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The Top 5 Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Getting into meditation has a lot of proven benefits.

In the search for lasting and fulfilling recovery, many addicts seek the helping hand of mindfulness and spirituality to aid in their journey. Meditation, when practiced regularly, has been shown to help clear the mind of the detrimental clutter it so often stores, while also aiding physical and mental health overall.

This can be a beautiful thing for anyone to learn, especially a recovering addict. In fact, many recovery programs, including 12-step fellowships, build this into the framework of their philosophies. However, there are countless avenues one can take when deciding which spiritual discipline or meditation techniques work for them. This overabundance of options often leaves many in a state of intimidation, confusion, and insecurity when it comes time to employ the techniques in daily life.

Many people find themselves pondering whether they’ve chosen the right path or technique for them, or if their posture is perfect, or if they’re doing any of this right. This meticulous approach can take away from the overall experience of any meditation practice. These obstacles can deter from progress or cause a regression of progress made altogether. The information we’ve presented below will highlight five of the most popular meditation techniques amongst those seeking recovery. We will delve into what each discipline has to offer and provide tips on how anyone can begin to practice them as simply and effectively as possible.

Hatha Yoga

  • Hatha Yoga is an ancient discipline, and as far as historians are able to tell, came into being approximately 3,000 years ago in the mountains of India. Ancient yogis found that when they utilized certain postures in attempts to realize God and self, they were in better command of their bodies, minds, and emotions.
  • Practicing Hatha is unique in that it not only offers clarity of the mind and body but also, what most refer to as a euphoric, natural high feeling. This is caused by the large rush of endorphins the brain releases when the poses are practiced correctly.
  • There are great videos of guided Hatha Yoga sessions on youtube, as well as countless books on the subject, which can help one take the first step on the path. All it takes is a quick google search to find a little insight into this well of ancient wisdom.

Loving & Kindness Meditation

  • Loving kindness meditation is another ancient practice. It is primarily used in Buddhist teachings as a way of moving one’s thoughts and emotions into a place of kindness and oneness with oneself, and the rest of the world as a whole. Although loving kindness meditation doesn’t belong to any particular spiritual path, it can be easily transposed into any religion or spiritual lifestyle.
  • This meditation technique allows clarity of mind and body, as with many other methods, and holds the unique property of allowing a sense of belonging and compassion throughout daily life. This is especially beneficial in recovery because many addicts feel shunned from society and resentful towards themselves, as well as the people around them. This helps to remove the initial barrier between isolation and community, and also aides significantly in the processes of forgiveness and gratitude.
  • A simple way to practice this meditation is to sit, with one’s back as straight as possible, either on the floor with the legs crossed, in a chair, or lying down. Once the posture has been initiated, one simply breathes, counting up from one to ten with each breath, and back down again until a state of relaxation is achieved. At this point, the practitioner selects five people. One person who brings about a feeling of hatred or resentment, one who is disliked somewhat, one who is neutral, one who is somewhat positive, and one who brings about a feeling of love with ease. Now, the person simply sits, relaxed in the selected posture, and picks three attributes for each person which is admirable. This can prove to be difficult at first. However, the way this is often taught is, if the people who bring about hate or resentment seem impossible to compliment in only three ways, are they even known intimately enough to make such a judgment?

Zazen (Zen Buddhism)

  • Zazen is a practice utilized by students of the Japanese Zen school of Buddhism. The primary goal of this technique is simply to clear the mind of all worldly sensations and thoughts. While this idea may appear intimidating, or even impossible at first glance, it is important to understand many practitioners spend their entire lives dedicated to reaching this goal. In the short term, Zazen is one of the simplest, most effective forms of meditation in existence today.
  • Zazen allows the student to achieve what can be thought of as a blank state, where nothing seems to hold any positive or negative effect while in the meditative state. The goal is the simplest state of being possible, only existing, and impartially observing one’s surroundings.
  • Zazen is practiced simply by sitting with the spine straight and the head even, and still. The eyes can either be closed or open depending on preference. If the practitioner chooses to open them, they should be directed a few feet in front of the body, with the gaze focused on a fixed object on the ground. It is amongst the simplest meditation techniques to practice, because all that needs to be done is, essentially, nothing. Simply sit, and breathe, and allow whatever thoughts and sensations in and out of the body to be, without judgment of whether they are good or bad.


Walking Meditation

  • This is another technique utilized primarily amongst Buddhists. It teaches the people to simply be present and mindful of the situation they are in, without judgment or prejudice towards surroundings or circumstance.
  • This is great for addicts in recovery because it teaches the principles of acceptance and awareness in a way that also relaxes the mind and body through light exercise. It is crucial for people in recovery to learn to live life on its own terms, without manipulating the situation for personal gain. This is exactly the point of this technique.
  • This practice is very simple. It is ideal for one to have access to a garden, or perhaps a wilderness trail or something similar, for this exercise an absence of thought, and a sense of unity with nature. If not, some choose to pace throughout a clean living space. It is only important for one to have an unobstructed path with which to practice. Anything else is simply an accessory. Now, once the path has been selected, the practitioner simply walks slowly, and with kind intention in a single direction. It is helpful to fix the eyes down a few feet in front of the body, further along the path, and also to breathe slowly, calmly, and in a manner conducive to relaxation and awareness. One must simply walk this path, perhaps only a few steps, but paced back and forth until the personal goal of the meditation is reached. This goal can be a state of relaxation, a time limit, a certain number of steps, whatever helps the person feel as though fulfillment has been found through the practice.

Vipassana Meditation

  • Vipassana is another Buddhist style of meditation and means literally to see things as they really are. It is said that Vipassana can be counted among India’s most ancient spiritual practices, and after being lost for some time, was rediscovered by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, approximately 2500 years ago.
  • The technique focuses primarily on feeling and understanding keenly through all of the senses. It is the belief amongst vipassana practitioners that when one is completely aware of what is happening to and around them, he will achieve a state of perfect understanding. This is a great technique for those who seek relaxation and inner awareness.
  • The traditional method of practicing Vipassana is first utilizing breathing exercises to reach a state of relaxation. Once this state has been achieved, one simply performs what can be thought of as a scan of the body, carefully examining every section of the body, beginning at the top of the head, and moving down to the feet. The goal is to understand exactly what is being felt, and paying close attention to every sensation, no matter how menial, while allowing whatever thoughts that come into view to pass without focus or effort tied to them.

What do you think about meditation and recovery?

How do you think it can best be implemented in your daily life?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the subject, please comment below!

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Women's Lifestyle: The Top 5 Meditation Techniques for Beginners
The Top 5 Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Getting into meditation has a lot of proven benefits.
Women's Lifestyle
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