5 Spiritual Meditation Practises to Help You Find Your Zen
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In recent years, people have acknowledged the importance of looking after both their physical and mental health. But what about spiritual health?
For centuries, spiritual practices have been used by individuals from different cultures, backgrounds, and religions to connect with a higher power, increase self-awareness, and find a sense of purpose.
Popularity apps like Calm and Headspace take a secular approach to meditation. However, meditation has its roots firmly in spiritual traditions, and we may be doing ourselves a disservice by neglecting.
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What is Spiritual Meditation?
Rather than meditating for stress reduction, relaxation and focus, spiritual meditation aims to guide the meditator towards deeper spiritual connection with themself and enlighten them to the eternal truth of the nature of reality.
Many different religious traditions incorporate meditation, and although the types of meditation practice vary, the end goal remains the same, spiritual enlightenment.
Types of Spiritual Meditation
Many different spiritual meditation practices have their roots in Eastern traditions. Whether you are new to the practice or an experienced meditator, you’ll likely find comfort in one of the following forms.
Buddhism is well-known for it’s meditative practice. Buddhist practice focuses on building connections and seeking clarity. We are encouraged to see the world’s true nature instead of our minimal personal perspective.
Buddhism has many forms of meditation with mindfulness, loving-kindness and vipassana being some of the most commonly practised in the Western world.
Buddhist meditation is, at its essence, directed towards nirvana. Nirvana is the highest state of well-being, and the ultimate end goal for Buddhists.
Nirvana occurs when the mind is free from delusion and entirely at peace.
While attempting to have a spiritual experience first thing on Monday morning may seem a little ambitious, cultivating feelings of peace, acceptance, and clarity will help us hugely in our everyday life.
Daoists use meditation as a way to align themselves and find harmony with the source of existence, which they call the Dao. They use a variety of styles of meditation to achieve this including visualization meditation, mindfulness and contemplation.
Daoist meditation also included movement-based practices such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and reiki.
To practice Daoist meditation, you should first familiarise yourself with Daoist principles and ideas as they are core to understanding the reasons and motivations for the practice.
Transcendental Meditation is a form of silent mantra meditation created by a Yogi named Maharishi Mahesh in the 1950s. The practice is supposed to be done twice a day for minutes and is said to promote a state of relaxed focus and access to higher states of consciousness.
The technique is traditionally taught through a 7 step program by a qualified spiritual teacher and it is probably one of the most widely researched form of meditation in the world.
Vedic meditation is another Eastern traditions with its origin in Hinduism
We’re all familiar with yoga, but many of us are not aware of its roots. Practising yoga is a form of spiritual meditation, with just as many physical and psychological benefits.
As opposed to Buddhist meditation, Vedic meditation uses physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (Pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) are used together to promote spiritual health.
Chakras and Tantra
Tantric meditation is a dynamic meditation technique, often associated with sensuality. At its roots, tantra is about connecting with your own energy for a deeper and more spiritual understanding of yourself. It’s about becoming aware of and accepting yourself, seeing your own body as a living shrine.
An important part of tantric meditation is working with the chakras. Chakras are energy points in your body, each correlating to a specific nerve bundle or organ. Your chakras need to stay open and balanced, as blocked energy pathways can lead to physical and emotional symptoms.
The 7 main chakras in the body are at the base of your spine (root chakra), below your naval (sacral chakra), stomach (solar plexus chakra), the centre of your chest (heart chakra), throat (vidhuddha), between your eyes (third eye chakra) and at the top of your head (crown chakra).
Part of tantric meditation involves cleansing the body and purifying your chakras.
Benefits of Spiritual Meditation
Many people feel spiritual meditation is not for them, especially those just beginning their practice. However, a spiritual meditation can have a range of benefits for your mental health and physical well being, whether you class yourself as a spiritual person or not.
Regularly meditating can help you embrace and understand who you really are, making it perfect for those who lack self-belief or confidence.
The benefits of meditation are vast, helping you ease anxiety, focus your mind and connect to yourself world around you.
MindEasy founder & meditation teacher
Griff Williams is an accredited meditation teacher and founder of MindEasy. He spent 12 years working as a London firefighter before changing paths to pursue building MindEasy. He received his diploma in meditation teaching from The British School of Meditation.