Meditation is any kind of practice where a person sits or lies still and focuses their attention on a specific thing – like the breath, a mantra, a visualization etc. – to achieve a particular result.

There are a large number of different exercises explained in ancient texts which are forms of meditation, and while they can vary greatly, they all follow the common order and structure of focusing the mind on something and quietening it. This can bring about a clearer state of consciousness and greater sense of inner peace, which is the aim of some meditation exercises.

However, beyond quietening the mind or bringing about a more peaceful inner state, different meditation practices also can produce other specific results according to the type of exercise and what is focused on. There are many different types of meditation exercises because there are many different things meditation can be used for. For example, different types of meditation exercises can be used to:

  • Commune with spiritual forces
  • Have a mystical experience
  • Observe and understand one’s thoughts, emotions, and egos
  • Go beyond the mind and experience a state of pure consciousness
  • Understand something profoundly, such as fire, by concentrating upon it
  • Experience a sense of inner peace
  • Quieten the chatter of the mind
  • Activate a spiritual faculty

Even astral projection exercises are a variation of meditation – in that case meditation style exercises are used to focus the mind and remain self-aware while falling asleep to have an out-of-body experience.

Meditation is essentially practiced by sitting or lying still, relaxing the body and mind and bringing one’s attention to the moment, and then focusing the mind toward a specific type of meditation practice. The more focused one is on the exercise, the more the mind will quieten, and the more deeply into the exercise you can go.

The result you are looking for will usually determine which meditation exercise you choose to practice.

Meditation is a very useful spiritual exercise because it can allow us to experience things that we wouldn’t otherwise in the normal state of consciousness we carry out our daily activities in. These experiences bring a greater understanding to our lives – of who we are, what our purpose is etc.

To practice any of the meditation exercises below, find a quiet and comfortable place to either sit or lie down. Close your eyes and relax your body. Keep your body as still as you can, and your mind as quiet and focused as you can. To do this it can help to simply observe the impressions from your senses, such as the sounds, sights, smells, and sensations you are experiencing in the moment. Once you feel ready, you can then begin your chosen meditation exercise. If thoughts arise which take you away from the practice, gently focus your attention back on the exercise. As you keep doing this the mind will gradually quieten down more and more until it becomes quite still, and you can go deeper into the exercise.

Techniques of meditation are recorded as being taught by Krishna and Jesus, and are found in ancient Vedic, Hindu, Sampsean, and Taoist texts.

Listed here are texts related to the religion of the sun where references to meditation practices can be found (note this is a work in progress and will be expanded as further research is conducted):

Below are posts on practices, exercises, and techniques of meditation from ancient sacred texts related to the religion of the sun.