A guide to finding the meditation style that's perfect for you.
Focused / Samatha
Bring your mind to rest with an object of meditation. From counting beads to simply paying attention to your breathing, focused meditation, or samatha, is all about emptying the mind by funneling attention.
The classic “Om” works well, either spoken, whispered or silently contemplated. Mantra meditation is a specific type of samatha, using a word, phrase or nonsense syllable as meditation object.
It’s not cheap, but TM is evidence-backed and secular, evangelized by everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to the Mayo Clinic. You’ll get a customized mantra and one-on-one training to start.
Mindfulness / Vipassana
Vipassana is forgiving because it isn’t a calming of thoughts, but a continual arresting and recalibrating – so you shouldn’t worry about “doing it wrong.” Try it while driving, eating or even washing dishes.
Strengthen the mind-body connection and calm your thoughts by focusing on precise or repetitive motions. Yoga is the most common, but try tai chi, qi gong or even just a walk in the woods.