Types of Buddhist and Vedic Meditation — A Summary of 12 Techniques

Feel like you need to include a good meditation in your day-to-day life? If you don't have a lot of time to fully dedicate yourself to some complex meditation system, why not choose a simple and easy to use meditation technique instead?

Meditation has a number of benefits, and almost everyone is doing it. The amount of information related to this subject is enormous. This info is available everywhere, in book stores and on the internet. But, there is a lot of conflicting information, and you might wonder what the best meditation to begin with is.

The number of different meditation methods is also huge. There are probably thousands of meditation types and techniques. In this article, we will present to you 12 of the most important and most popular meditations, as developed within the most advanced Hinduistic and Buddhist schools of spiritual development.

Here is the list of simple but very effective meditation methods from the Buddhist and Vedic traditions. Open your mind and heart, and try to see what specific meditations you are attracted to. These types you can explore further, via the supplied links or resources.


How to Begin Zen Meditation (Zazen)

zen garden

Zazen is a meditation method unique to the school of Zen Buddhism. Zen, in fact, in Japanese means "absorption" or "meditative state". One type of meditation that Zen Buddhists practice is called Zazen, which means sitting meditation.

You can check this meditation here

In addition, there are five types of Zen Meditation Practices: bompu, gedo, shojo, daijo, and saijojo. You can check their differences here..

Vipassana Meditation Techniques

meditation state

Vipassana means insight. It helps develop clear insight about the sensations and phenomena of the body and mind. In this meditation you use your peaceful and directed attention to explore your body and mind from one moment to the next in a conscious manner. This is a most natural practice because you try to live your experiences more fully now, in the present moment, rather than losing yourself in various feelings, thoughts, ideas, fears and regrets about the past or the future.

Bryan Tucker from Open Dharma has provided instructions for this type of meditation. You can check them out here.

Mindfulness Exercises

in meditation

Need a simple but extremely powerful method? Try mindfulness meditation, which is an excellent technique for developing self-awareness. It means living in the here and now and being aware of the present moment.

Get these exercises here.

Greater Happiness in 5 Minutes a Day - How to Teach Kids Loving-Kindness Meditation

kindness in nature

This is a meditation of developing good will, kindness and compassion. It is a Tibetan form of meditation. It helps increase empathy, positive emotions, as well as love toward one's own being and others. This is also a great natural technique for kids who are just starting to explore meditation.

Check out how to perform it here.

Guide into Buddhist Loving-Kindness Meditation

How to Be Kind and Love Yourself

Nada Yoga Meditation - The Sound of Silence

tibatan bowl for sound production

Nada yoga means listening to or meditating on the inner sound. In fact, here we are not talking about any kind of sound, we are talking about the sound of silence. This type of Buddhist meditation is also designed to help you ground your attention in the here and now.

Get the instructions how to perform nada yoga here.

Vedic and Yogic MEDITATIONS

Japa Meditation - mantra meditation

the symbol of om

Japa is another word for mantra, and mantra is another word for word or sound. So here, it is all about constant repeating a word, phrase, or sound. The mantra in this type of meditation is a tool for quieting the mind. This meditation is not specific to the Yogic tradition only. It can be found in many countries and there exist a lot of methods.

Here is one of them.

10 Basic Steps To Practice Transcendental Meditation For A Healthy Body

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

In spite of the complicated name, Transcendental meditation is in fact very simple. And, it is even easier to practice. This meditation type was introduced to the Western world in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru from India. It is suited to the modern style of life and helps us become calmer and eliminate stress from our lives.

Check it out here.

Trataka : Meditation of the Third Eye

trataka by using candle flame

Trataka is simply a form of meditation where you gaze at a fixed object. It can be a black point on your white wall or the flame of a candle. The more sophisticated forms include yantras — visual meditation and contemplation symbols. At the beginning, the eyes of the meditator are open, but after some time, they should close them to try to keep the image of the object on the inner screen of the mind as vivid as possible.

Here is a simple third eye meditation technique.

Chakra Meditation for Beginners

chakra energy center in a form of a wheel

Chakras are energy centers of the subtle etheric body. They govern the functioning of the major endocrine glands and bring health and balance in our lives. This knowledge has come to us from the ancient Indian saints. This system of meditation requires time, dedication, and strong will from the meditator to be successful. A well balanced chakra system brings more energy, improves the immune system, and cures a lot of health problems.

Check it out here.

More about the properties of the 7 chakras

Kundalini meditation

asanas can awaken the snake power

Kundalini meditation is a natural extension of the chakra meditation. Once the chakras have been balanced and awakened, the kundalini energy stored at the bottom of the spine starts to rise. Kundalini Yoga is a complex system and one shouldn't expect results at once. It should be adjusted to fit your goals, needs, lifestyle, and capacity. It is recommended to have a qualified teacher to guide you through the process of Kundalini awakening.

Check out the basics of this meditation type here.

Mora about Kundalini yoga

Kriya Yoga Meditation

kriya yoga lineage

Kriya Yoga is oriented toward action. It is not just one particular technique you should learn, but a set of different techniques, including rhythmic breathing, visualization, mantras and meditations. It was first introduced in the 1920s by the famous yogi Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda was the founder and leader of the Self-realization society. Kriya Yoga Meditation is excellent to clear any and all possible obstructions in your body and mind. The ultimate goal of this meditation is to become pure awareness.

Read about this meditation here.

How kriya yoga works + photo credit

Atma Vichara: Self-Inquiry and Its Practice

Ramana Maharshi photo

Atma-vichara is the Sanskrit word for self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is the main technique of self-development in the yoga of knowledge or the Jnana yoga path. One of the most important spiritual teachers of this tradition is Ramana Maharshi, who introduced this approach to the world. Traditionally, this path was mainly practiced by the Indian monks (Swamis).

Check the details of this type of meditation here.


That's it. With these types of popular meditation, you can be sure to select the one that best suits your needs. That is, if you want to meditate on your own. At the beginning, however, it is much better if you can find a qualified teacher, or at least a group of like-minding people to share your meditation experiences with. I cannot overstate how important it is to find the right meditation practice. So, choose wisely, and listen to your heart. And be patient. You know what they say, "When the pupil is ready, the master arrives". Once you have found your path, the next thing is to build your meditation habit. With the above easy to use and practice meditation techniques, it won't be too long before you start meditating like a monk.



Malick says:

Thank you for this extensive list of meditation practices. I'm a beginner and i still try to find the best option out there for me. this was very useful. blessings.

sunnyray says:

Hi there. You know how they say, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. So keep searching until your teacher appears. There is no real meditation without a spiritual teacher, a guru to guide you on your path of spiritual development. With love and light! sunny

Cheri says:

Beautifully written and the information is all inclusive for what I have been seeking. Thanks so very much for your words.
Love n light, Cheri

sunnyray says:

Thanks Cheri, your support means a great deal to us. May love and light always follow you.

John says:

Can you tell me what the difference between zazen and vipassana is?

sunnyray says:

They are more or less the same type of meditation. In Zazen you just sit and do nothing. You let the sensations pass without clinging. In Vipassana you observe your body and what happens within and go from there. Both lead to more or less similar experiences in the advanced phases. There are also some practical differences. For example, in Zazen you have to keep a specific posture, while Vipassana can be practiced in a more relaxed position.

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