Do I Have to Meditate Like a Tibetan Monk?

Meditation is not necessarily for everyone...at least the kind of meditation that requires sitting upright, hands on knees, eyes closed, and humming "OMMM" for 60 minutes. This may be beneficial for the Tibetan Monks, but let's face it, most of us are not them. So let's take a look at meditation in another way.

To begin, let's affirm that not everyone benefits from the same meditation style. There are five different types of meditators: Tactile, Aural, Visual, Mental, and Mindful. Let's discover them below.
 

  1. Tactile- Tactile meditators benefit most from focusing on touch/feeling during their meditations. These types tend to do well with placing their hand on the belly and feeling it move up and down as they breathe, or walking barefoot in the sand or grass. Some sort of tactile feeling must be present for greatest benefit.
  2. Aural- Aural meditators benefit most from sound meditation. Listening to some sort of music, guided meditation, or nature sounds, for example, are great ways for aural meditators to have a focused meditative experience.
  3. Visual- Visual meditators gain the most benefit from focusing on something visually. For example, gazing at a fire or candle flame, watching the ocean waves or the rain, or watching the sunrise are great options for visual meditators.
  4. Mental- Mental meditators gain great benefits from mentally focusing on something during meditation. Mentally counting or visualizing a particular scene or event in their mind are advantageous for these individuals.
  5. Mindful- Mindful meditators are those who do not necessarily get a lot out of any type of sitting meditation that includes visualizing, listening, gazing, counting, or any of the aforementioned methods. Mindful meditators get the most from incorporating meditation into their daily life through mindfulness. This means being in the present moment, and focusing on the NOW throughout the day. For example, if you are a chef, cooking may be your meditation. Being in the moment as you slice, chop, puree, blend, and even smell the food as it warms is highly beneficial if you are a mindful meditator. As you can imagine, this does not involve any sort of sitting or quiet meditation. It is simply the act of being and truly focusing on each moment as it comes.

You may ask, how do I know which category I fall into? To know this, you must practice and see what works best for you. Some people even fall into two or more categories, having their most fruitful meditation experiences in many different forms.

OK, OK. Blah blah blah. 

Andrea, I get it. Different meditation types and this and that. But I have a question...Why should I meditate? There are many benefits of meditation. Let's list them below:

Benefits of Regular Meditation: 
 

  • Meditation brings peace and calm by quieting the mind. When we quiet the mind, we come to a place that is free of mental and emotional anguish.    
  • Meditation brings joy. When we quiet the mind we allow our true self to emerge. Our true self, believe it or not, is pure joy and love.
  • Meditation is a form of self care which allows us to show up for life and for others more authentically. The more we give to ourselves, the more patience, kindness, and generosity we can contribute to the world. When we are fulfilled, we can begin to expand to help others in a greater way.  
  • Meditation opens doors. With regular self care in this way, we allow more of the wonders of life to flow to us. In other words, we carry less resistance so the "good stuff" can naturally get in.

The benefits of meditation are endless, and making a commitment to practice on a regular basis can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of others. Again, meditation isn't for everyone, so don't feel like this is a necessary thing. But if you do decide to add it to your life, it can be truly amazing, especially if you can find which method(s) fits you best. And you don't need to be a monk to reap the benefits! Happy Meditating!