• Bill Petrie

What is Meditation?


So many different practices are called ‘meditation’ these days that it can be extremely confusing.

Here are six types of meditation that I often teach, together with some of their benefits:

1. The Body Scan

This is a ‘guided tour’ of your experience of your own body.

The Body Scan:

  • Relaxes you

  • Helps you to settle your mind

  • Helps you to have better intuition.

  • Helps you be aware of what you’re really feeling

  • Helps you be aware of what feels important or true to you

  • Helps you to make better decisions.

  • Helps you to deepen any of the other types of meditation.

2. Tranquility Meditation

Often called ‘following the breath,’ is perhaps the most common form of meditation.

The basic instruction is for you to sit comfortably with a relatively straight back and for you to place your attention on the sensations of your breathing. Every time that realise that you have got distracted, you gently bring your attention back to the breath.

Of course, there is much more to it than that!

One needs very careful instruction in learning this meditation. It is deceptively simple but extraordinarily rich in its subtleties.

Tranquility meditation:

  • settles your mind,

  • relaxes you,

  • develops your ability to focus

  • creates a great sense of inner peace

3. Insight meditation

Tranquility meditation stabilises your mind in such a way that, after a period of regular practice, you develop the ability to just observe and be present with thoughts, sensations and emotions as they come up into your awareness. This is the start of ‘insight meditation.’

Insight meditation has tremendous benefits in that through it:

  • You become far less reactive

  • You gain perspective much more easily

  • You have much greater access to your own innate wisdom.

4. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about taking meditative awareness into everyday life.

If we are mindful, we are non-judgemental and fully-present.

Mindfulness brings all of the benefits of tranquility meditation and insight meditation into ordinary daily life.

5. Mantra meditation

A mantra is a sound that is repeated over and over in order to create a specific effect.

I have found that, if people struggle to practice the tranquility meditation because their minds are ‘all over the place,’ I teach a particular mantra that is extremely effective in settling the mind.

6. Creative visualisation

Creative visualisation is used in many ways.

One of these is to enhance performance.

Essentially, what we would be doing here is help you to imagine a positive outcome to a situation that is concerning you. This will make it far more likely that your own mind will find ways to create the desired outcome.

Creative visualisation can also be used to:

  • Settle your mind

  • Relax you profoundly

  • Improve your self-compassion

If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of meditation, check this out my post: 10 Really Good Reasons to Meditate

There are many other forms of meditation.

How about experiencing the immense benefits for yourself?


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