Types of Meditation
Walking meditation is a wonderful compliment to seated meditation and is particularly
helpful if you find it difficult to focus while sitting or at time when you are experiencing strong
A natural outdoor location where you will not be disturbed -
Begin the meditation by standing still with your weight evenly distributed on both legs.
Let your arms and hands fall by your sides and hold your back comfortably straight, just as in
Close your eyes and begin with a short breath meditation to focus your attention. Then, open
your eyes and begin walking slowly.
Note your surroundings lightly and observe the sensations that arise as your body moves; the
touch of each foot to the ground, the feeling of your clothing shifting, the brush of the air on
Gazing meditation is a powerful method of focusing the mind by engaging our dominant
sense – sight.
A candle flame is the most common item, but other good choices are a single flower, a mandala or picture of significance to you, or even the rising moon.
Before you begin the meditation, place your object at least at arm’s length away and just below eye level.
You may need a small table, stool or shelf to achieve this.
If using a candle, close the doors and windows to prevent draughts before lighting it and
Begin with a minute or two of breath meditation.
Then, open your eyes if they are closed and gaze steadily at your meditation object.
Try not to blink, keep your eyes and face as relaxed and quiet as possible.
When your eyes begin to water or become sore, close them and visualise the flame or object
at your third eye, between your eyebrows.
When that image begins to fade, open your eyes again and repeat the process of gazing
To protect your eyes, limit gazing meditation to no more than 10 minutes particularly if you
are using a flame, do not practice daily.
Eating mindfully can transform how you think about and relate to your body and to food, it
can bring awareness to how you eat.
First try this type of meditation with a small piece of food, such as a piece of fruit or
Then as you become more familiar with it, try a more substantial dish or meal.
Sit at a table with your food in front of you, making sure you are comfortable, able to relax
and won’t be disturbed.
Before you eat, take several deep breaths to centre yourself.
Focus on your body, your feelings and appetite.
Next, smell the food, letting its aroma wash over you and noting its effect on you.
Look at the food and think about what contributed to its creation and it made its way to you
– the sun, the rain, the earth, the animals, the people involved.
Pause to feel grateful for the blessing of food.
Now take your first bite and chew slowly and with purpose.
Focus completely on the feeling and textures and the shape of the food in your mouth, and
then the intensity of the flavours and sensations of the tastes spreading through your mouth.
Chew the food thoroughly, being aware of what your tongue and teeth are doing.
Finally, swallow the food listening to your body’s response to the nourishment and how it
affects your hunger and appetite.
If your mind wanders, work on pulling your attention back to your body and the food.
However, sound is also extremely useful for meditation in private session, or a solo
meditation using recorded sounds, which can be easily found online.
Lie down and close your eyes.
Take several deep breaths to centre yourself before commencing the meditation,
When your chosen sound starts, focus your attention on it.
Feel how it reverberates through you and around you.
Listen to the sound in its entirety, following it from its beginning to its end.
Note any fluctuations in tone, pitch or volume, do not attach any meanings to those changes
– simply be mindfully at one with the sound as it is at each moment.
Try not to anticipate any changes or pre-
should be completely on the present.
Focus on ensuring your breathing stays constant throughout the meditation as the waves of
sound wash over you, even if the tempo of the sound changes or if there are any silences or
In this meditation, you relive your day so far.
Possibly the first action of your day had to do with staying in bed for just five minutes more, or the desire to get to the kitchen for breakfast.
Maybe there was a disturbing thought of things that had to be done at work or a pleasant thought of having lunch with a friend.
What other thoughts and actions occurred as the day progressed?
Impatience or even anger when you had to wait in a queue at the bank?
Satisfaction when you drove into the last parking space before someone else?
Downhearted when you realised you had to spend the day with someone you did not like?
Delighted when your boss praised you in front of others?
If we are honest with ourselves, we will see that our day is filled with thoughts and actions that are directed at avoiding suffering in many ways and experiencing happiness.
This is a motivation common to all: the wish to experience happiness and avoid suffering.
There is, of course, no problem with possessions, wealth and a comfortable lifestyle.
The real problem is in the mind, with the underlying belief that these things will make us truly happy forever.
Begin with a few minutes of breath meditation as described earlier.
As best you can relive the day so far – from the moment you woke to the present.
Consider each action you carried out: not just the big, more significant actions but all the smaller ones too.
Then think of a previous object of desire you obtained: a new relationship or even a situation.
If at the time we knew then what we know now – that they were impermanent and had no chance of living up to our expectations – would we have suffered so much to obtain them?
Would we have placed such importance on them? Would we have become so overwhelmed by the thought of having to have them or having to avoid them otherwise our life would be ruined?
Finish the meditation by considering ways in which you may be able to understand the impermanent nature of phenomena in your life? Appreciating them in a more rational way can prevent the extremes of attachment and desire or aversion and anger.
Consider the peace and contentment that would create in your mind.