Meditation helps achieve inner peace and harmony – there is no doubt about that. While various religious teachings and cultures support meditation for different reasons, the premise remains the same – meditation helps build consciousness, awareness, and calmness.

There are plenty of wellness trends that suggest meditation as an effective way to reduce stress in the competitive modern world. Rather than simple stress management, meditation enhances logical thinking, increases self-awareness, imagination, and innovative vision. Physical benefits can include improved metabolism, decreased blood pressure, and reduced sleeping problems. Here is a look at the top trends in modern meditation practices.

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Originating from Buddhism, the mindfulness meditation technique is still highly popular in the Western world. While meditating, the practitioner concentrates on the passing thoughts without dwelling on them. Mindfulness meditation usually involves focussed breathing (or focusing on an object) along with awareness. This process can easily be practiced alone and does not require a teacher or guru.

2. Spiritual Meditation

Spiritual meditation practice can be traced back to Christianity, Hinduism, and other oriental religions like Daoism. It is akin to the prayer where the devotee longs for a deeper connection with the Supreme One, or the Universe. Practitioners often use essential oils or scented incense sticks to augment the spiritual experience.

3. Focused Meditation

Focused meditation is a relatively challenging form of meditation. The practice involves an optimized concentration of one of the five human senses. External tools for concentration are often used for focusing. The tools may include mala beads, bells/gongs, or a candle flame. It is difficult for beginners to remain unperturbed for more than a few minutes. Resuming the practice at once and refocusing is what matters.

4. Movement Meditation

People often confuse movement meditation with yoga. They are different. Remember the old martial artists practicing taichi, qigong in Chinese kungfu films? Movement meditation is based on those. It involves relaxes and gentle motion forms where the practitioner allows the movement to guide the body form.

5. Mantra Meditation

One of the more popular modern meditation practices, mantra meditation, involves the recital of a repeating mantra (sound) to clear the mind. Drone sounds are often used to enhance the experience. Mantra meditation is popular in Hindu and Buddhist religious teachings, which mention meditation while reciting the holy mantra “Om.” According to the religious texts, “Om” is a single word that integrates the entire sounds of the Universe. Reciting the mantra results in positive vibrations throughout the body, and a sense of being one with the environment.

6. Transcendental Meditation

Probably the most commonly practiced form of meditation, transcendental meditation has gained popularity in modern days due to its absolute ease. Similar to mantra meditation, transcendental meditation or TM uses a mantra (or a word series) during the session. TM sessions can be customized according to the practitioner’s wishes and are ideal for daily practitioners.