subject, such as an intentional train of thought. That’s what visualization is!
The goal of visualizing is to prime your vibration towards the allowing of that experience. Visualizing causes your mind to become filled with thoughts about a particular desired outcome. For example, you might visualize an improved relationship, more financial well-being, or simply a new material gadget or toy you want to experience.
Any and all desires are perfectly acceptable to visualize. You are worthy to choose any desired experience and move your life towards the manifestation of that experience.
You know you’re practicing correctly when you feel really good about the ideas that are flowing towards you. The point is to let yourself just daydream about your desired experience. Most importantly, really get into the feeling of already having it, doing it, or being it. How will it feel in your body as you experience this desire. This is the most important activating principle of all visualization techniques.
A solid Concentration practice helps you stay focus on your daydreaming. Then you can easily sit down for 20 minutes and visualize your big desires. Concentration is what enables you to get positive momentum going. The more momentum you get moving and the more you feel positive emotions, the faster that experience will be able to manifest in your experience.
Start general in the beginning of visualization though. Start with just the feelings. What does it feel like to live in that new home or location? What does it feel like to be with that new person? What does it feel like to have financial security? Let the general feelings gradually take you into more specific details.
Visualization is a powerful practice of fun and manifestation in the external world. Now let’s dive into the truth of your being underneath everything.
3. Pure Awareness
The third type of meditation is what I call Pure Awareness. I borrowed this idea heavily from Adyashanti’s “True Meditation.” During this type of practice, you let go of all practice.
Pure Awareness is about allowing everything to be just as it is. I like to do this outside in nature with my eyes open. I just sit down and relax into becoming the pure witness of everything that is happening. This includes what’s happening in the mind too.
Thoughts will come and go, but I do not push them away or move towards them. I watch what the mind wants to do and where it goes. Thoughts pull me, but I am centered in an awareness of awareness. This is a powerful distinction and very difficult to describe in words.
This awareness of awareness is the most potent spiritual realization path that I have ever encountered. It reveals the true nature of the eternal self. This silent witness is always present and unchanging. It is what allows awareness to be. You may think that “you are aware.” But there is no self that is aware. Your self and personality are all observed on the screen of this awareness. And generally you then mistake the contents of awareness for Who You Really Are.
You are pure awareness. This is Source, God, and all those other infinite names. It just holds space for life to be within it. Observing this directly in your own experience is the most transformative type of meditation for your well being and consciousness.
This is how to find the truth for yourself. The truth within you. The truth that is in plain sight. The other types of meditation mentioned above will assist you in finding that centered place of being aware of awareness. The more you look and question what is actually here and happening, the more you will see the truth of your being. It is quite obvious and simple, but just too easily overlooked by accident.
(Bonus) 4. Inquiry and Koans
Just for good fun, the last type of meditation is Inquiry. This practice is half action and half allowing. It is very closely related with Pure Awareness, which is why I’m including it here at the end of this post. The goal is to use a question – an inquiry – to take you to the edge of your mind, so that you may jump into pure knowing truth.
Good inquiry’s purpose is to short circuit the mind. Inquiry often uses koans as a tool to do this, which is defined as:
koan; a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.
These statements are repeated and then let go so that your intuitive self knowing awareness might glimpse its true nature. The mind does not contain the answer to these koans, because it can only ever be the object of attention. The witness can never be an object, but it can be known to itself.
And that is Who You Really Are.
These are some koans that I created myself which have taken me quite deep into truth. Enjoy them. :)
I don’t need to think that I am.
I am not this thought.
I am thinking this thought.
It doesn’t mind what happens, only I do.
From awareness I become.
I don’t know.
I am not anything that I can experience.
It just is.
Thank you for reading. Let me know your own experiences in these types of meditations and even other ones! Just write a comment below.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, then check out my Experienceless Realization post.