Meditation is an
invaluable and proven science to optimize health and elevate the
quality of one’s life. It not only promotes physical health, but also
markedly improves emotional balance and psychological wellbeing. There
are many types of meditation and in this article we will explore the
popular and powerful Concentration Meditation Technique.
Concentration Meditation Techniques:
These are probably the most common and well know of all the meditations
and often meditation is defined by these kinds of meditations
exclusively. They are closely related to the Insight Meditation
Techniques, with the difference being that Insight Meditation
Techniques utilize the active application of intelligence and
discernment, while the Concentration Meditation techniques use the
power of focused attention to a greater degree. To some extent these
meditations lay the groundwork for the Insight Meditations which need a
high degree of concentration as a prerequisite to being effective.
1. Breath Meditation Technique (Zazen):
The heart of Zen Meditation is Zazen, the meditation of the Buddha. In
this meditation, awareness and concentration are brought to the
breathing process to help build mastery over the mind and free the
system from dualistic thinking.
To practice Zazen one takes a seated posture and then begins to count
the flow of one’s breath. Counting each inhalation and exhalation
starting from one to ten. So, an inhalation is one, the next exhalation
is two, and so forth. When one reaches the count of ten, one returns to
one and starts counting again. This helps focus the mind and prevents
it from drifting endlessly from one thought to another.
As one develops one’s ability to count undistracted from one to ten,
one starts to count each breath cycle, instead of the inhalation and
exhalation separately. So now one counts an inhalation and exhalation
as one, the next complete breath as two and so forth till one reaches
ten. After reaching ten, one returns to one and repeats the meditation.
In the advanced form of Zazen, one simply becomes the breath. In this
form counting is dropped altogether and only keen awareness of the
breath is maintained. One should not progress to this level until one
has mastered the previous two.
Zazen breath meditation helps develop the power of focused
concentration and creates a serene, peaceful mind capable of
penetrating the veil of dualistic thinking.
2. Another breath based meditation is Vipassana:
In Vipassana one extends one’s awareness from one’s breath, to the body
and the sensations that rise and fall within it. The objective being to
have insight into the workings of the mind through self-observation.
This form of meditation is also called Insight Meditation as it helps
one develop insight into the true nature of things.
3. Object Concentration Meditation Technique:
There are many meditations that utilize an external object as a focus
point for the mind. Zazen and Vipassana belong in this sections as
well, but due to their widespread use I mentioned them separately.
The objects of focus can be anything from a point on the ceiling, to a
flower, to external sounds in the environment. These meditations all
develop focus, concentration, self knowledge, calmness and the
witnessing consciousness. Their ultimate objective, though, is to have
the meditator finally drop the object of concentration and encounter
the non-dual nature of Reality directly.
Some examples of these meditations are Sound Awareness Meditation
Technique and candle flame gazing (Trataka). Both these meditation
utilize the sense modalities to accomplish the goals of concentration
So you see from above that there are many types of concentration
meditation techniques. This allows one to choose a type that is most
suitable for their personality and disposition. The best way to
discover the enormous benefits of meditation is to jump in and
participate. What are you waiting for?
Anmol Mehta is a Yoga & Zen Expert. His site, Free Guided Meditation & Chakra Kundalini Yoga Exercises, offers Free Third Eye Chakra Yoga Meditation. You will also find great discussions on Free Guided Meditation Practice, Kundalini Yoga Poses & Zen Meditation Blog.