Is this you: You really want to meditate and be less reactive in stressful situations, but you can’t sit still and empty your mind? Us, too!
It could be that you (we) just haven’t found the right meditation style, says davidji, apprentice to Deepak Chopra, and the author of The Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace and Personal Transformation.
In his new book, the corporate executive-turned-meditation teacher covers the most frequently practiced forms of meditation. “Many types of meditation can help you manage the constant swirl of the city and our reactions to it,” he says.
So which style of meditation is right for you? Here are five—along with some practical guidance from davidji—to help you pick one that sticks.
1. You’re a People Person (Sometimes to a Fault)
Practice: Metta Meditation
For this meditation practice you’ll bring loving kindness into your heart and then shine it out to everyone. Got it? You do this by sitting for five minutes and focusing your attention on loving thoughts and feelings. Use deep inhales to fill yourself up with loving thoughts, then let that love flow through you and out of you in a long exhale. This is a nourishing meditation, and an example of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first and then putting it on someone else.
2. You Need To Get Calm RIGHT NOW!
Practice: Breathing Meditation
You know that feeling you get when doing something you love? You’re so absorbed yet your mind is super clear? This breathing meditation can help invoke that feeling.
How to do it? Stop yourself for two minutes a day and bring your attention to your breath, like you may have done in yoga class. Just follow your breath in your mind’s eye going in and out through your nose. The idea is that by staying with your breath, you’re not going to the past or future in your thoughts.
If you’re extremely busy or a beginning meditator, this method works really well because it’s quick and you can do it anywhere (hello subway). It’s also beneficial for combating stress and anxiety (hello high-pressure work meeting).
3. You’re a Foodie, or Have Food Issues
Practice: Sensory Meditation
A form of sensory meditation is mindful eating. Choose a meal—or even just a piece of chocolate—and focus on the flavors and experience of eating it, savoring every bite, and connecting to the moment, without any other distractions like television, work, or other people.
If you struggle with emotional eating or weight concerns, or just haven’t been taking the time to notice what you’re putting in your body, this is a great tool for gaining more awareness and bringing more joy to the experience.
4. You’re A Perfectionist
Practice: Heart Sutra Meditation
Instead of searching for the things that didn’t work out that you need to fix, place your hand on your heart, and say “peace, harmony, laughter, and love” to yourself. Do this for five minutes repeating the words slowly. They’ll become positive affirmations, and are meant to help allow you to experience self-compassion, reminding you to not take everything so seriously, and perhaps even celebrate your accomplishments.
5. You Need To Let Go, Shake It Off, and Have Fun More
Practice: Chanting Meditation
This doesn’t have to be a sitting meditation with actual chanting or a kirtan class at your yoga studio, it can be singing along to a song at a concert, in the car, or doing karaoke. These are all just forms of being in the moment. Go out and find music you love because it can sometimes be the most effective way to chant. If you’re craving more fun, more connection, and need to let your hair down more, chanting is probably the one for you. —Jennifer Kass
For more information visit www.davidji.com or pick up a copy of Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace and Personal Transformation