The best meditation practice?
Blog – The best meditation practice?
Helen in her last post wrote about a discussion with a friend as to what is the best meditation practice. The friend maintained that her practice, which she did every day was the best way to meditate. When Helen said that she varied her practice and did whatever meditation seemed best on that particular day, the friend clearly didn’t approve.
This made me think about my meditation practice. I learnt Transcendental Meditation over 25 years ago and it has been my daily practice since then. You can check out TM here: https://uk.tm.org/
When you learn TM you are given a personal mantra to recite while meditating. The mantra is a meaningless word. You get into your meditation pose, close your eyes, and begin to recite your mantra silently over and over in your mind. If you mind wanders, which it doubtless will, you acknowledge the mind wandering and go back to your mantra. I practise TM for 20 minutes, twice a day.
When I learnt, it was impressed on me by my teacher that TM was superior to other forms of meditation and, for a long time, I believed this to be true. I think many meditators believe that their practice is the best one. However, I no longer believe that this is true. There are many different ways to meditate and many different types of meditation. I now, like Helen, sometimes vary my practice. I have introduced chanting into my practice. My favourite is ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ – listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eFLdqgOw-Q
I often chant this mantra, especially when travelling on public transport. Btw, I do it silently when I’m on a bus/train! It has also proved a real favourite with my meditation students. We use mala beads and chant. I only discovered mala beads a few years ago but they are a fantastic tool for meditation as you have to concentrate on saying/chanting your mantra on each of the 108 beads.
As Helen says in her blog, I think it is about finding which meditation(s) work for you and then practising. It isn’t for us to tell anyone else what they should meditate. We can learn techniques from other people and learn how to still our minds in a variety of ways. Don’t let anyone tell you your way of meditating isn’t right. If it works for you, it’s right for you.
On the Meditation Teacher Training course we offer we look at 10 different types and techniques of meditation and stress that it is important that people find the best type of meditation for them. You might try breathing techniques but find they don’t work for you. Instead of deciding meditation isn’t for you try a different technique. Experiment until you find what works for you. You can find a BSoM accredited meditation teacher to teach you how to meditate here: