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Meditation in Focus; Types of Meditation

See, the problem with ADHD is that it is hard to stay focused and even harder to remember to follow-up what you are supposed to be focusing on every day.  That is why it is important to use Remember the Milk type software – so that you don’t forget it!  And why if you read / respond to all of your e-mails in the morning the day can just escape you.

Not only that, but other things peak our interest and then we want to learn all about THAT.  So a few blogs later, I am back to meditation.  I had promised you to go over types of meditation,so today I am going to do just that.

I was very confused when I started, because it seemed like one person told me to have NO thoughts, and then the next to think only positive thoughts.  And then I heard I should be focusing  on think about my breathing.   Music.  No music.  Sit up.  Lie on a bed.  So what is it?  What exactly am I supposed to be doing with this popular and healthy thing called meditating?

The website I found that I think does a really great job breaks meditation into two primary types:

  • concentrative – you focus your attention on the breath, a specific thought or beat, getting very in tune with the rhythm. 
  • mindfulness – you let thoughts and feelings float right by you.  It is almost as like you watch everything go through your mind as if they are cars and you are standing on the sidewalk.  Your mind expands.

The most common and widely studied meditation is a form of concentrative meditation called Transcendental Meditation (TM).  This type of meditation is easy to learn, takes about 20 minutes once or twice a day, and can be practiced anywhere.  You usually get a word, phrase, or mantra from a teacher, and repeat it over and over in your mind silently in a calm, easy, accepting voice.

Mindfulness meditation (Vipasanna) is what I was first taught and follows a lot of Buddhist traditions.  It teaches you to become very ‘present’, and notice all of your sensory experiences and let them float on by without grabbing a hold, analyzing, and changing them.  There is both formal mindfulness (i.e. yoga, pilates, sitting meditation) and informal mindfulness (as you move through your day, practice being mindful during bits and pieces of it).

Those are just the beginning.  There are a number of others you can learn about as you expand your practice, but again the most highly researched is TM.  The key, again, is to start small, try to avoid getting frustrated, and do it in a way that works for you. 

I don’t worry much about the other stuff – I do what feels right to me.  Sometimes I need music to ground me.  Other times just the voice.  I may have a high stress day where I do an extra meditation.  Possibly I will do one in my bed before going to sleep.

The key is, to learn what you can from the ‘experts’ and then to do what is right for you.  You do not want to have an excuse as to why you aren’t do it, as you can accommodate pretty much anything if your mind is open.  You simply have to dedicate yourself to the practice.

Meditation has truly changed my life on a number of levels, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Has it done the same for you?  What type?  I would love to hear so thank you for sharing.

Creative Commons License photo credit: epidemiks

Meditation in Focus; Types of Meditation


Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (www.mood-factory.com), a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (www.ifred.org), we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.


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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Meditation in Focus; Types of Meditation. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 14, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd/2010/08/meditation-in-focus-types-of-meditation/

 

Last updated: 3 Aug 2010
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