Not long ago, meditation was almost universally associated with Eastern religious traditions, such as Japanese Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, or techniques derived from India’s religions.


However, meditation has since gone mainstream in America. Much of it has been stripped of its original associations with Eastern religions to make it a personal “well-being” exercise. Over the centuries, numerous such techniques have been developed.


It can all seem confusing. For example, what’s the difference between Zen meditation and TM — Transcendental Meditation? The best strategy is to forget all the philosophical debates about religion and philosophy. Just go ahead and try out some simple and proven meditation techniques.


Consider that all meditation gets down to sitting quietly, calming the mind, paying attention to one’s breathing and just “doing nothing.” The goal to go from a busy, agitated mind and to a calm and serene mind.


Experienced meditators will tell you that focusing on breathing is key. That’s because the state of mind follows the state of breath.


You’ll quickly notice that if you are taking short, shallow, and rapid breaths from the upper chest, your mind will be busy and/or agitated. But if you consciously change to a method of breathing that is slow, rhythmic, and from the stomach – your state of mind amazingly follows suit. You become calmer and more serene.


What we have just described is called “calming meditation.” You might also want to try another kind called “insight meditation.” This is when you come into a meditation session with a pre-determined intent. That might be a desire to nurture wisdom or compassion. However, the methods are much the same. You start by sitting quietly and calming your breathing. With an insight approach, you also hold a subtle intent to foster wisdom, compassion, or other positive quality.


Now, you also have the option of guided meditation or unguided meditation. The first involves selecting a teacher or going to a meditation class where an experienced meditator teaches you various techniques. They will also offer insights about what is happening with your mind and how to handle problems that may come up.


Unguided meditation is when you go it alone. You might read a book or watch a video to get some tips on how to get started, but then you settle in and practice.

There are actually dozens of ways to meditate. Doing some research will uncover numerous techniques. That’s the start of finding a form of meditation with which you will resonate and enjoy.

Author Bio: Shalu Chawla is a trained Quality Assurance professional and Business Analyst who writes her experiences with the sole purpose of sharing information from her knowledge or by referring to other good sites. You can know more about her by clicking on or You can also visit me in my other website on wellness by clicking on if interested in meditation or if interested in travel topics.