There are two basic types of meditation. One is for people that want only God, that is they want to leave life behind and spend their life seeking only Truth. The other is the path of living in the world and enjoying what it has to offer.
The first practice is one of surrender to what is seen by the aspirant as Devine. Another way to say this is that they give up their will to Truth. This is called natural meditation, or the path of surrender. There aren’t very many people that want to go this route, most people want to enjoy life, at least until they are much older.
The path of living in the world and enjoying yourself is the path that most people take. This type of person wants to enjoy their life and achieve success. Primarily they want a loving relationship, family and friends. Of course, to have that, you need to have, other things like a job or business, a house, car and anything else your heart desires.
People on this path will like meditations that help them get what they want. Mindfulness meditation is a term that is very popular these days. Being mindful means being present in what you are doing. It also implies using will power to control yourself so you can get what you want.
There are many other meditations that can help you get what you want. For example, meditation for sleep. You need sleep to get your life together so you can get what you want. People on the path of surrender give up and let sleep be when it is, they are directed by the Absolute in all things.
An important clarification here; saying the Absolute, Truth, God or Divine Love is using words that may or may not resonate with everyone. Just substitute in whatever word or words you like that describes what you consider to be perfect. Describing something that is greater than is a concept that runs through all cultures and religions, so use what rings true for you.
Guided meditations are great for directing your attention toward what you want. Of course, this will depend on the meditation, for example you may want to meditate on healing anxiety which could be a soothing relaxation technique. Or, you can meditate for positive energy, chakra healing, self improvement, mental health or to let go of fear. All of these meditation techniques can help you get what you want whether they are guided or something you learn and improve in a way that works for you. These types of meditation primarily use the will, your will power.
There is an element of surrender in the path of using the will as there is an element of using will power in the path of surrender. You could even say they both are healing meditations that increases mindfulness.
In the willful path you primarily use the will, and some surrender. There always has to be some surrender or the meditation practice won’t produce the desired results.
For example, in a healing meditation attention and therefore energy can be focused on the area to be healed. But, you also have to let go, relax and allow energy to flow to the area so healing can happen. If all you have is the tension of focus then no healing can happen, the healing energy will be blocked.
A more obvious example is a sleep meditation, or a relaxation technique. In many of these types of meditations you focus your attention to different areas of your body and then let go so they can relax and release. The will is used to focus on the area, then the area is let go so tension is released.
In enlightenment meditation you focus your attention and will to that which you wish to merge with, the self. Then you must let go and surrender to the Truth so you can become one with Self.
I won’t go into the path of surrender and how will is needed there, that is a huge subject that is really only appropriate to the person who wishes to follow that path. Suffice to say that will is developed in a way that is very strong and intense. But, it can only happen through surrender first, just like in willful meditation the will is used first followed by surrender.
And, just because someone chooses the path of using the will doesn’t mean you can’t also go for the truth! It may be a bit slower, but the progress you can make is very real. One way you can go fully for the truth in small increments is by taking an Enlightenment Intensive.
Whatever path is right for you depends on what you want from life. It you are like most people then you want success and joy from life. If that is the case then a willful practice like mindfulness meditation is a good place to start. There are other videos in this series that can help you get started. If not, then you can contact me directly to learn more about the path of surrender.
Read the next article in the series: Three Types Of Willful Meditation