I’m not an expert in meditation, but I do know that there are different kinds. I notice that people that start meditating (like me) don’t have a clear view on the differences of every approach, which may lead to disappointment or objectives not being reached.
One way of meditating is concentration meditation (I’m inventing these names). This is where you keep your attention focused on one object. It strengthens your peace of mind and concentration skills, but won’t necessarily lead to any deeper insights. It’s like doing any other activity that absorbs all your attention, like extreme sports or fine arts.
Another way is passive attention meditation. This is the most well-known one, where you sit still and watch your breathing. You become aware of the thoughts that distract you and take your attention away. When you realise this, you accept the distraction and silently celebrate your return to attentive breathing and awareness. This is a very soothing form of meditation and leads to surprising insights. By overlooking the thoughts that spontaneously pop up in your head, often connections spring into existence between previously unconnected parts of your mind.
Then there’s active attention meditation, where you give a ‘flavour’ to your meditation. You set an intention, like feeling love for yourself and/or others; or setting an intention to let all thoughts and feelings concerning a certain subject come to the surface; radiating goodwill to the world; visualising a certain goal or situation; repeating affirmations; etcetera.
You can immediately see the difference between these forms of meditation. Their effect is also different, so it’s important to know where you’re hoping to go.
Did I forget something? Any interesting links about this subject? Let me know!