There are countless types of meditations from all different parts of the world and spiritual traditions.
In this work we are going to attempt to classify some basic categories for the different types of meditation.
All the mediation methods, with different degree of efficiency, build some qualities that are useful in the journey of realization.
Since different methods have different functionalities and benefits it is important to have an overview of all the methods and consciously apply the method that is more indicated and relevant for you in that moment.
in this way your practice is not stiff and rigid but dinamic and alive.
The process of understanding which practice is relevant for you in a certain moment is also a skill one needs to develop.
Our purpose here is not to give a list of methods but a map who aims to classify all the varieties of methods putting them in prespective.
What follows is a series of 5 distinctions: if we take one meditation method as example we can classify by observing the prevalence or the balance of the two qualities that compose each distinction.
First distinction: Hard or Soft intention
This first distinction refears to the way that the intention is used. regardless of which method you are applying it can be done with a certain percentage of hard and soft intetion: if the intention is mostly hard then we aim to increasse concentration, we wish to push trough obstacles by cultivating a strong martial mind. If the intention is mostly soft then te qualities we are going to practice are the ability of non doing, peacefullness, simple presece, kindness, ability to let go.
The first more active way is considered Yang and the second more passive is Yin.
Second distinction: focal or radial attention
The second distinction refears to the point of observation: if it is focused on a point to the exclusion of everything else we call it focal, if it is directed toward an open and space, trying to have a wider perspective, we call it radial.
The first one is considered Yang and the secon is considered Yin.
Third distinction: dinamic/static:
In the fist the object of the meditation moves and changes during the meditation , in the second case the object of our meditation is the same and practice staying and retourning on that object.
Forth distinction: visualtization/observation
In the first we actively create or alterate images using our immaginnation, in the second we aim at observing the object for what it is.
the first is considered Yang, the second is considered Yin
Fifth distinction: external/internal
if we meditate on an external object as for example my life purpose in the world, a family member or friend, a certain issue in the outside word it is considered external, if i aim to bring back my attention inside of my self it is considered internal.
the first is considered Yang and the second Yin.
After these five distinctions we have the category, this refears to the topic of the meditation: for this we will use a three centers system based on the daoist theory of the three treasures:
Upper Dan Tian, center of the brain, mental body ( Heaven level )
healing work: order, clarify, rectify thoughts, ideas, understandings- intelligence, clarity, mind-spirit connection
ascended qualities: elevation, higher energy, higher teachers,
Middle Dan Tian, center of chest, heart, emotional body ( Human level)
healing work : healing emotions, traumas, peacefullness, kindness,
ascended qualities: love, compassion, devotion, harmony
Lower Dan Tian, lower abdomen, physical body ( Earth level)
healing work: heal, rectify physical body and root instincts- health, rootedness
ascened qualities: roots, the origin, profound, mysterious, concrete, manifested, solid, stable
Very often a method is not compleatly limited to that description: we classify a method according to which qualities are prevalent in it. Also sometimes methods have a balanced equilibrium of two opposite qualities.
This qualities compenetrate and support each other, this classifications are not to be taken exclusively.
As all methods aim to build some important quality or ingredient for the self realization practice we aim to integrate all of the relevant qualities and be able to embody them simultaniously.