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Meditation Guide Series – The Four Basic Categories

We mentioned during the introductory part that meditation is for calming and centering activity; or is focusing mindfully on something. Let us be aware that there are basic categories where the different techniques fall. I will be discussing these four basic categories according to what we have learned about meditation from the previous topic. These are centering, thinking, visualizing, and encountering.

First, centering is a technique applied to focus the mind on an external object. It has to be external stimuli that help the mind focus to gradually become aware of inner dynamics such as breathing or heartbeat. Focusing on an object is not the meditation itself, but it is to help you calm and center your being and stabilize the mind. Focus may become a struggle as it is difficult to totally stop thinking. There will be mixed emotions and thinking about what you feel and think. Focusing or centering during meditation becomes easy when it has become a habit of avoiding distraction. In this way, your mind becomes prepared to deepen and prolong meditation.


The second category is thinking. It is our human tendency to avoid thinking to make ourselves self-calm. But it is ironic that the more we stop thinking, the more we become distracted, and a lot of scenarios start to appear in our minds. We think about what we are doing, feeling, and the struggle of practicing meditation. It is a good practice if we also meditate about what we are thinking. This will help create a positive transformation as you learn how to be mindful of what you are thinking.

The third is visualizing. It is a way of imagining something to create a picture in your mind. This will help you create a reality, manifest your desires and intentions, or even alter body processes. Visualizing is a powerful way to let go of pretensions and fears. This technique can be improved over time.

Lastly, encountering is experiencing. It is another meaning for the relationship between you and the subject of your meditation. Your senses let you appreciate your relationship with your subject of meditation.

It is essential to be mindful that meditation techniques are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. These are just techniques, not meditation per se. Meditation brings you a transformative experience for a positive, kinder, and more compassionate being.

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