Which Meditation is Best?

There are so many different meditations it can be hard to know which is best for you. One practice may ask you to pay attention to the breath, another to a mantra, the heart, a visual image, an inner light, an intention, a deity or some other object. And they have different goals: reduced stress, a calmer mind, an altered state of consciousness, a deeper insight into reality, an opening to love, transcending of the ego, self-realization, or connection with some higher power.

Furthermore, the proponents of a particular technique may claim their practice is the most effective, the deepest, the most likely to produce effects, or even the "right" way.

It can certainly be confusing. I know when I first became interested in meditation I was bewildered by the variety of methods, and tried several different approaches.

Over the years I have come to recognize that when it comes to helping the mind settle into a calmer state—which is the type of meditation I'm most interested in—a relaxed attitude is essential. Too much concentration can end up creating more tension not less.

One can begin the simplest practice of all by just sitting quietly and noticing your experience. Not trying to change anything or get anywhere; just observing what is happening in the moment. And when your attention wanders off, as it surely will, many times, just gently returning to your experience in the moment.

This simple practice can serve as a basis for further practices that you might want to explore.

How can you stop thoughts in meditation?

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