Exploring the Three Main Categories of Meditation

Explore the three main categories of meditation: mindfulness, mantras-based & vipassana. Learn how each type can help reduce stress & combat chronic diseases.

Exploring the Three Main Categories of Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the most popular and researched form of meditation in the West. It originates from Buddhist teachings and involves paying attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind without judging or engaging in them. Mindful meditation can be done almost anywhere, such as while waiting in line at the supermarket, and is often included in other types of meditation. Mantras-based meditation involves repeating a set of syllables, phrases, or words aloud or silently.

This type of meditation can be interpreted with or without religious content. In recent years, it has gained ground as a way to manage stress and combat chronic diseases like depression, heart disease, and chronic pain. Vipassana is an ancient Indian form of meditation that dates back more than 2,500 years. It is credited with the mindfulness meditation movement in the United States and is traditionally taught over a 10-day course.

This type of meditation helps your body and mind to relax completely so you can feel a sense of peace and calm. Mindfulness meditation combines concentration with awareness to help us understand how our mind works. This self-knowledge serves as a basis for overcoming dissatisfaction, impatience, intolerance, and other habits that prevent us from living a fuller and happier life. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety while promoting resilience.

Focused meditation involves drinking a cup of tea and training yourself to focus your attention exclusively on drinking it. You may notice the feeling of warmth, the scent, and the weight of the mug in your hands. Every time your mind wanders, you drink tea again. Movement meditation focuses on the body in motion instead of staying in one position.

Transcendental meditation is a spiritual form of meditation in which people remain seated and breathe slowly.