8 Types of Meditation Explained

8 Types of Meditation Explained
athletic woman meditating outdoors

The word meditation covers a fairly wide spectrum of practices, from walking and eating meditation to mantra-based meditation. Some meditators find that one style works best for them—and they stick to it. Others like to experiment with the different styles. The important thing to remember is that one style isn’t better than another; they are all different and offer their own unique benefits. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main types of meditation and the value they can bring to your life.


Reflection or recapitulation is to refer back over past events and situations. This can be a useful technique to practice at the end of the day—to meditate on the events of the day. It should be done without evaluation or judgment but rather as a process of witnessing the main events of the day and your reactions to them.

As you practice this you will find yourself saying things like, “I ate breakfast, I went to work, I met my friend.” You will see that the events came and went but the one constant was “I.” You begin to appreciate that who you really are is the witness in all experiences, the timeless Self in the midst of all time-bound events.


Contemplation is to think about something, to ponder it, and explore all its aspects. It can be a process of self-reflection, where you ask questions such as:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I want?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What I am most grateful for?

Contemplation is where you look to your inner world for answers, asking the questions, and then listening for the answers and insights that rise from your deepest Being. Contemplation helps you lead a life directed by your inner wisdom.


It has been said that prayer is when you talk to God, and meditation is when you keep quiet so God can speak to you. Prayer itself can take many forms, from the “shopping list” of desires to prayers of praise and gratitude. Prayer can be a way of expressing your love and devotion for the Divine, both essential aspects of your spiritual journey. Prayer is often something you only turn to in times of need or great challenges. Fortunately, the Divine is patient and accepts all comers. The ultimate prayer and expression of surrender is, “Thy will be done.”


The air you breathe and the food you eat are what keeps you alive, so eating is a sacred act and should be a meditative experience. Try to follow these tips to make sure you’re eating mindfully:

  • Eat in a settled environment, not working, watching TV, or checking Facebook
  • Sit down to eat
  • Avoid eating if you are upset
  • Practice gratitude: The first part of your digestion takes place in the mouth so take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you—the color and smell. Think of everything that went into bringing that food to you—the rain and sun that helped it grow, the farmer who tended the crop, and …read more
    Source: Deepak Chopra
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