Below, we’ve listed 10 well-known meditation styles for you to explore. The different styles don’t fit in neat boxes; there is a lot of overlap between them. And no, there is no meditation style that is universally recognized as ‘the best’. It’s all about discovering what works well for you!
10 different meditation styles you can try
#1. Guided meditation
Guided meditation is one of the meditation styles that offer beginners a great way to get started with the practice. It is basically letting a teacher guide you through the meditation. That could be in person, but you can also use an app or listen to a YouTube video. We’d recommend trying out some courses by different teachers and see which one you like and connect with the most.
#2. Present-moment meditation
Present-moment meditation, also called mindfulness meditation, is what we write about most on this blog. While it can take on many forms, it is essentially about training yourself to get out of your own head and use your senses to become (more) aware of your current physical state and/or immediate surroundings.
#3. Visualization meditation
During visualization meditation, you close your eyes and picture something in your mind that you’re going to focus on. It could be an object or a person. Visualisation is very powerful and is also used to manifest abundance and other things that you want in life.
#4. Metta meditation
This meditation style is also known as ‘loving kindness’ meditation. It’s about bringing awareness to certain people in your life. Whether you choose someone you like or dislike, it’s always about directing positive energy towards them.
#5. Mantra meditation
Mantra meditation is about formulating a mantra and repeating it. Your mantra could be a single word or a full sentence, a chant or an affirmation – it does not really matter, as long as it resonates with you. If you want to try it out, these five phrases to tell yourself in the mirror are a good way to get started.
#6. Observation meditation
This meditation style, sometimes also referred to as ‘five senses meditation’ is all about observing sensory stimuli. I’ve written a blogpost about observation meditation that explains a bit more about the concept.
#7. Candle-gazing meditation
Candle gazing, also called ‘trataka’, is one of the meditation styles where you keep your eyes open and focus on a specific point. This could be the flame of a candle, but you can also use something like a crystal or a piece of jewellery. The idea is that you focus on the object without blinking.
#8. Transcendental meditation
Transcendental meditation is a meditation style that requires you to find a certified teacher, who will guide you through a 20 minute meditation – usually once or twice a day. The idea that doing this on a daily basis will ultimately help you to transcend your current state of being.
#9. Vipassana meditation
Vipassana literally means ‘seeing things as they really are’. This meditation style, also called ‘insight meditation’, requires you to examine all aspects of your existence by observing both physical and mental sensations that arise during a session.
#10. Zen meditation
Zen meditation, also known as ‘zazen’, is an ancient Buddhist practice that involves sitting upright (with your legs crossed or in lotus pose) and following your breath. Instead of focusing on something specific like a mantra, an object or a visualized person, the idea is to train a general awareness.